In what I do I am constantly supporting clients in their growth journey. Growth is a challenging and often painful process that only the truly brave and courageous undertake, Remember what it was like to have growing pains? Mine were so bad around the age of 9 that my parents used to freeze heavy feather pillows to lay on my legs at night. When it was very bad my Dad used to sleep on my legs to numb them (apparently its not good form to get your kids addicted to painkillers at an early age…. go Mum and Dad!)
I have to say though I am so grateful to those pains. I love being 5’8″. Nothing wrong with being shorter ( or should I say vertically challenged?) I just love being my height. It suits me. I wouldn’t be “me” shorter. At the time I would have given anything for those pains to stop, and cried myself to sleep many times.
So what is that stops us embracing growth as we get older?
When did we decide that Pain was to be totally avoided at all costs, even if that cost is our own happiness?
Depression is on the increase in our society, suicide the biggest killer of our younger generations. Not cancer, suicide. How does that happen in a society that is geared to hedonism? Quick fix happiness. Watch any channel late at night and you can spend your mortgage on machines “guaranteed” to improve your waistline/bust/cooking and “no effort”.
Yet the greatest tool we have for our own growth is readily accessible without going on a payment plan. In fact, I’m guessing you’ve even got a few of them in your house right now. I know that you all have at least 3 in your car.
What is this magical freely available tool? It’s a Mirror. The only question to ask yourself when you are experiencing the perturbation of growth, in the moment when it feels too hard, you’ve got to do too much, you might screw it up, is simply this. Who do I want to see looking back at me in the mirror in the morning? If it’s not the person you are behaving as right now then change it. Embrace the transformation, embrace the pain, push through the barrier. The best way to do that is to enrol a team. Get someone to hold you accountable.
(Or you can borrow my Dad. I think he is still available for lying on legs through the night.)
My Mum has said many wise things over the years. One that sticks with me is “I don’t care what you do, just never say “I wish I had…” to me”.
Which pain do you want to avoid the most : the pressure or change or the pain of regret?
Who is going to look back at you from the mirror tomorrow morning? The true you or the cardboard creation you insist on carrying around?
I know which is prettier.