When children grow very quickly they sometimes experience intense aches in their arms and legs (near growth plates, especially in their arm and leg bones). My two little ones are going through this right now, and it got me thinking:
Are ‘growing pains’ keeping me from moving on to bigger and better things?
Kids don’t have a choice when it comes to physical growth. Barring a medical condition they grow naturally and automatically and perfectly.
As adults, we DO get to choose whether or not to allow growth to shape and change our lives. However, this freedom of choice can backfire when we start to feel our own ‘growing pains.’
Pain is a universal red flag: it tells us to stop, or slow down. Our pampered, modern-life brains occasionally exaggerate our discomfort or confuse it with pain, causing us to make conservative and limiting decisions in order to quiet our internal warning system.
Your primitive early-warning system is JUST DOING ITS JOB! It’s sole purpose is to yell at you any time it thinks danger is near. Don’t forget that it’s not very sophisticated. It’s power lies in grabbing input you’re not even consciously aware of and amplifying it to catch your attention and keep you alive.
YOUR job is to assess the situation and make an informed executive decision.
To complicate things, we women have to factor in our use of intuition. Be it mommy instinct or just pure women’s intuition, we just KNOW things.
We get gut feelings about things like whether our child’s fever is serious, whether something is wrong in a relationship, or whether a job is right for us. But sometimes we can’t tell the difference between fear and intuition.
Sometimes we feel the discomfort of growth and unfamiliar territory and run off to a place that feels safer: The KNOWN. The tried-and-true.
Marie Forleo has a fantastic video about finding the difference between fear and intuition. Go watch it.
If you’re doing big work -and your life IS big work!- you’re going to feel some discomfort and fear.
Know that growth can be awkward and uncomfortable even when everything is going just right.