What are Your Goals for Personal Growth? 

Why we need to choose Anxiety and Fear over Comfort and Safety when it comes to Personal Growth and Living Life

Summary:

Do you value personal growth? - In this article, we are talking about the role of comfort, anxiety, and fear in personal development. We give practical tools and tips to find out what you are really afraid of, why you trying to “stay safe” at all cost, and on how to overcome avoidance, procrastination, apprehension and fear, how to achieve personal growth, become the person you want to be, be yourself, be authentic and love your life instead of avoiding to truly live - and how to avoid later having to regret the things that were never done.

personal growth goals , goals for personal growth, self-development, self-help, personal development, anxiety, fear, scared, opportunity

Life is growth.

Just look at a baby…
And yet, we shrink in the face of opportunities to grow as a person, to become better at…something we value, like being a better friend, partner, parent, or business owner.

Here are my thoughts about this:
As humans, we tend to avoid pain for self-preservation
During our evolution, this cautionary attitude served us well to avoid being eaten by predators.

So, so feeling afraid, feeling anxious, and feeling scared is principally GOOD.

But, here is the CAVEAT, especially in our modern world:

If we stop too early - or we don’t start because we could fail, we wil NEVER achieve anything, we will not grow, we will stay stuck. When it comes to personal growth and progress generally, staying safe means staying stuck.

Please:
DO NOT STOP because you FEEL ANXIOUS, SCARED OR AFRAID when you want to do something that you want to do, that you need to do, that is valuable or needed.

Courage means feeling afraid - but doing it anyway because what you want to do is more important than your fear of failure”

Do you want to overcome your anxiety, fear, hesitation, and procrastination?

Today, I want to invite you join me on a journey together - where we help you to realize what you are afraid of - and you start to overcome your worst fears.

Let's explore together what you can do when you feel afraid, anxious or scared and feel tempted to avoid the thing (let’s call it X) that you are scared of:

We will use “Mary” as a typical example of a common fear - as a (not so fictional) case study

"Mary is afraid of public speaking. “I don’t know how those people who speak on stages do it” she says, “I would never be able to get on stage and speak like that”

Mary avoids not just getting on a public stage, being on video or TV, but also speaking up in public.

 She thinks that people may laugh at her, that she may not know what to say, that she may get stuck in the middle of a speech, that she may look “like an idiot”, that she will embarrass herself, that she will make a fool out of herself. 

This makes her feel so scared that she “can’t” do it.

She also avoids anything else that may embarrass her, make other people laugh at her, think that she is “stupid”, “weird” or may “offend” others. 

She even thinks that others shouldn’t do those things to not “make other people upset”."


If you feel like Mary, you are not alone.
We all were Mary at some time. We all are Mary sometimes.

We don't like feeling uncomfortable. We don’t like pain. We don’t like feeling scared. We don’t like to fail.

So when life presents us with an opportunity to grow, we often choose to stay where we are. Anxious, scared, but feeling “safe” or even “comfortable”.

"I'm not ready." Or whatever reason we give ourselves.

 And it's a plausible excuse. Plausible, because there's always some truth in it.

And many of us tend to stay there until a "terrible" life event, a disaster, violently pushes us out of our comfort zone (or a good coach nudges and encourages us gently to voluntarily step out of it a tiny bit at a time)

Which one do you prefer? If it is the second route, where another human being helps you to step out of your comfort zone and into the zone of personal growth, please read on.

Like many great coaches, I started comfortable. I had a “good life”, a “good job”, things seemed “normal”.

And at some point, life violently pushed me out of my zone of safety and comfort, by serving me a serious illness, physical and emotional pain, and loss of job/profession and husband. At that time, I nearly died by my own hand. I hadn’t learned to cope with that. I was unprepared. It was too much to handle.

If you are still in your comfort zone and prefer safety, I get it. My mission is to gently nudge you onward, and in my emails or here on my blog, I do that very slowly and carefully.

With my coaching clients, I go further and faster, since I know them personally and I know how far to safely push - and when to stop pushing and hand out encouragement, care and love instead.

With myself, I expect even more. I expand my limits all the time. It feels miserable sometimes, painful for sure, especially if I fail - again.

But let me tell you: The road to success is paved with failure.

Science has proven it:

"The more often you failed, the more likely you will succeed".

This applies to anything, weight loss, mental health, peak performance, running a business, parenting children, your job, money…

So, today, I invite you to follow me into the magical world of 5-dimensional wellness and personal growth.

If you are ready, read on and let’s go to work.

Remember the story of Mary? Here it is again:

"Mary is afraid of public speaking. “I don’t know how those people who speak on stages do it” she says, “I would never be able to get on stage and speak like that”

Mary avoids not just getting on a public stage, being on video or TV, but also speaking up in public.

 She thinks that people may laugh at her, that she may not know what to say, that she may get stuck in the middle of a speech, that she may look “like an idiot”, that she will embarrass herself, that she will make a fool out of herself. 

This makes her feel so scared that she “can’t” do it.

She also avoids anything else that may embarrass her, make other people laugh at her, think that she is “stupid”, “weird” or may “offend” others. 

She even thinks that others shouldn’t do those things to not “make other people upset”."


 
Now, answer this question:
What do you think makes the most sense for Mary to do?

  1. Talk to her family doctor and get some pills or a referral
  2. Go to a psychologist and work on her social anxiety
  3. Go to a psychiatrist and take pills “for her anxiety”
  4. Do nothing and stay stuck at home
  5. Read books on personal growth
  6. Watch videos of famous people who overcame obstacles
  7. Dream of a better life
  8. Talk to friends who feel the same to know that others have the same problems
  9. Commiserate on social media and post about how bad this world is
  10. Get great coaching from someone who used to be where she is now - but found the way out of it and is willing to show her a way

I will not give you my answer, but I would like yours and the reasoning behind it. Would you share it with me? (Just email [email protected] to tell me)

I made a practical worksheet for you to  deal with bad news and worries and help with anxiety. Access it with this link: https://cchcfiles.s3.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com/DRC_Anxiety+and+Bad+News+Worksheet.pdf

If you haven’t embraced your fear and walked towards personal growth, answer these questions for yourself 

(and if you know someone who hasn’t but could use this information, please forward or share this article)


WHY?

  • Why don’t you embrace personal growth?
  • Why do you prefer watching TV or playing video games to “playing the game of life”?
  • When did you last do something that wasn’t really dangerous AND you were afraid of?
  • When did you last do something that got you closer to what you wanted AND you felt scared of?
  • When did you last do something that you were NOT good at (yet)?
  • When did you last risk something BIG?

Now, sit back for a second and reflect some more...

  • Why didn’t you do this?
  • What really is at the ROOT of this feeling?
  • What are you REALLY afraid of?
  • What did you think would/might happen when this anxiety stopped you?
  • Were you running away from being scared?
  • Want to stay safe?
  • Want to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of feeling afraid or anxious?
  • Are you STUCK?


WHAT

Here are options on what you can do today to improve your situation and start living and growing as a person.

  1. Stop and Think! If you do the very thing you are afraid of (Let’s call it X), will you die, suffer grave personal injury or inflict grave injury or death on others?
  2. If the answer to question#1 is No: Imagine doing X and imagine that things go terribly wrong, exactly like you probably imagine they would (worst-case scenario).
  3. What is likely to happen then? Make a list.
  4. What could be a deep-seated belief behind these feelings (and you may need the help of a great coach or therapist to find out)

TAKE ACTION

Right now, take a piece of paper and start writing your list. Take just 5 minutes to DO it before you read on.
Okay, done? (If you actually did it, you are AMAZING!) - And please email me at [email protected] and let me know so I can celebrate with you!!
(or book a call to talk with me: https://calendly.com/docchristine )


LEARN FROM OTHERS, BUT DON’T STOP THERE

Here are Mary’s answers:

  1. No, no one will be injured or die if I speak in public.
  2. I will walk out on stage and tremble, my voice will shake, I will draw a blank, I will forget my words, I will forget anything I wanted to say, I will make a fool of myself, I will poop my pants, I will start to cry, and everyone will laugh at me, point their fingers and say “Look at her. What an idiot! What a fool! How stupid she is!”.
  3. People will feel disappointed in me, people will feel that I let them down, that they wasted their time coming to see me, they will get angry at me, they won’t like me (anymore), and they will reject me and leave me. I will be left alone, lonely, and have no one to support. No one will ever love me. I would be an idiot. I would feel stupid. I would be a failure. I would be a worthless human being. I would die. I would be lost, I would feel terrible,  would feel really bad. I couldn’t deal with that feeling and would think of committing suicide.
  4. I am worthless. I am not good enough. I am stupid. I am a failure. I deserve to be laughed at. I deserve to be left behind. Others are so much smarter than me. I’ll never amount to anything. I am helpless by myself. If i am not perfect, I am a worthless failure. I am a bad mom. I am a bad daughter. I am a bad wife. I am a bad person. Nobody loves me. I am not loveable because I am defective. If I am doing something weird, silly or “stupid”, other people won’t love me, won’t accept me and will reject me.I shouldn’t feel like that (anxious, afraid, sad, disturbed, scared).It’s my parents fault. It’s the governments fault, it’s my partners fault. “The stars are stacked against me” “The universe is just not on my side” “Why am I always doing this to myself”. I shouldn’t do things that may upset others.

You may have guessed it by now. Mary is a client of mine. Her name is changed, but this general attitude is typical for many of us that want things, but feel we can’t get it.

Of course, there is much more to this story, and in my coaching sessions we talk about everything, all 5 dimensions of mental and physical health, deep emotions, upbringing and more.

REMEMBER YOUR HUMANITY AND BE KIND WITH YOURSELF

How much work on yourself, how much pain like this CAN one person handle at once? We all need recovery time. We all need time to relax and enjoy ourselves as well. (even though this may mean something different to each of us)

And it's easy to buy into your own anxiety-provoking rationalizing (or that of parents, or governments) when there's truth mixed in.

However, while growth IS pain, growth is also JOY. Deep SATISFACTION. Real PRIDE. ACCOMPLISHMENT. ACHIEVEMENT.

Grow as a person - and your influence, impact, and income grow too.

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Edison

Here's what I've noticed.

If you are anything like myself, Mary and many others, you go through your days with an Inner knowing that you're capable of more, specifically in area X. (that what you are scared of)

And one day you have an opportunity to do something about X.

There's a catch: Acting on that opportunity, well... it's gonna hurt some.

You don't feel ready.

You don't have the money. You don't have the time. You don't have the knowledge. You don't have _____.

And so you wait. And the opportunity passes you by.

Well, notice what just happened: You chose the illusion of comfort over growth.

I say the illusion of comfort because this comfort comes with a perpetual nagging inner voice, always reminding you that you're settling for less than you're capable of being.

AND really, it's worse than that.

If you don't push yourself to what you think is your limit, you never find out what your limits really are.

“You’ll never know your limits until you push yourself to them.” ― K. Bromberg, Driven

And I am not saying that you should push yourself to your limits until you break.

I am saying that it is rewarding, creates joy and true happiness and personal growth to start now, start small and with tiny baby-steps, start BEFORE life violently pushes you to change fast - or break and maybe even die.

THIS IS CALLED RESILIENCE. TOUGHNESS. GRIT. 

You don’t have it. You build it. In tiny increments of courage. By embracing fear in a dosage that you can handle. 

The point isn't that you or I “should” become public speakers, or should do anything - unless we really want to do it, unless the thought of being able to do it, getting the feeling of success, of pride, of achievement, lifts us up and makes us feel excited.

Truth is that you and I each have our own version of what we want and how we can achieve it.

If you need some amazing inspiration, read the story of the first 100-mile race: 

It seems impossible. Until someone does it.

And when the opportunity to run that race, any race, shows up, you won't feel ready.

Here's what you must remind yourself of at that time:

No one is ever ready for their next big opportunity.

HOWEVER, it is those who commit to run their next "race" even before they know how they'll finish... They're the ones who feel the pride, joy, happiness, the wonder of life and the deep satisfaction of living.

The rest?

They get daily angst. And ultimate regret.

So next time your opportunity shows up, and you don't feel ready...

Take it.

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