“Growth is never by chance; it is the result of forces working together.” ~ James Cash Penney
The other day, I was looking at old pictures of my mutt and I thought to myself, “Oh my God! He’s changed so much!”
He was barely the size of my palm when we got him 11 years ago and look at him now!
I was thinking of how naughty he was when he was a puppy. He would run away with my socks and hide under the table in a bid to get me to play with him and stall me from stepping out of the house.
There was a time when we couldn’t understand what he wanted, and now we actually have proper conversations with him when he’s hungry, playful, wants to go out, or wants to be cuddled.
Time flies and how!
From the time we got him to now, he has grown in so many ways and we didn’t even realise because we were also growing and going with the flow.
That’s what growth looks like for each of us too. We keep working on ourselves and different facets of our lives, trying to create some significant changes, and many times we don’t even realise when those changes have actually occurred.
Growth is not just about achieving some significant milestones all the time. It’s a slow process of unbecoming who you were, shedding layers that you no longer need to become the person who you are meant to be in this moment.
Until and unless we slow down, reflect, and acknowledge all the small and big changes we’ve been able to create for ourselves, we won’t know how far we’ve come in our journey of life and personal development.
As I look back on my own journey, I can see so many small and big changes and improvements I’ve been able to make. Some were conscious and deliberate and some just happened because my mind was working in a particular direction.
I stepped in and out of comfort zones so many times. I slowed down, honored my needs, stood up for myself, supported myself and others in so many ways. I learnt to listen to my body, sit with my emotions even more, braved some more challenges that life threw at me. Yes, there were milestones that I wanted to achieve and I couldn’t. Yet, I didn’t lose heart. I fell, failed, got hurt, and picked myself up. I met and reconnected with some wonderful people who became catalysts in my growth in so many ways.
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ~
And I know is there’s more learning and unlearning to do. But for now, I’m right where I need to be.
I’m sure that you’ve grown too. Maybe you’ve already acknowledged it or need to slow down and do so.
Here are some signs I consider as signs of growth that I’m sharing with you that could serve as wonderful reminders for all the wonderful progress you’ve made:
1. You have more clarity on what you can change or control in life versus what you can’t, and you’ve learnt to focus your energies on what you can do, change, or create.
2. In some areas (if not all), you do feel a sense of alignment.
3. You’ve been able to identify and set boundaries for yourself because you understand and value your time, energy, and effort. You aren’t afraid of saying no anymore.
4. You aren’t afraid of change anymore. Sure, it makes you uneasy. Yet, at a deeper level, you know that change is the only constant in life and you are ready to embrace it. You know that every now and then you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone and that’s okay.
5. You have a better sense of who your people are. You know which relationships are truly worth your while.
6. You take accountability for your actions. You acknowledge and accept your mistakes and are willing to learn from them.
7. You have started taking care of yourself more because you know you are important.
8. You have learnt to forgive yourself. You are able to recognise when you’re being hard on yourself and can stop that pattern right there.
9. You’re not afraid of your emotions. When a heavy or difficult one shows up, you now sit with it instead of running away from it.
10. You no longer let past hurts govern your life. You’re learning to let go at your own pace.
11. You have learnt to ask for what you want and need instead of waiting for someone to magically understand and give it to you or even pleasing your way to get it.
12. You’re learning to set personal goals and come up with action plans to follow through, and you celebrate your wins, no matter how small.
Most importantly, you are clear about your feelings for your own self. You know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want for yourself.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.” ~
You feel comfortable with yourself right in this moment.
If that’s not where you are right now, as long as you are working on yourself, you will get there. Just keep going.
Remember, growth is an ongoing process. It’s the result of many small moments of awareness, realisations, and actions put together.
All you need to do is just keep going.
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” ~