I’ve come to realize that personal growth can be both a blessing and a curse. I think the ways in which it can be a blessing are obvious: You work on being a better person every day, you start to feel grateful for the life you have, you radiate love and happiness, etc.
But for some, personal growth can feel like a personal hell.
Before I elaborate on this, I want to say that growth is MESSY at times. No one said it wouldn’t be. Leveling up in life often means that you are going to need to shed the older layers of self that no longer serve you. That takes WORK. It doesn’t have to be miserable, but it also doesn’t have to be perfect.
I have seen friends get trapped by personal growth. I have felt that way myself at times; trapped. You want so much to be in this “other place” than you are currently that you push and shove against the grain to “make it happen.” Guys, that’s not growth. That’s struggle.
Personal growth isn’t meant to be perfect, but it’s certainly not meant to be a struggle.
This struggle often comes about because people think they have to be anything but themselves. Growth doesn’t mean you’re completely changing who you ARE at your CORE. You’re already that person. You simply have layers upon layers of the “you” that society has shaped. Those are the layers we remove when we seek personal development. Those layers aren’t YOU. They aren’t your truth.
It pains me to see so many beautiful people putting so much pressure on themselves to be something or someone else when they are, in fact, AMAZING as they are. Society has trained them to see their flaws as faults, which in turn makes them strive to be “better.” But in reality, they’re striving to be someone else. Someone who doesn’t have that “fault”.
I’m not saying it’s bad to work on flaws. I’m impatient as fuck at times and that can be a huge flaw. And I work on it. But that impatience serves a purpose in my life, so I never try and get rid of it completely. But my impatient moments really used to bother some people and they would remind me of it every chance they got. So, there were times I would sulk and cry thinking it made me a bad or undesirable person.
When I stopped trying to rid myself of impatience and instead used it to help me GROW, I removed myself from the chains of the desire for perfection. I removed myself from trying to live out other people’s truths.
THAT is what is so potentially dangerous about growth. People will get to this place where they think they constantly need to change themselves. They see growth as the path to perfection.
Guys and gals, perfection is an OPINION.
There, I said it.
Why are we striving for an OPINION?!
We disguise it as our own opinion, but in reality is an opinion we have based on OTHERS’ thoughts and beliefs.
Example: I just happen to think that salsa from On the Border is PURE perfection. I could drink that stuff out of a straw (kidding, maybe). But my husband thinks it’s too much. It works, because I can eat mine plus his, but what if I took his opinion to be absolute truth?
I’d be missing out on some amazing freaking salsa.
Maybe salsa isn’t the same as when it comes to being a human being, but it CAN be that simple.
We just make it complicated. In the wise words of Avril, why ya gotta go and make things so complicated?
A lot of people start to work on personal development and get jazzed up when they see positive changes in their life. NEAT. But then they become dissatisfied with growth and want results NOW. They value the end result thinking it will bring them all this peace and happiness and freedom when in FACT, it’s going to leave them feeling even less satisfied. Because, contrary to our mind’s belief, fireworks do NOT go off when you pay off that student loan or find that special someone.
So, people find the next thing in life that they think can bring them that happiness, peace, and freedom.
And they will get stuck in this cycle of SEARCHING. They will get stuck on the quest for perfection. That EPIC end result that will finally give them the feelings they desire to have.
Not to be blunt, my friends, but we ALL have the end result in life, and that’s death.
No really. We are all going to die.
You are going to find that, if you get the opportunity to live a full life, you paying off your loans by the time you’re 30 or you owning a BMW isn’t what made your life so great. It’s going to be the moments that you 100% lived in your truth and not the outward idea of what a “perfect” life looks like.
Can those things ADD to your happiness? Absolutely. It’s not a bad thing to want fun things or to want the burden of debt to be gone. And I’m not here to make you feel guilty about wanting those things!!
I’m simply here to shake up your idea that there’s this elusive end result that will make you happy, free, and at peace.
Those feelings come in the growth. Those feelings come IN THE MOMENT. If you put them in the future, that’s where they will ALWAYS stay... In the future.
Work on being present. Embrace the growth you go through. Think of yourself as a flower who has to shed the skin of the seed and the dirt to beautifully blossom. Flowers need both the rain (“negativity”) and the sun (“positivity”) to LIVE. Just like you.
Live life for YOUR truth. Not for the perfection.
PS- The first half of the title was inspired by a line I read in Rachel Hollis’s new book Girl, Stop Apologizing. You should get it because it’s FANTASTIC. But that’s just my opinion ;)