THERE IS NO GROWTH WITHOUT DISCOMFORT
I said this to my coach in a recent session and she responded by saying: “That’s a limiting belief.”
I was shocked that I was being challenged on this belief I held so deeply.
How exciting to uncover a potential blind spot in my perception of things!
This would require some pondering.
THE LIMITING BELIEF – GROWING PAINS
The term ‘growing pains’ comes to mind. My first experience of growth bringing pain was a visceral one. I was 8 years old crying in the night because my legs were aching from the pain of my bones stretching. My mom informed me at the time that it was ‘growing pains’.
And it goes far beyond the physical.
I think of all of the painful lessons I’ve learned in life, mentally and emotionally.
Painful lessons about relationships, changing cities, paying taxes, setting boundaries, changing careers, running a business etc.
I’ve always said I like to learn things the ‘hard way’. The hard way involves lots of pain – mental stress and emotional anguish – but it really drives the lesson home!
These hard lessons served me well along the way. Experiencing the pain of these challenges made me look for the lessons, so I could avoid experiencing that particular pain again. And so I learned. And I grew.
This helped deepen by belief that ‘There is no growth without pain”.
With change comes the opportunity for growth, and I’ve made some big changes in my life.
These changes all came with some discomfort. Resistance, self-doubt, and fear.
Moving to new cities, changing jobs and social circles. Moving in with Colin, getting married, changing careers, getting pregnant.
The discomfort of this growth was in the fear and the uncertainty around the unfamiliar.
What if I didn’t like this new life? What if I made the wrong choice? What if I couldn’t handle the changes this growth would bring? What if I prefer the old me?
The pain comes from the resistance to letting go.
Letting go of one version of myself in order to step into another.
What if there was no resistance?
What if there was no clinging to an external identity?
What if letting go didn’t have to be a painful process?
What if instead of fear, growth could be welcomed with trust and love?
Imagine flowing with the changes life brings like a river moving effortlessly towards the sea.
Or like the ocean waves lapping the shore. Steady but ever changing in size and intensity.
Moving through each moment immersed in it fully.
So full of the presence of each moment that there is no space for what was or what might be. There is only room for RIGHT NOW.
No more worrying about what might happen in the future.
No more clinging to what was in the past.
Fully feeling what my senses are telling me right now. Deeply experiencing the richness of THIS moment. What sensations are here? What is my body telling me? What am I seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting?
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Growth is a process that takes place moment by moment. Like a giant tree growing from a tiny seed. The tree doesn’t worry about how big it will grow. The tree doesn’t worry about not being a seed anymore. It just expands. Slowly but surely its branches grow stronger and reach further as it stretches towards the sun, becoming a haven and a vantage point for others to feel safe and see further than before.
What an incredible phenomenon! Surely this process of growth is not cause for fear or resistance. but is worthy of love, reverence, compassion and celebration.
If this is the case then we can welcome opportunities for growth with open arms. Throw ourselves open to the gifts growth brings!
We can honour growth by feeling love and openness to this process of expansion.
Going forward I will work on noticing the fear and resistance when it arrives. Acknowledge it for the old protective habit that it is and shift my thinking instead to trust and presence. I’ve been down this road before. There is no need for the energy drain of resistance. I know that the process of growth is worth it.
And so we grow.