Have You Grown!
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Have You Grown!

The other day one of my friends sent me this piece he wrote while he was thinking on the concept of growth:

“Healing is a process that I have come to appreciate, it’s gradual, benign and utmost subtle. The people you meet can either decide to be part of the journey or quit, so that growth happens and like any part of growth, something has to die. Take the butterfly as our beloved example of evolving, Do I think it’s an easy process for the caterpillar? The poor thing has a part of it that has to die, the caterpillar part of it, for the butterfly part to grow. Growth is someone ordinary doing the extraordinary. The butterfly has the cocoon for protection, strong strands of care that it’s hard enough on the outside to withstand your curiosity and yet tender enough to allow growth to happen. You need friends who will be your cocoon. Your net worth is your Network ,ask yourself, am i ready to make sacrifices? or is it that I have constantly wanted to have money that every opportunity seemed like a scam? Am I disciplined enough?

As my beloved lawyer acquittance once told me in a growth phase we shared, thank you MGUYZ…”everything goes down to who you are as a person”. Until i accept to check my inner self and heal from all my traumas, I am a threat to myself and this will inhibit my growth. When you see that butterfly swaying with the wind currents living it’s best moments you are tempted to catch it and see how beautifully it has grown, sometimes you   decide to make its life shorter by crushing it, and that’s life. Am on a weird journey and it’s bumpy….”

Metaphors have never been my stronghold but I totally agree with his point that growth is inevitable, happens everyday and one needs to be aware of how far they have grown, then beware that some people will cheer your growth others will crush it.

I was listening to Meghan Markle podcast the other day and she said that she was about 11 years old when she started to articulate her thoughts, and having good ideas, its when she started to truly speak out, and she marked that age as the beginning of her growth. She started having her own mind, and stood up for what she wanted and what she was against. I cannot recall any big thing I did at this age, I was basically still a cry baby, but I could say I was smart in class.  See growth as we define it, is how our bodies develop, we notice our body changes when we are adolescents, but apart from the physical growth it can also be defined as mental, spiritual, social, psychological development. Growth that is not defined by our physique, but by how we think and act, how our behaviors have improved, the confidence we have gained, how we used to perceive life and how we view it now and maybe by improvement noted on some of the poor character or values we had, changed into the opposite.

This growth though doesn’t just happen, it has to be worked on, its something that one has to decide to cultivate to get, and because everyone is unique, it’s a different path for everyone, a journey called personal development.  Psychologists say that personal development is looking inward and focusing on ways to better yourself. This increases your self-awareness, self-esteem, your skills and fulfills your aspirations. To improve oneself, you can take a challenge to; to know yourself, to get out of your comfort zone and do something different, learn how to be assertive in tough situation, adopt good habits, being kind and generous, or even making a plan for your goals. However, everyone is different, and each person has to choose how they want to improve self.  Madeline Miles in her article on personal development, highlights 5 areas that one needs to really focus to gain personal growth

  • One is mental; exercising your brain, this can be done by engaging in various learning opportunities like workshops, trainings, taking up courses online, reading books, basically any activity that helps you learn something new
  • Another area she mentioned is in our social connections and relationships, this is where most of us fail at but they are a must have for personal development. We need other people to learn skills of communication, problem solving, relationship building, and we learn this through other people and their experiences.
  • Spiritual, learning to invest in a deeper understanding of yourself and in the world around you. Learning and attaining the values that drive your every move is vital whether you are religious or not.
  • Understanding our emotions and how those feelings shape our thoughts and actions, being self-aware of them leads to self-development
  • And of course our physical growth is very important and this will be aided by us eating nutritious food, resting, exercising, which all in all leads up to a healthy mind.

It has become very easy nowadays to learn new things, or learn how to improve ourselves, you know through the social media. However, social media is too wide and sometimes too complicated that most people end up using it and not gaining anything from it. We often sometimes decide to utilize the media to gain, we try and follow it up for a while but in the end we are back to watching funny tiktok videos, it happens to the best of us. One of my mentors recently encouraged me to read more books, find them online or even join an online book club, I don’t know if its just me or other people also find internet too complicated, too many websites and log ins, links left and right, follow my channel, follow my blog, get cookies and so on and sometimes I just log out without accessing anything, and so I have to bug the computer literates to helping me. However, if you can access the internet and know how to use it well, then personal development will be a very easy task for you. Or do it the old-fashioned way and read as many books as you can, “read like you could never get enough, The world opens up through books” that’s what one of my mentors told me. Once your mind is nourished with information, then it reforms your knowledge, behaviors, your characters, your thoughts, values, develops them into better versions of you.

I feel that the most important step in growth is assessing your personal improvement and how far you have come. Think back to those weak characters you had before and how you have developed them thus far, assess your confidence, and see how you can boost it even further. Meghan traced her confidence and her ambition from when she was 11 years old to now being a royal princess. She advised everyone to think of three words you can use to describe yourself as a child, and three words you can describe yourself now as an adult, do you notice any growth in you? I challenge everyone to try this and assess your growth, once you are impressed by your improved characters, motivation to improve yourself even further, increases. As a child I was shy and awkward, as an adult am still shy and awkward but with much more confidence, intelligence and a bit more outgoing. In these recent months, I have also come to vehemently love the Kenya politics. Before, I never had a care of who are our leaders or what they were saying, but now I have become very passionate, that am actually thinking of attending the inauguration of our President. This has not only helped me understand the politics of our country but also has given me another voice, in which I can talk, challenge and discuss all these with my peers.

In my previous article, it was all about self-awareness, really sitting down and asking yourself questions of who you are, your thoughts, and your emotions in order to better yourself, and when you do that it’s a way of developing yourself, I feel that we are on a journey of understanding and knowing ourselves, to personal growth.

Flo

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