Learn and Grow
Learn and Grow:
The most important life lessons uncover your strengths.
“May you, every day, connect with the brilliancy of your own spirit. And may you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path.”
LEARN AND GROW: We all want to learn how to work on ourselves, grow and learn, and become the very best version of who we are. Sometimes, the true path of personal growth is not forcing yourself to change into some new iteration of yourself, but rather to discover and embrace the strengths and virtues you already have.
For the last several years, on the Love happiness and Success Podcast I've done experiential growth actives with my listeners in order to help them reflect on past years and set goals for their future aspirations. There's a time and place for that type of forward focus and personal challenge. If you are here seeking a goal setting experience, I invite you to check out last year's Ten Year Plan podcast and activity.
You're Already Amazing
But it's also true that there are also times when it's more helpful to rest and reflect, and embrace our strengths, life lessons, and accomplishments rather than charging forward into new goals and aspirations.
I believe that this is a time for reflection and acceptance, and this episode of the podcast is going to be a personal development podcast that walks you through an activity designed to help you do exactly that. By the end of our time together today I hope you have:
- Greater appreciation for your strengths,
- A sense of empowerment for all that you've already achieved,
- Deeper clarity about your values
- A different perspective about your obstacles
- Receive wisdom from your dark emotions.
I have created a set of journaling prompts / exercises to help you not just follow along with the personal growth activities I describe in this episode, but to dig in!
Download the workbook that goes with this podcast (below) then scroll down to the bottom of this post to listen and follow along. Or you can listen to Learn and Grow on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen to things.
Learn and Grow
It can be easy to over-focus on constant-and-never-ending improvement, new goals, the next step, and all the things you have yet to achieve.
But the truth is that you have already grown so much, learned so much, and done so much. Sometimes it can be more empowering to slow down and respect the enormous amount of work you already have done rather than pushing yourself.
So often, personal growth can feel like chasing some idealized version of yourself. It can feel discouraging rather than inspiring, especially if you feel like you're never quite good enough. In contrast, radical, compassionate self-acceptance is the highest form of growth because from this place of self-awareness and self-love we can truly be the very best of who we are.
The love, happiness and success we seek through our efforts to “change” can sometimes be elusive. But so often, they miraculously show up on their own when you stop working so hard to change yourself, and instead focus on how strong, amazing, and accomplished you already are. (You are).
This type of self discovery process is often achieved not by charging ahead into the next level of your personal evolution, but rather by digging in to who you already are.
Important Life Lessons
It can be easy to over-focus on the things we haven't done, or the mistakes we've made, or the times that we have struggled with disappointment. But a door to powerful personal growth and self-development opens when we shift into what the hardest times revealed about our character, our values, what we're capable of, and what's truly most important.
When we have the courage to face the hard parts of life from a place of compassion and radical acceptance rather than anger, we have the opportunity to receive the hidden gifts they have to offer.
Uncover Your Strengths
It's often said that “character is revealed through adversity.” But in my experience, character is often formed through adversity. You don't know who you really are until you've experienced disappointment or hardship. Only then can you fully be aware of how strong you truly are, and what you're capable of.
Those are often moments that lead us to greater self-love, self-acceptance, and self-esteem too. It's often the personal qualities that we don't love the most about ourselves that are the most useful to us when times are hard. Recognizing and embracing these aspects of your “shadow self” can help you appreciate yourself in a whole new way. (For more on this topic I invite you to check out the “Shadow Work” episode of the podcast).
Sometimes personal growth happens when you challenge yourself to think, feel, or do things differently. But sometimes the most important growth occurs when you realize that you don't have to change or do anything in order to be good enough, strong, accomplished, and worthy of love and respect. You're already there. Your life lessons and strengths are yours to keep.
The “personal growth work” is not one of creation and effort. It's of discovery and acceptance.
Thanks for joining me today. I sincerely hope that these ideas and activities support you on your journey of growth.
With gratitude for the gift of YOU…
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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She's the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.