Growth is not always an easygoing process. It can be tumultuous and difficult because it asks you to confront attitudes, behaviors, and emotions that you’ve harbored for a long time. These old emotions conflict with the new life you are starting to move into. Hence, making the process a bit difficult.
- You feel uncomfortable.
Yep, that’s the first and most obvious sign. But, there are two different ways you experience it.
The first way you experience a degree of discomfort often inspires you to go on the journey of personal growth. You feel uncomfortable with your current life and wish for a change. You question your purpose and role in life. A certain malaise descends into your life, causing you to feel unsettled and dissatisfied. Hence, you try to change things.
The second wave of discomfort begins after you’ve started to change. This kind of discomfort is not the same as the malaise you initially experienced. The discomfort level is different. It is a real sense of discomfort. Maybe even anxiety and concern are thrown into the mix. You start to feel nervous and anxious about what you are doing, but you push through because you can’t go back now.
- You discover things about yourself that you never knew.
Once you’ve pushed through the first and second waves of discomfort, you start to uncover what you are capable of doing. You notice your resilience, tenacity, bravery, and other positive attributes about yourself. But, you also notice the negative ones.
The great thing about this stage of the process is that the problems and questions you found difficult suddenly start to clear up. You begin to find answers and things start to suddenly make sense.
- You begin to see things from a new perspective.
Through self-awareness and practices to become more self-aware, you begin to see life from a new perspective. Personal growth is a process, so you may develop a new perspective early on or maybe a bit later. In the end, the result is growth.
- You start to shed.
While you may not literally start to shed, you may start to let go of things that no longer belong in your life.
This is one of the most difficult parts of the process because you let go of certain things in your life. You grow out of a lot of things: toxic relationships, bad habits, and relationships that have gone stale. It’s tough to end relationships because you do not intend to hurt others. However, it’s better than living a lie.
- Others don’t understand your change.
Another sign of personal growth is that you feel estranged from others. Because you are changing, others might not be able to reconcile the new you and the version of you they are familiar with. It might be difficult for both of you. Some may even reject the new version or feel a bit jealous. However, do not let other people’s opinions hinder your growth.
- You know what struggle is.
This sign is a bit obvious. In the wise and readapted words of Uncle Ben: with great change comes great struggle. The more you change, the more you risk. The more you risk, the greater your battles. It doesn’t always happen this way, but usually, it does. I believe it is because you’ve upped the stakes. You are far beyond your comfort zone, and now you have to carve a new path to get to where you want. Carving that path is not going to be easy.
If you ever need help, a therapist or a trusted loved one can aid you on your journey.
- You take risks.
Your comfort zone is a risk-free zone where you know the ins and outs of everything that goes on. Once you take a few steps out of your comfort zone, you decide to welcome risk. But, taking risks is not bad. Risk leads to development. Once you taste development and the rewards that come from risking things, you start to crave it. You become more open to taking risks, and it feels exciting.
- You start to see the bigger picture.
The last sign is seeing the bigger picture. Personal growth does not have an end destination. It is a continuous process that only ends when you die. While it’s frightening not to know when the process of personal growth ends, I think it’s a bit exciting. It creates room for opportunities. You learn to discern between things that need your attention and things that don’t.
Personal growth is an incredible journey. It’s a journey filled with opportunities to learn, grow and develop wisdom.
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Marshall, M. (2018, March 5). 7 uncomfortable signs you’re growing as a person. YourTango. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.yourtango.com/2018311277/10-uncomfortable-signs-personal-growth.
Oppong, T. (2017, August 13). The only time you are actually growing is when you’re uncomfortable. CNBC. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/11/the-only-time-you-are-actually-growing-is-when-youre-uncomfortable.html.
Patel, S. (2016, March 9). Why feeling uncomfortable is the key to success. Forbes. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sujanpatel/2016/03/09/why-feeling-uncomfortable-is-the-key-to-success/.
Vercruysse, B. (2019, October 24). 5 signs of personal growth. LinkedIn. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-signs-personal-growth-barbara-vercruysse/.