“Don’t just GO through life, GROW through life!”
We all experience pain, discomfort, disappointment, and frustrations at some point in our lives. Although it might not seem like it at the time, those challenges are an opportunity to get stronger, to develop character, gain a new perspective, and grow.
Anyone can become bitter because of the obstacles they face—that is easy. But what does it take to be one of those people who chooses to take those challenges and learning opportunities, and grow through them?
Well, it’s hard when you are in the thick of it. We have a plan and then life doesn’t always go as we expect it to—shit happens! Obstacles, setbacks, or roadblocks; whether they are mental, emotional, physical, financial, work-related, or relationship related. We can get stuck, or even worse, stopped.
However, it’s in our preparing and foreseeing that shit is going to happen, and how we choose to meet it face-to-face, that can significantly alter the outcome.
How resilient are you with respect to your setbacks and how often do you allow these obstacles to keep you from what you’ve set out to accomplish? Do you resent these setbacks and resign to complacency? Or do you transform these roadblocks into building blocks and grow through what you go through?
Going through life means having the mindset of, “Life is what it is”. Going through the motions, feeling victimized because of the lack of control you have over life’s never-ending changes.
Growing through life means learning from your experiences and your challenges (even the really shitty ones). Showing a level of development and maturity when you are transitioning through life. Teaching yourself to accept that situations are temporary and adapting as you enter a new chapter.
We can look at life’s obstacles, challenges, or struggles in a few different ways:
- Let the hurt, pain, sadness or anger overtake you and turn you into a bitter person.
- Look at these challenges as opportunities to improve, learn, have a change of heart, grow and become a better person.
I’m not suggesting you don’t have the right to get pissed and express your emotions when life is a bitch. But how long do you stay there? Are you aware of what you are learning during that time? How do you transition and grow through change?
How do you get out of the fixed mindset of being a victim and move to the growth mindset of being a victor?
- Effort: You have to be willing to put in the effort. It is not easy to have a positive outlook when life throws you curve balls. Grief is real and each 5 stages take time, but allowing yourself to get stuck in any of the stages too long can prevent you from moving forward. You have to be willing to put in the effort, even a little each day.
- Failure is not a bad F word: We all make mistakes, it’s how we learn and grow. If you fall, you have a choice to stay down, or you can get up and keep pressing on. Give yourself grace if you need to stay down for a little bit, but don’t stay there too long. Assess what happened, then move forward.
- Stop comparing yourself: No one, NO ONE knows what you are going through. Yes, you might have friends who have gone through a divorce or a family member who has lost their job, but no one knows exactly how you feel and all of the circumstances that make up your situation are personal to you. If you keep comparing your setbacks, your struggles, or your life in general to other people’s lives, you will forever feel like you aren’t enough. This is YOUR life, no one else’s. Focus on your progress even if it takes you longer to get to the finish line, you are still growing.
- Be Authentic: Fake it till you make it…sure, maybe for some things, but not your LIFE! Be who you are. If someone doesn’t like you, you can’t control that. If you are being a kind person, if you are enforcing your healthy boundaries and people struggle with that, then those aren’t your people.
- Be Strong AND Soft: Life is hard, it’s a fact! Being strong does not mean being cold or insensitive. Strength means having resiliency, having determination and drive. Don’t let your strength harden you. Remember to balance that with softness, compassion, kindness and consideration. You won’t grow if you are stay hard like a rock.
Don’t just go through life, GROW though life…
Change and growth go hand in hand. If you aren’t growing, you aren’t going anywhere.
When you embrace change AND transition with a proactive mindset and the determination to grow from the experience, you may find that your effort pays off by making you more capable, adaptable and STROFTER (Strong + Soft).
Resisting change is natural because there is fear of losing something of value, not being able to adapt, or not liking the outcome of the transition. Transforming and growing through change can be stressful because you are moving out of your comfort zone. Transitions require you to leave something behind so that you can embrace the next chapter that is waiting for you.
It can be hard work adjusting, reframing, and growing as you transition through the changes you face. Every experience that is put in front of us is a new opportunity for growth and change. We can choose to accept these obstacles, and rise above them, or we can allow them to hold us back.
Rather than looking at the obstacle or transition as something to be anxious about, try viewing it as an opportunity to GROW through life, rather than just GO through it.
Remember, You Got This!
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