If we look up the definitions of personal growth, we will find things like “development from a simpler to a more complex stage”, “the process of developing or maturing physically, mentally, or spiritually”, and “progressive development, evolution, expansion”. Growth is our ability to become the next version of ourselves and some growth is chosen and worked for while other stages of growth are essential in reaction to our lives.
These definitions are assuming that we admit that in the moment of growth, something has to die. To expand into the next version of ourselves and to evolve in our response to the world around us, the old way of doing things has to die. The old belief about ourselves and the world has to die. Our old identity and the old way that we showed up in our lives has to die. The old way of being ourselves has to die.
These instances of death may be miniscule and at times, we may not even think about the death side of growth as we are so focused on the moving forward. At other times, the death side of growth may be much more obvious and even overwhelming.
Our ego mind represents our sense of self and the beliefs we hold about ourselves and about the world around us. It is the “I” in our identity and it is powerfully influenced, shaped, and persuaded by the scarcity culture that we live in. Scarcity culture thrives on shame, comparison, and disengagement, and the underlying message is “not enough” in some way. (The advertising industry makes billions of dollars every year convincing you that you are lacking in some way or that there is not enough of anything for any/everyone.)
Because this is the culture we live in, our ego mind will fight against growth and tell us that it is much too risky to evolve into the next version of ourselves; that we should just stay put. The ego senses the death side of growth and highlights it as a threat to our own safety. This is where the stories begin to play in our minds about how painful failure is, what others will think of us, and our own limitations. We may even convince ourselves that “it’s not that bad” and that we should stay right where and how we are, after all, we know what to expect here. And if we buy into these stories, our growth is stunted.
So, we must lean into surrender in the moment of growth. We must surrender the part of us that must die in exchange for who we are becoming. We must recognize our tendency to resist death of the old out of fear, surrender ourselves to the natural process of evolution, and allow ourselves to become.
This week, I invite you to become aware of how you may be resisting growth, holding onto the old, and staying stuck in old patterns and old identity. Can you surrender? See if you can try on who you are becoming and feel into how that version of you feels, thinks, and acts.
I will be trying right along with you.
Chat again soon,