It’s been about six months since I last blogged. I have been asking myself, Is that a gap or a space? Gap implies a deficiency, something missing, whereas space feels intentional, abundant, full of possibility. I’m going to go with space!
The last six months have been absolutely eye-opening/life changing in so many ways. Finishing the I See You Project campaign, starting Grotru, and attending networking events. Feeling free to live day by day and to follow my heart and passion, allowing myself to just be, be in the moment without any expectations or plans as to what will come next. The last six months has taught me so much about life and myself. It’s given me a new perspective and new clarity around my values and priorities.
I think many of us have been, or maybe are, in a situation where we feel like something in our life isn’t quite right anymore. We want to change something or would like something new to come into our lives. But often, we expect that change or new thing to find us while we keep doing the same thing every day. We want certainty and answers before we take any risks. We want to find a better job before we give up the old one, we want to know if there is a better relationship out there for us before we make a decision about our current one, we want to know what our purpose in life is while we keep living the known, comfortable life we are currently living.
I think there are many reasons to be cautious and "play it safe." You might a child/family to look after, you might be scared to end up alone or to end up regretting leaving a relationship, you might have risked it all before and lost it all. While they are all valid reasons that you need to consider, I also strongly believe that, if you really want change, you need to create space for it. You cannot expect to continue with your same life the way you always have and think somehow the answers will come to you.
Make room for new - this means getting rid of some old "stuff"
If someone would ask me to describe why these past six months have been so valuable in as few words as possible, I might say “Because I created space”.
I had a big spring clean of my life and I got rid of things like a permanent home, relationship(s), and old perceptions. I took a risk by stepping back from my "dream job" and going with the job that provided me with more time to pursue my dreams. By doing all of that, I created space for new, space for change. I had some ideas how I wanted to fill that space, I wanted to start my company, I wanted to create healthier relationships and get to know me more, and I wanted to prove it could be done. But I also, on purpose, left a lot of empty space. Space that was just there for life to fill it with whatever might come my way.
Why is growth important?
Unfortunately, sometimes, we outgrow the people and environment around us. And also, sometimes, they outgrow us.
Often, we need to grow in order to fully appreciate our place in the world, and to fully appreciate our own value. We are all the result of our environment, our upbringing, our family, and all of the stories that revolve around that, whether we tell those stories, or they are told about us. Personal growth is motivating, to me. Once we are able to see, feel, or do, something that we couldn’t before, to continue that growth can become very intoxicating. We can feel more and more motivated and inspired to keep moving forward, keep trying new things, and keep growing. Growth equals excitement and, in most cases, increased happiness.
Sometimes during that growth, it can feel very uncomfortable and not much fun at all, but in most cases if we can persevere through that discomfort, there is something worthwhile on the other side. Growth also allows different people, things, and energies into our lives that would otherwise never have been included. It can open us up to new ideas, different people, friend groups, and crazy new opportunities you never even imagined before. We start to think more about what COULD be.
Why is growth hard?
Growth can be hard because you might just not be ready to grow yet. I know that seems kind of counter-intuitive, but in some ways, you do need your "ducks in a row" before any effective growth can be achieved. Those "ducks" might be your relationships, your income, your home, your education, and so on.
As desirable as growth can be, it also still requires some planning and hard work. Growth can be hard when we are impatient.
Growth is like: you hear a motivational or inspirational speaker get up on stage at a conference you are at, you feel like they are speaking directly to you, they motivate you to change, and you can see your future self in that instant. You rush home from the event, clear out your fridge, change your clothes, rearrange your home, dump your boyfriend/girlfriend, and quit your job all in about an hour - then what?
Patience, as weird as it sounds, is the key to growth. Being smart about making changes, means those changes are more likely to be permanent and healthy ones. Growth can be hard when we are not 100% committed to it. Eventually, if you want real change in your life, and you really want to grow, you have got to be all-in. It’s not just about your food, or your clothes, your partner, or your job. It’s literally of all those things.
Your behaviors have to change. Your words and actions have to change. Your limiting beliefs have to be changed. You can’t make a massive effort for a week and then do nothing about it ever again. Unfortunately change takes time!
Okay, I think you all get me now and I am not here to preach - I am actually not in the preaching head space, which has kept me away from blogging. I am truly one of those people who likes to "walk the walk" instead!
But nonetheless I'll conclude with this ..
To truly build a habit and lifestyle of purposed growth, you have to fly with other people. Purposed growth is hard. It takes intentional and really specific focus. For 99% of leaders, your own discipline is not enough to overcome all of the potential barriers that will come your way when trying to achieve purposed growth. But the great thing about discipline is that it is one of the core leadership skills that is cumulative. If you have a few hungry leaders who are also concerned with creating space, your collective discipline is elevated. So, if you are serious about purposed growth, if you want to get better at creating space for personal development, you need to figure out who is going to go down this path with you.
If the answer is no one, GOOD LUCK!
Until next time friends, and I promise it won't be 6 months from now! ;)