It could be difficult, challenging and uncomfortable. But it also serves as an opportunity to learn and grow, if you’re willing to be open.
If you’re a regular reader then growth points is a term you’ll have seen me use every now and then in posts such as Bravery and uncontrollable outcomes, Day 183, It’s okay to be you and Unexpected and interesting.
However, I recently realised that I’ve never really explained the term or idea in great detail. I made the term up for myself and to be honest it’s just an alternative to the word challenge. However, the focus is on growth and overcoming rather than the difficulty of the situation.
When you face a situation that perhaps in the moment you wish wasn’t happening, it’s easy to just think that ‘it’s the most terrible thing in the world’. You then might find yourself getting caught in a downward spiral of unhelpful thoughts that leave you feeling stuck.
That mindset or perspective that you find yourself in never leads to growth. You have to find a way to get through it and see things differently.
I think the getting through it part is most challenging because it can be easy to stay stuck. A moment of sadness can turn into hours or days of wallowing.
One thing that helps is to be very conscious in how you think about the situations that come up in your life instead if just getting caught up. Acknowledge it as a challenging situation rather than blowing it out of proportion and allowing one situation to become your entire life.
And from that perspective you can begin to think about how you can grow from it. The great thing is that once you grow from it, you can now take that lesson forward with you for as long as it serves you well. Then next time something happens you can fall back that all that you’ve previously experienced, learnt and grown from.
If you aspire to allow your curiosity to come out and play then this quote is one to live by.
Asking questions can be scary and uncomfortable so taking on a mindset that no question is stupid may help to relieve some of those feelings. But after mustering up the courage to ask, if you don’t get the kind of answer you’d have liked then you can end up feeling disheartened and wishing that you’d just said nothing.
However in this situation, it’s important to focus on the action, not the outcome. keeping quite may leave you riddled with fear and anxiety which comes with little to no benefit. But if you can relieve that by simply asking a question then why not?
Granted nobody wants to hear ‘no’ when they were pining for a ‘yes’. Nevertheless, I think it’s much better to unburden yourself and perhaps end up a little disappointed than it is to keep carrying the burden of an unanswered question even though you know you don’t have to.
I recently had an unanticipated situation occur, in fact I’d describe it as unideal. At first I found myself focusing on the situation, all that had occurred and how it had led me to feel.
But the more I got thinking about it, the more I found myself zooming out and thinking about this situation in the grand scheme of life and death.
Doing so allowed me to pick up on other things happening in the different areas of my life.
Sometimes it takes an unideal situation for us to become aware of the aspects of our life that require some care and attention. I think that my choice of word is so important here. It’s easy to fall into an unhelpful mindset of thinking everything is a mess. The reality is that sometimes things happen just to remind us to stay on track, pay more attention to ourselves and to take better care of ourselves.
As much as it is easy to remain stagnant it requires much less effort than expected in order to get the ball rolling.
It could be as simple as making a phone call, sending an email or booking something.
We make things much more challenging than they really are by thinking that we have to complete the thing in one giant leap rather than step by step.
We under estimate the power of little by little because we can’t see the bigger picture.
It might start with a phone call but then it moves on to something else and then something else which goes on and on until suddenly you’ve completed the thing you were working towards.
Sometimes it helps to take a few steps back and return to the way things were. We often perceive this to be a negative thing as though we have regressed. However, it might actually be the case that the way you used to do things was much better.
So often we search for better or new because we don’t know what’s out there. And so we turn away from what we know and venture out to see what else is on offer. Sometimes we find other great options or ways of doing things but other times we end longing for what once was.
It’s normal to want to explore and try new things but perhaps you’ll ending up finding that the way things were is exactly how you want them to be.
Sometimes the easiest way to boost your mood, shift your perspective brighten your day is to make a conscious choice.
Wake up in the morning and decide that today will be a good day. Decide that you won’t allow the little things to knock your mood.
Perhaps it is easier said than done but it’s worth a try. And you can use tools to such as EFT, meditation or even a solo dance party to aide the mood shift. The practice of shifting your own mood will help you understand that how you feel isn’t as rigid as you thought.
In a recent post, I wrote about how sometimes your best isn’t good enough. However, I think that idea requires further thought and explanation because it’s not as simple as it may seem.
To be told that your best isn’t good enough can be a difficult pill to swallow, it can be disheartening. Your best isn’t something rigid that can’t be changed, yet we often perceive it that way.
Instead of thinking that it’s your best overall, think of it as your current best. You’re current best is flexible, it’s something that can be changed and improved upon.
And so, if it’s not good enough right now, it can get better.
High hopes can lead to disappointment.
We all have things that we want in life whether it be physical items, titles or things from other people.
I think it’s perfectly okay to want things but it’s important to also remember that you might not get them or certain things won’t quite work out as you expected.
And when you carry around great expectations, it can be difficult to adjust when things turn out any other way.
So, it’s important to know (or create the belief for yourself) that you don’t have to rely on one specific outcome in order for things to turn out okay.
Sometimes taking the time to understand yourself can help you start to understand others.
In particular when it comes to interactions and exchanges not turning out how you’d hoped or think they should. The disclaimer for what is to follow is that of course you don’t need to internalise and understand someone treating you poorly. This is more about having unrealistic expectations based on a false perception of reality.
If you find yourself caught up in thinking about the way a person should have acted in a situation or what they should have said, question it, where are the expectations coming from.
You may find that you’re so focused on the way that things should be, that you’re missing on what is actually happening.
An example could be that someone didn’t ask for your advice on something you had spoken to them about. Your initial reaction may be to feel hurt or annoyed because you feel like they should have spoken to you. But as important as it is to acknowledge your feelings, it’s important to acknowledge the feelings of others.
Ask yourself, why would this person not come to me? It could simply be that they went to someone else instead but you have a habit of berating their choices or trying to make them do what you think is best rather than trust their own judgment.
It’s so easy to just look at things on the surface and get annoyed at the other person but making a little time for introspection might help you see things differently.
Then you can decide how or if you want to change. For example, you could decide to work on telling people what you think is best without pressuring them to do what you think is right.
On the other hand, you could decide to do nothing at all, to stay just as you are. But you can’t continue to get annoyed at people when the problem is you.
And it’s not about getting caught in a spiral of blame, it’s about being aware of your interactions with other people and then figuring out how you can improve them.
Avoidance is temporary.
You might feel like you’ve managed to escape when you put it off for another day. However, that’s not quite how it works, it hasn’t gone away.
What you don’t do today will still be there tomorrow. It’ll be there until you decided to face it, or it faces you.
And so you’d be much better off preparing yourself as best as you can instead of putting it off.