Personal Growth Skills Give Us Courage to Change Our Lives

It takes courage to make changes to our lives and these changes will test the depth of our personal growth/personal development skills. One of my favorite scriptures that has helped me so many times in my life when I was going through so many changes was:

Romans: 8:28. And, we know that all things work together for good for them that love God and are called to His purpose.
When any kind of change happens in your life– either by 'design' or by 'default' we must trust that is always working for our good.
However, when we are going through change the level of our personal growth maturity levels will be tested; and when we have internalized some important personal growth skills, they will give us more courage to change the course of our lives if we feel like we are stuck in a certain place. Personal growth skills can include having more feelings of confidence, less fear, having more resources, supportive family members, and a 'knowingness' that we can make the changes we want in our lives.

Most of us have been dissatisfied at times in our lives.  I know that I've been through times in my life where I've felt very unsatisfied. However, I didn't know what I needed to do to make things differently. Or, I was afraid of making the changes I thought I needed to make. Or, I allowed all of the excuses to come up about 'why' I couldn't make the changes I thought I wanted.

Many times, we wish things were different, but we're still resistant to doing something about it to change the dissatisfaction. Many times, I've felt like I didn't even know what I wanted and wished that somebody would just tell me what I wanted and needed to do. But, then would I do it when they made those suggestions? 

Making changes is difficult for many people simply, because most of us like to stay in our comfort zones. Many times, we waste a lot of time, just thinking about how our life could be different instead of actually doing something about it and therefore, we just stay in our comfort zone until…….

The research shows that most people who grew up in dysfunctional families have a tendency to stay in their comfort zones without actually stepping out and making some actual changes. This includes nearly everybody, including me. Most of us do not like to feel uncomfortable because it feels good to have that feeling of security and things being the same– as dysfunctional as it may be. It gives us a sense of 'knowingness' because we know how things stand; and we like that. We prefer things to be safe and secure although may just be an illusion. Even the 'little' changes that we choose for ourselves can often require months of emotional adjustment such as having a baby or moving to a new area. The truth is that most people do not like change!

However, when change happens that's out of our control, like being laid off from a job or a partner asking for a divorce, we often feel overwhelmed. At those times, we are forced to go through changes simply; because our situation has changed. It is at these times that most of our transformation will occur in our lives and we will acquire some new personal growth skills. All of a sudden, we are forced to make changes and all of a sudden, we realize that we 'can' do it. 

On an unconscious level, change can make you feel vulnerable and out of control, which reminds you of negative experiences from childhood when you were small and vulnerable. If you're not aware, you can unknowingly go into defensive, reactive behavior, expecting the worst and protecting yourself from your perceived enemies. 

However, as you allow yourself to go through the changes, you will feel yourself 'being' different. Your behavior may change as well as your beliefs. I've experienced this many times in my life–that when the crisis actually happened–that I could do it. All of a sudden, I had more self-confidence in my ability to make those needed changes and guess what? It actually felt good! I felt happy, motivated, and my life was exciting although I was in the middle of a crisis and going through tremendous changes.

Fortunately, with awareness, you can transform negative responses when they occur in the crisis and throughout the change. Your life is changing for the better although you may not see how it is all going to work out right away. However, if you can change your perception and interpretation, you can choose to see change as a gift, which can “change the course of your life.”
In addition, by making that choice, you can become open to the amazing opportunities that change offers you. In these opportunities, you will learn and grow in the process of this journey. So, what can you do when the world you know falls apart? Well, why don't you just learn to ride the waves of life during these times of changes happening in your life instead of trying to control everything? 

Yeah, that’s right—'don’t resist it'. You don't know where it is taking you. You are just going to have to trust the Divine in this process of changing your life although it may not have been your choice. Throughout these periods in my life, I've had to hold on to God and allow Him to lead me. Many times, I have felt like I was walking through the 'valley of death' with blinders on. 🙂

Here are some things that you can do to make peace with change:
1. Surrender and let the Universe take charge of your life. The Universe knows much better than us what will be for our best and highest good.

2. Stay open to the life lessons that the Universe/God wants to teach you. The Universe always wants you to learn about self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-actualization. It always wants you to grow through your challenges and life transitions. There are so many things that the Universe wants you to learn. In other words, let yourself trust that everything is in Divine order for your life.

Remember: Whatever you do, don't forget to stay open to the good the Universe has in store for you.  When you look back ten years from now, you may be saying, "Even though I thought that the world had turned upside down and against me– those were the best years of my life!" Change is always working for our good and our level of personal growth gave us more courage to go through all of those changes.

Please leave your comments below and tell me about some of your experiences.

How can I assist you on your journey with changes that are happening in your life?   

How We Act and React Is Indicative of Our Personal Growth Level

"HOW" we are and "WHO" we are; is always showing up and is indicative of our level of personal growth and level of emotional maturity. 
When I was raising my son, I used to tell him to be careful of how he acted and reacted because people are always watching us and would be watching him. They are making mental and emotional decisions about how they feel and what they think about us. How people feel about us is going to affect everything in our lives. Will they support us when we need support? Will they vote for us as the class president? Will they respect us when we have something to say in the class discussion or will they snicker at us behind our backs?
So, let's talk about how you act. What does your behavior say about you? How are you 'BEING'? Are you kind? Are you compassionate? Are you generous? Do you take or give credit to others? Do you speak encouraging words? Do you speak about people’s strengths to others? Do you work enthusiastically? Do you do what you say you will do? Do you tell your truth when it could be a contribution? Do you listen to empower others? Are you taking responsibility for all aspects of your behavior?
How you and I act creates our value in the world and to the people around us like our family, friends, coworkers, and clients. When we act with excellence, speak with excellence, listen with excellence, and behave as excellent a person as we can in the moment; we are valued, we are attractive, we are trusted, and we are loved.
Do these things every day to improve how you act:
  1. Make a commitment to SAY something kind to someone every day… and then increase it to every hour.
  2. Make the same commitment to DO something kind for someone every day. “Pay it Forward.”
  3. Make the same commitment to LISTEN to someone. I mean to learn to listen from your heart (not your mind) and to really listen to what they are saying, what they are NOT saying, what they really want to say, and how they feel.  Listen to someone at the therapeutic level once a day. This is a skill I had to learn as a counselor. (Now, learning effective listening skills is another topic). 🙂
  4. Audit your conversations. Develop the habit of asking yourself after each statement, “What was my motive in saying what I said and how I said it? Was it to contribute to the person or to make myself look good?” Then ask yourself how you feel about someone who speaks to make themselves look good, more important than you, or more “right” than you do.
  5. Make a bold request every day that will improve a relationship, business productivity, or will help  improve the life of another person. For example, make a bold request that a friend or loved one stop speaking negatively about himself/herself by battering their own poor self-esteem. Or make a request that your spouse do something that you know will improve your love and relationship. When bold requests are made out of the context of support and improvement, they are often the encouragement that leads a person to act with excellence and change their way of 'BEING". Changing their behavior is part of personal growth and transformation which will "change their life." 
How You React or Do YOU React?: If actions are those things we think about before doing them, then reactions are those things we do WITHOUT thinking. They are our built-in boomerang over which we may feel we have no control or personal responsibility. Most people react in negative and destructive ways. These negative behaviors also are an indication of their need for their personal growth. People that "react" need to do lots of inner work and learn many new skills in their personal growth. 
We can develop new “reactions” and new ways of "responding" by developing new interpretations and habits.
Here are some examples:
  1. When someone speaks down to you, what do you think and how do you feel about it? What is your reaction? Do you think they think you are smaller and less than them? Do you think they may be right? Do you react with anger and retaliation or do you shut down? What if when someone spoke down to you and you “interpreted” that they, themselves were feeling small, and could really use a lift up. This new interpretation gives you a perfect opportunity to engage yourself in improving how you 'act' rather than 'react'. 
  2. When someone is late, do you think they disrespected you? How do you retaliate? What if you interpreted their being late due feeling overwhelmed, maybe they had a sick child, or something happened on the way to meet you that caused them to be late. I think we should always give people the benefit of the doubt unless it is their constant pattern. The point is that when we react it is always a matter of a personal growth issue.
  1. When someone in authority tells you “no” or 'tells' you to do something versus 'asks'; how do you react? Or, do you take it in stride and respond. What if you interpreted that this person in authority is working on their path of compassionate leadership; that they have more responsibilities than they can often handle, and they need support. We can choose new interpretations for other people's behavior. 
These are the kinds of things I taught my son when he was growing up. Therefore, it made his life so much more enjoyable because he learned to be compassionate, saw the good in others, understood that people are always doing the best they know how to do in their situation, that we are all imperfect human beings, that showing empathy towards others blesses them as well as ourselves. He learned that having friends makes life easier versus having people that don't like you because of how you 'show up' and how our behavior affects other people….
Please leave your comment below and tell me your thoughts on this article such as:
1.  How did this article affect you?
2.  How can I help you?
3.  What kind of reactions do you have that affect your relationships?
4.  What sentence brought up a negative reaction for you?
5.  What aspect of your behavior needs some personal growth?
6.  And, anything else that will help me be of service to you.  🙂:)