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Growing pains

A lot of people talk about growth, progressing in life and achieving goals without fully understanding the depth of these concepts. There’s also a perceived theory that for progress in life to happen, one must achieve the goals they’ve set up for themselves, and this will undoubtedly result in growth. But this isn’t entirely true.

When we set goals, we do so from a deep yearning of wanting to be more than what we are presently. Our goals stem from the dreams that we have for our future lives. For us to achieve our goals and ultimately see progress in our lives, we have to be active participants in the process of growth. The process of growth requires a shift of our mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, and social awareness. It’s unfortunate that many people disassociate these concepts by wanting progress in their lives without putting in the work to be able achieve their goals. Many give up at the first sign of distress, detour from the original plan or from receiving “unfavourable” feedback.

What we need to understand or shift our mind-sets towards is that, a chapter of distress could mean preparation for bigger challenges ahead. A detour from the original plan could very well be our saving grace from a disastrous path; and receiving what we deem as unfavourable feedback on what we are pursuing could be just what we need to fine tune what we are working on before sharing it widely. I don’t believe in “unfavourable” feedback, because if we really want to grow, we need to be receptive to receiving constructive feedback and criticism. I believe all of these aspects work hand in hand to solidify our foundation in preparation for what lies ahead. This is critical to ensure our sustenance.

To achieve this, we have to feed and nourish ourselves, our souls and whole beings with the good stuff. We regularly need to examine ourselves to explore what it is exactly that we are feeding spirits. Are we feeding into pot bowls of joy, thankfulness, hard work, and faith or are our bellies grumbling from apathy, negativity, fear, impulsiveness, pity, envy, anxiety?

Job 8:11-12 says, “Reeds can’t grow where there is no water; they are never found outside a swamp. If the water dries up, they are the first to wither, while still too small to be cut and used.”

Our lives are just like the reeds. We have to nourish them by drinking from the water fountains of life with the right cup and the appropriate measure so that we do not wither away. The water fountain of life, Christ Jesus, preserves, strengthens, empowers and sustains us. Even when we go through valleys on our journey of growth, we will come out stronger.

Your progress in life depends on the goals you set for yourself but more power resides in the willingness to step out of your comfort zone to achieve the desired growth, necessary for your life to progress.

Reflection questions:

1. What does growth mean to you? What does it look like for you?

2. What has your growth journey been like?

3. What does progress look like for you?

4. Which bowl have you been eating from to fuel your spirit and soul?

5. What’s the one thing you need to do or change in order to achieve your desired growth?

If you would like extra support as you navigate this chapter of your life, book a coaching session with me. The first session is on me, use the link below to book:

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Tumelo Tjale
Tumelo Tjale
Feb 14, 2022

Some of us aspire to grow by just looking at others grow. Our success is dependent on others' approval or validation. That's why we later realise how stagnant we are. We are not making that effort to get up and take that first step without the fear of failing, because it is through failures and mistakes that we are motivated to try again and grow for real.

Feb 17, 2022
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Spot on! We need view failure from a lens of experience. When things don't go according to our plan, we should not label them as failure but instead as learning experiences. Doing this will allow us to reflect on the lessons we can take for the journey ahead. Also we need to take proactive action to achieve the goals we want for ourselves and not be reliant on people. It's from this reliance that we seek out validation and the likes, which as you mention, stagnates our progress.

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