What is Personal Growth?
Personal Growth can be defined as being comprised of two main activities:
- Fixing what needs fixing (healing) in your life
- Enhancing what needs enhancing
Both fixing and enhancing are needed for each of us to grow. They work together, although usually not at the same time.
We cannot properly enhance something which is broken and fixing is not required when we just want to improve a skill.
We must apply the correct tool for each requirement, after determining what is actually needed.
For example, if you accidentally burn the top of a cake while baking it, trying to enhance it by covering the cake with icing will not resolve the problem of the burnt part. The problem remains - the cake is still burnt, even if it is hard to see.
This action will also be an ineffective enhancement - everyone will notice the cake is burnt once they bite into it. It is unlikely that anyone will consider the icing much of an enhancement to the cake, as it is still burnt.
Far better would be to fix the cake by cutting away the burnt part and then enhance it with icing. In this manner, both the problem is removed and what is left tastes even better, at least for those with a sweet tooth.
As we progress through life, we often find that we need to fix, then we enhance until we find ourselves blocked and then we fix again, so we can once again enhance. This is a natural part of being human.
For example, let's say that you have some trouble with getting people to respect your wishes in certain situations. Every time someone asks you to do something that is beyond what you consider reasonable, inside you get upset, but outwardly you agree with them. Some might say you need to establish proper boundaries, and that would be correct, but more than likely, it would be the second thing to do, not the first.
When we attempt to make sudden changes in how we relate to others, without first determining and fixing whatever is driving us to that situation, the result is often additional problems, not solutions. It is not uncommon for people to let their feelings about the original problem build up inside and then explode in a manner which does not improve things for them or the others involved.
A more resourceful first step would be to identify how you feel when people make what you consider to be excessive demands. You'd watch yourself in the next situation of that type and notice (and maybe even write down as soon as you could) all the feedback indicators of that experience for you: what
- bodily sensation(s) and
- image(s) surfaced for you at that time.
You'd pay special attention to your total experience of that moment and then you'd be ready to fix anything that needed fixing. Not all feedback indicators point to problems that need to be fixed, but it is likely some will - usually those that cause discomfort of some nature.
If in these situations you found yourself getting, for example, a tightness in your stomach and having a feeling of being out of control, you'd notice them and then fix each one in turn. So long as the fixing method you use provides long-lasting results, you'd be in a better place to advance and better able to respond appropriately to the challenge when next presented.
These feedback indicators might be manifestations of some underlying issues around self-worth or self-esteem or some form of internal resistance to change. Whatever they are, once whatever is producing them gets fixed, you are then able to calmly and coolly plan your actions with regards to your boundaries.
The next time this situation occurs, you'd check to see if those same feedback indicators appear or if new ones appear. Once you had fixed all the underlying sources of discomfort which do not contribute to your successful outcome in that situation, you'd be ready to confidently establish your boundaries without going overboard. You'd also be able to start increasing your self confidence, as those issues of self-esteem would not be sabotaging you. an example of this
If, as you are reading this text, you find yourself feeling uncomfortable, then it is likely that you need to "fix" something (self-esteem, belief system, etc.). Until you do, it might be hard to advance with this sort of personal development work. Accepting your humanness and working with it is NOT about feeling that you are defective or wrong or responsible for all the problems in your life or stuff like that.
The nice thing is that modern research shows us that the old paradigm of having to spend years of hard work, revisiting time and again the same old issues is pretty much obsolete. Using one or more of the hybrid healing systems available can bring about rapid and deep healing. These hybrid healing systems combine an awareness of the body-mind connection with an understanding of the mind developed from modern research.
Your responsibility on this journey of life is to
- accept that you are human
- accept that you can do something about some things
- decide if you want to learn more about how to have a better life
- decide if you want to act upon this knowledge.