The beautiful thing about life is that we are constantly experiencing growth – as individuals, as a society, as a species. There are so many ways in which we can change and evolve. We can change our hair, change our jobs, change our interests – we can change our entire reality if we wanted to.
Like many of us, I have a past of anxiety and depression. I used to be terrified of change and was never fully aware of how to navigate through times of growth. Why move away from something that was comfortable? Why remove something of my life that brought me security and ease?
These thoughts brought me to hold onto toxic relationships, stay in a negative mindset, refrain from trying new things and shy away from meeting new people. The minute I ventured down a new path, my palms would sweat and my heart would pound and I would want nothing more than to turn around and go home.
Luckily over time I began to realize the adrenaline rush I felt when doing something outside of my comfort zone wasn’t a bad thing. Instead, I learned to like it.
As life starts to move fast and you’re pushed into a new direction, you have no choice but to sink or swim. Grow or stay stunted. Feel fulfilled or feel lost.
Our brains are built to protect us, not look for the road to happiness and achievement.
Back when we were hunter-gatherers we weren’t worried about which career path was going to make us feel the most fulfilled. We were focused on surviving. Our brains were primed to let us know when we should be careful – especially when venturing into the unknown. This can make it difficult to control our emotions when faced with a new challenge or opportunity.
One of my FAVOURITE THINGS is going through something new or challenging and noticing a difference in the way I handled the situation. Realizing that a few years (or even a few months) ago I would have approached it in a way that reflected my anxiety and fear. It’s so rewarding to know that I am learning from my mistakes and applying the lessons I’ve learned from my past.
I rarely feel anxious and fearful anymore. But when I do – I choose to change my mindset by following these three simple rules.
1. Welcome it.
Approach all areas of your life with curiosity and an open mind. Welcome new opportunities and trust that they have arrived into your life to serve a specific purpose. Understand and embrace the idea that you are never given more than you can handle at any point in time.
2. Respond, don’t react.
This is so crucial not only in times of growth, but for all other aspects of our lives as well. It’s important that we live life with intent instead of simply reacting to an opportunity, challenge or encounter. Reacting requires little thought and usually ends up with both parties being disappointed. Taking the time to observe our experience allows us to craft a response most suited for what we are going through.
3. Use it as a guide.
Learn to love the idea that everything happens for a reason. Understand that you are always right where you are meant to be. Allow the new challenge, opportunity or encounter that has entered your life be a guide to your next destination. Find ways you can be grateful for it and how it is moving you closer to your goals.
The thing that I’ve learned about growth that no one straight up told me – is that it is uncomfortable. Some changes are far more uncomfortable than others. Sometimes the discomfort lasts a long time, other times it only lasts an hour or so. But this is what growth is all about, this is how you know you are evolving. If we stayed in the same place, did the same things, talked to the same people every day – what are we learning? How are we developing our brains and personalities?
If we weren’t meant to grow, wouldn’t the people we are currently be able to achieve the goals we have set? You need to grow in order to gain the things you want out of life.
Get comfy being uncomfy.
In what area of your life have you noticed personal growth?