Why does growth always hurt?
Have you noticed how much it hurts to grow?
Whether it’s to grow up, mature, improve, whatever form growth is taking?
So why should we try and grow?
Because growth is more than just change – it’s change in “the” right direction.
Of course there are lots of directions that are right for growth.
And the good news is, you get to pick and choose.
There are the physical ones – pick up a new exercise regime, grow some muscles.
The intellectual ones – learn a new language, or geometry in space, whatever tickles your fancy.
And then there is emotional growth – my quest, both personally and professionally.
Emotional growth is about becoming more of who you can be, in a good way.
The same way that growing doesn’t change a child, but fulfils their potential, emotional growth doesn’t change who you are, but makes you “more of you”.
That growth can take many different shapes.
For some, it’s to allow themselves to be vulnerable, to let others in.
For others, it’s about letting go of an addiction, by finding other, healthier ways to deal with life’s challenges.
For others still, it’s about forgiving, others or themselves.
I am tempted to say that all growth is about the letting go of fears.
The fear of not being good enough or not loveable.
The fear of not being safe.
The fear of suffering and dying.
When we hold on to our outdated fears, we let our past (and sometimes our parents and ancestors’ pasts) dictate our future. When we choose to let go of our fears, we become free to grow – a bit like a small tree sapling might first be tied to a stake so it grows straight (our fears served a purpose at some stage in our life), but eventually that stake needs to be removed to allow the tree to grow all the way.
How would you like to grow? In which direction?
What fears, what belief systems may be holding you back?
Yes, growing will probably be painful.
But I promise you this: it will allow you to live more truly, more fully and most importantly, it will make it possible for you to live as yourself.