Growth occurs before our very eyes but we don’t notice it because it happens slowly.
The perfect example: a child, my daughter Sophia. Reflecting upon the past 3 years (yesterday she turned 3); there were days and nights that latest an eternity and I wished them away, yet now I look at how rapidly she has grown – physically, mentally, cognitively, emotionally, etc. and secretly, I wish in the moments I hold her now for time to slow down.
Because we don’t notice growth in it’s subtlest forms, we tend to fixate on the BIG achievements. The milestones – the graduation, the wedding, the win, the competition, the exam. These signal to us growth. But in reality, growth occurs in every moment.
Even when we feel “set-back”. I firmly believe growth cannot occur without set-backs. The immune system cannot fully and strongly develop without coming under attack – without being exposed to pathogens and learning to mount a healthy defense in the face of adversity. Indeed, early experiments showed poorer outcomes for lab animals brought up in “clean” environments (free from microbes).
We tend to dwell on the hardships – the struggles. The human stress response is a strong driver of thought processes. And naturally, this makes logical sense. We are programmed to survive – to learn from our mistakes and to avoid future hazards. This can make the set-backs appear larger than they truly are. This can impact our ability to see our growth and give ourselves credit when we need it most. When we are struggling during the journey.
The journey is where we spend most of our time. Not the end-goal – the achievements, the wins and the successes.
The journey is where life occurs. This is where joy is found. In the present.
Are you giving yourself enough credit in these moments?
No one else is living your journey or walking your path. No one else knows your unique battles and daily obstacles. Connection is highly important. But so is embracing your own story – the mess and all its glory.