A word I am fast accepting will be a constant in my vocabulary is growth! When I was a young girl, I always attributed growth to physical changes and the natural transition from childhood to adulthood. As I grew older, I realised that growth was multifaceted and applied to many areas of ones life – this took on a real meaning when I consciously looked at my life during lockdown. Like many people, I had been busy pursuing a career and building connections with others but had neglected myself in the pursuit of these things. At the advise of a friend, I started speaking to a psychologist – this would lead me on a journey of self discovery and out of those sessions, this blog was born. I had been passive in my life and not livng consciously – this had led me down many unpleasant paths that had I been present in my own life, I would not have allowed. From the very first session of therapy, I knew I had a lot of work to do and with this came the fear of losing myself. As I dug deeper in therapy, my fears grew and there were times when I was not sure of who I was anymore – however, as I continued to explore my personal growth, I realised that I was very much afraid of how uncomfortable growth was.
I have a couple of friends who have become mothers recently, last week, I had the chance to meet-up with these new mothers. One thing I noticed was how fussy these babies were due to the changes they were going through. The discomfort of new teeth especially can lead to many sleepless nights and a baby that needs comfort to help them go through this necessary growth. As I observed these beautiful children, I had my answer to one of the fears I had about growth – that discomfort does not last. If babies did not go through the discomfort of teething, then they would never have the chance to move on from baby food to solid and more tastier food. It is the same with personal growth, if we do not move past the fear of the unknown or the fear of losing parts of ourselves we have become comfortable with, we would never get to know the greatness that lives within us. If I had not been brave to step out of the mundane and start writing this blog, I would never have had the opportunity to interact with so many people globaly. To think that so many people around the world can connect through the words I write here is humbling and exhilarating at the same time – however, I was afraid to write and post my first article which took hours before I threw aside my fears and posted.
On this side of my fears, I am beginning to realise that my fears were not because I thought I would fail but rather I was afraid of this person within who was bold and not afraid of changing constantly to be a better version of me. I was afraid of losing ‘myself’ – but the more I thought of my current self, I realised that even I did not like her that much! The me I was before therapy was afraid of her own voice, influence, impact and losing people. I said yes to things and people I should have told to fuck off in the very first instance. I latched onto relationships that no longer served any purpose because I was afraid of being alone and being disliked. I had allowed the opinion of others to be so great in my life that I was not comfortable making my own decisions and relied greatly on what others thought to guide me in my decisions. I was always reaching out to people and making plans that was never reciprocated and this was tiring. Reflecting on these pushed me to work on myself and this meant I needed to lose certain parts of me and this was hard but most importantly, I needed the right tools to guide me into becoming the person I needed to be. One book I found really helpful was The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden – if I needed to be a better version of me, I needed to work on my core values first and this book was helpful in guiding me to define these values.
Fast forward a couple of years since implementing these changes and I hear the call to grow some more. I find that I have slipped back into some old habits I left behind and my cocoon can no longer contain the person within – she wants to spread her wings to better things. Though I had been resisting, I now notice the signs too well and the resistance was for a few weeks until I was back with my journal making notes on what needed changing. There is so much to unpack here and though I am still afraid, I am excited to discover who I will find under the old skin I need to shed. Already, some people and things I was comfortable with no longer have a place in my everyday life. There is no malice here but I have simply outgrown them and in order to pursue growth, I have chosen to consciously look at the time and effort I give to these people and activities. At the end of the day, only I am responsible for my growth and therefore I am holding myself accountable for what I choose to invest my time and effort in. I need to work through my traumas and make sure that I am committed to my healing – to own every aspect of my growth, sit and work through the discomfort the next chapter of growth will bring.
Last year, while talking to a friend, we both shared our fears on what to do after therapy – we both had no idea what to do. We did not know then but I now know that I did not need to have the answer to the what next – all I needed to do was to be conscious in my own life and confront any choices that was not serving any purpose to the person I was committed to becoming. It is this commitment that has prompted me to identify where I am as a person and what I need to do to move on to the next phase of my growth. It is not easy – I feel like my comfort blanket has been yanked away from me and left shivering in the cold. However, I know on the other side of my comfort blanket is a great big fire that can warm me up and allow me to work without the restrictions of the comfort blanket. Wherever you are in your growth, own it and work on it like all depends on it – you never know what is waiting on the other side. Break through the fear – there are better connections / careers / finances / habits on the other side as well as a better version of yourself. For those living passively in your own lives, I challenge you to wake up and take responsibility for your own life. There are people in your life and possibly around the world waiting for you to wake up and lead them to their own self discovery.
Thank you for always taking time to read, share and comment – continue to share your experiences, so we can effect the change we all need.