Inner growth is defined as many things: life lessons, wisdom, knowledge, and evolution, to name a few.
It’s typically acquired as a result of life experiences, and usually those particular experiences aren’t very pleasant. Humans seem to be wired to learn through pain, which I guess makes a lot of sense when you think about it. After all, if everything was hunky dorey all the time and we felt good about all aspects of our life, why would we want to take a chance on ruining all that just to learn something?
Although inner growth occurs along a path, that path is rarely steady, even, or straight. However, it almost always consists of three main steps:
1. Awareness of the issue. Typically this awareness comes as a result of an uncomfortableness you feel when something’s not working for you in your life. Most often this is something that causes you emotional pain rather than physical, although it could be both.
2. Gathering information about the issue. So, what happened to cause this new awareness? What exactly isn’t working for you and how isn’t it working? How can it be corrected? Those are just a few of the important questions you need to ask at this step. As you delve deeper into the issue, more questions will arise, some of which may surprise you.
3. Applying the information to the issue. This is the reward. This is where you get to see how well you’ve learned about the subject you chose to experience. This is the feel-good part of inner growth.
Let’s use an example. Say, something like you got fired from your job.
1. Awareness. Well, that’s pretty obvious. You don’t have a job any more.
2. Gathering information. Why did you get fired? Was it something you were or were not doing? Is it personal or universal? If it’s personal, what do you need to change about how you do your work or interact with your co-workers? If it’s universal, such as an economic slowdown, what do you need to do to make yourself more valuable to an employer? These questions and others like them will garner you the information you need to continue on to the next and final step.
3. Applying the information. Make a list of the answers you came up with in Step 2 and use that information to create a to-do list. Maybe some of the changes you’ll make are learning better communications skills, changing your work habits, improving your personal hygiene, taking classes to add to your working knowledge.
Of course, this applies to ALL inner growth, from the mundane such as the example of losing one’s job, to the esoteric, such as emotional and spiritual growth.
Breaking down the learning experience into these three steps is like eating a ton of applesauce. It’s a lot easier and less stressful when you do it one small bit at a time.
Aside from the inner growth and valuable insights and information you’ll acquire, another benefit for you is that as you identify the step where you are in the process, you gain the satisfying knowledge that you’re making progress.
What current learning opportunity are you experiencing? What are you learning about it? Which step are you at with your learning regarding the issue?