By Stephanie Camins – MA, LPC
What does growth mean to me? I think of evolving, blossoming, renewal, developing, changing, and living. Growth is a process that leads toward a higher self. The self that is uniquely you. The self that determines its own path. Growth is the process of living rather than existing. Ingredients for growth are physical, emotional and spiritual.
Taking the lead from mother nature, what do we need to grow? The right conditions, a good foundation, optimal environments, plenty of water, sun and nutrients. Sure, that helps, but we also see growth in the most extreme environments. Growth we would never expect to see. Regeneration of life after natural disasters, fires, floods, or hurricanes for example.
Are people so different? We grow in both optimal conditions and traumatic conditions. In our lifetimes we have likely experienced growth in both states. Pause and think of an instance you grew as a result of something positive happening to you. Next, think back to a difficult time in which you learned a crucial lesson that “forced” growth and change. For example, what opportunities happened as a result of a job loss, a breakup, the loss of a loved one, an injury?
Humans have the innate capacity, to grow, to survive, to thrive. Humanistic Psychology believes that we all have free will or “personal agency”. We choose which path we go down including its consequences. Even when the path “happens” to us such as the loss of a loved one or a serious illness, we choose how we respond to that situation. The choice you make even in these circumstances can have a positive outcome. Humans have the capacity to overcome hardship and move forward. We are driven toward self-actualization, fulfillment, and satisfaction in our lives.
What are the prime ingredients for human growth?
You can add your own to this list!
Where do I get these things?
- Experience, learning, other people (teachers, mentors, friends, family, counselors, clergy),
- A positive Inner dialogue
- Self -care, mental and physical
- Letting go of the excuses
- Get grateful!
What happens when I falter?
Get back to the basics:
- sleep hygiene
- proper nutrition
- physical movement
- social contact
- reach out for support
We all have the capacity for growth!