The concept of personal growth can be very appealing, but there are some truths about growth that need to be understood before embarking on your journey of transformation. Peeling back the layers can not only be painful it can be exhausting. As each layer is removed, a new version of the SELF is birthed. A new SELF that must be nurtured, that must be discovered, that must be settled, that must learn how to BE in the world.
And all of that takes time, patience, practice and a whole load of courage. Because when the going gets tough, it is ever so easy to step back into the way things were.
The old you, remember her?
The one you no longer wanted to be.
Those old habits, those old thoughts, those old beliefs, those old feelings – all those which you have completely outgrown, yet bizarrely feel comfortable due to their familiarity.
And so you settle back into the old version of your SELF because it is easier – you know how to do it and even if it is painful and an endless struggle, who know it and for that reason it is the easy option – the well-worn path.
And finding your way on that new path, the one that you have desperately desired and worked so hard to reach, is exhausting!
It is all new and new can be scary – there is fear in the unknown.
Oh, but there is excitement in the unknown of growth too.
There is possibility.
There is adventure.
There is discovery.
There is hope.
Yet, your old SELF is like an old pair of shoes, you know she can do the job, there is no unknown, so it is safe, and……. just a whole lot of more of the same. The same which you became tired of. The same you outgrew. The same that you desperately tried to escape from.
But it is so easy to go back!
And that is the merry dance that many do as they grow, as they evolve, as they change, as they take new paths.
And so you dance, sending yourself slightly crazy, with your inner being fighting with itself.
So how do you stop the dancing?
The inner critic slamming you for not staying put?
The fear constantly luring you back into the ‘safety’ of your old life?
How do you step into this new version of SELF wholly and completely and hold your SELF in this new space, in your truth, as the new version of you, in the new life that you have created?
It is simple really: You Practice It!
And then you practice it again.
And then you practice it again!
The key to growth is practice.
And you do not stop until it is so ingrained in you, that you cannot NOT be this new version of you.
Just as a baby learning to walk takes that first step and falls before getting up and falling again and getting up and falling again….so she practices until she cannot imagine not being able to walk – in fact she cannot understand how she never could, so easy and familiar it has become.
Just as the young child learns to read, she must practice and practice, each letter becoming familiar, each sound becoming familiar, each word becoming familiar, until they all just fall into place and words form sentences, sentences form paragraphs, paragraphs form chapters and chapters form books. And before she knows it she is devouring big thick delightful books and she cannot imagine how she could never have been able to read, so easy and familiar it has become.
And that is why you must practice BEING in this new version of your SELF, because it must be learnt, like any new skill – you must learn how to BE her.
Energetically, you are operating from a different vibration and you have to get use to how that feels. It is like moving from being a 60W light bulb to a 240W light bulb, it feels different, it looks different, it impacts differently on the world around it – and it takes time to get used to being at this new vibration. It takes time for the energy fields to integrate, like the neural pathways being laid as a baby learns to walk or a child learns to read, our new energetic body is being laid and solidified. New emotions and thoughts which create new beliefs and evolve into a whole new mindset.
All of this takes time and space and practice. Transformation without integration is a recipe for disaster, which I recently wrote about.
There will be teething problems just like anything in its infancy.
There will be wobbles. And those wobbles may even turn into a fall, right back into the old you.
But wobbles are an expected part of growth.
In fact, wobbles are a gift, because if you don’t wobble then you don’t learn. Every time you wobble there is an opportunity to learn.
Showing yourself compassion when you wobble, rather than criticism and judgement of yourself as a failure, enables you to discover where the wobble is coming from.
Gently asking yourself why you are struggling, why you are anxious, why you want to give up – allows you to see deeper within yourself and with this understanding you are able to address where these issues are coming from, rather than sweeping them under the rug, where inevitably they will present themselves at some time down the track.
When you wobble you learn.
And when you learn you adjust your path slightly, amending that which was not fitting right within you, that which was getting in the way of your flow in this space. And then you can step forward again, more assured of your path and more assured of your SELF on this path.
Sure you can believe that growing is not always easy, that it is not a walk in the park to smell the roses. But it certainly can become a walk in the park to smell those roses, if you do your work, give yourself the time and space to integrate and practice and learn how it is to BE this new version of you, the person you have grown into, the person you have desired to become.
Do not give up on her, you have come too far already in your growth to go back.
And if you go back, I guarantee you will soon be looking to jump out of that space again, because you have outgrown it and you are not meant to be there anymore.
Believe in yourself and do your work – everyday. And maybe, just maybe, you might find that this whole growing and evolving thing, this thing called Life, may actually turn out to be a little fun after all.
Have fun with your growth and exploring who it is you are to become!