Personal growth is the positive improvement of our skills, knowledge, wisdom, behavior and personal qualities. All personal growth is caused by change; a new stimulus. The most powerful personal growth, is caused by us experiencing new and unique things. So why is it uncomfortable, and how can coaching help?
Opening up to a stranger about your life can cause discomfort. It is often one of the main reasons why people shy away from coaching. A fear of the unknown, not wishing to feel ‘worse’ before feeling better. You can feel exposed, your security blanket gone. Personal growth is uncomfortable, there is no getting around it.
Coaching is a perfect tool to help. ‘But I talk to my partner/friends/family’ you say – however, a coach is trained and can ask different, sometimes uncomfortable questions. These different types of questions kickstart your thinking process promoting change. This is why its beneficial to have a gap between coaching sessions, to allow for thinking time and new thoughts to occur.
I’ve also heard people speak about their problems in this way, ‘ I just ignore it and get on with my life’, or ‘ I try not to think about it as I don’t want to feel sad’ The problem with this is that these emotions and feelings are just being pushed down inside, they are always there, and they bubble to the surface when you least expect them.
I have a saying that I greatly believe in, “If you not feeling it, then you can’t heal it”.
Denial about something usually works as a protective factor, allowing you to be ‘numbed’, in order to cope. However the fact that you aren’t dealing with it by working through your feelings, can create serious health issues further down the line.
The science shows that life experiences play out in the malfunction of our bodies years later (source: The Body Keeps The Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk) He goes on to say that ‘Feeling listened to and understood changes our physiology, being able to articulate a complex feeling and having our feelings recognized, lights up our limbic brain and creates an ‘aha moment’
This is why coaching really works! It can change our physiology, and give us real breakthrough moments.
We need to remind ourselves of the caterpillar and the butterfly, and the tremendous transformation it undertakes. In the same light, having coaching and going on your own journey is incredibly empowering.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, see picture above. Self-actualization, aka personal growth, leads to the highest form of human fulfillment.
The more I’ve personally grown, the more empowering I’ve realized it is. You begin to understand growths true value, and what really matters to you. Once this happens, there’s no going back. You will begin to remove what you no longer want or need in your life, learn your own worth and true self, and see how important every minute of every day really is. I’m constantly learning, personal growth never stops.
Whenever you seek to better yourself in any way, be it through education, coaching, or improving your skills, you are seeking personal growth. With personal growth comes self-love. You will feel more confident, make better decisions, and be able to work through your problems. Undertaking personal growth can be confusing and also isolating, but the incredible changes that take place are worth the journey.