Last year I really got serious about personal growth.
Almost like a warm-up, but as you know, in life there is no warm-up.
Moving in new directions, learning new skills, trying to manage my mindset on a daily basis. Not easy stuff. I struggled with the up and down nature of growth.
Often we move forward thinking we’re all good only to be slammed by some crazy thoughts that make us feel like we’ve gone exactly nowhere.
This year I want more than practice, and I want more than two steps forward and one step back.
I want more forward movement with as little slipping as possible.
Because I know those little slips cost me valuable time. Every moment I spend sorting out complicated emotions is time I don’t spend moving forward or getting much-needed rest.
Going to the interior
I’ve learned that growth starts on the inside. Sometimes it seems like an outside job like a new ability, a new goal, or greater success in any area.
Those things are all wonderful. They are what many of us are after. Because they are clear markers of growth.
But the most important growth is how you feel about yourself.
I am striving to feel alright with myself in all situations. In other words, to manage my feelings so nothing needs to be a crisis.
Being okay with yourself means many things, not just being comfortable. It’s radical self-acceptance of all parts of you. It’s acceptance when the outside world does stuff you don’t like. It’s not that easy for some of us. I struggle daily.
The problem is that we believe junk that comes at us, either from other people or ourselves. If you feel it’s even partly true, you react, often in defensive toxic behavior. Or you react by feeling shame, guilt, unworthiness.
I’ve acted this way many times.
The only solution is to heal those parts and learn that you are alright. The stuff that comes at you is not true. When you can get to that place, you get a totally different reaction.
For example, if someone says you are stupid, if some part of you believes that’s true, you will likely react to it in some form, either being hurt or with anger. But, when you know that’s not true, you instead ask what’s wrong with them.
Confidence is a huge issue for many people, and it has been for myself as well.
You have to learn confidence through practice. It gets easier and easier over time, but you have to actively work on it. It doesn’t necessarily come automatically.
And you don’t have to wait for some achievement or praise before you give yourself permission to feel it. Don’t put your confidence in other’s hands.
It’s major growth to develop confidence, and once you do, you become unstoppable in your progress and that spurs you to move past other mental and emotional blocks.
Worthiness, fear, and anxiety
These are more things that keep us from feeling alright inside.
All of this can be overcome too. It may be very hard to “cure” yourself of some of them, but you can learn to move around them. You don’t need to banish fear or decide you worthy enough. It’s nice if you could, but you can put those thoughts and feelings in the corner and go on with your business anyway.
Stop the overthinking
This is one of my personal issues I’ve had to take to hand.
Overthinking includes worry, doubt, talking yourself out of being bold, fear, all those sorts of thoughts that keep you from moving forward. Many of us that have had some kind of trauma in their life end up in their heads.
We end up needing to think everything out. And we think so much we get stuck there. Then we end up uncertain about what to actually do.
Many of us can talk ourselves out of anything, even our ambition, goals and dreams. It’s really sad to see it happen.
In other words overthinking is resistance, and instead of dealing with our feelings we resist them, which leaves us locked into place.
It tends to get worse and worse until it’s a deeply ingrained habit.
I only made progress when I started meditating.
This helped me to stop resisting thoughts and emotions. I let them come and go. Nothing sticks around forever. I don’t resist thoughts that bring pain. Instead I just notice them.
I found myself able to start doing. More and more. Everything became easier to do. Stuff that I had been blocked about. Stuff I wanted to do but struggled with. Action comes much easier. Even hard action feels easily within my reach.
Everything starts with learning to be alright with yourself
You don’t need long conversations in your head.
You don’t need to be talked out of anything.
You don’t need to question yourself.
You just need to put one foot in front of the other as many times as it takes.
It is simple in principle, but takes effort. And in that struggle is where the growth is. Once you make it to that place, every thing opens up to you.
I’ve outlined a few important steps toward being alright with yourself.
It’s really just scratching the surface. There is much more to discover about yourself, and if you need help, come work with me, and we can get you on the road to growth again.