Growing Pains

“I’m tired of growing”, I think to myself on the brink of tears due to life’s latest challenges.

Coffee makes me feel powered up, yet my head ruminates like it always does, unclear and entangled by corrosive thoughts. I try to see my situation from another perspective, as if my body doesn’t belong to me. Doesn’t work. I feel the tension, the stress, the challenges and I do what I always do: I dig deeper. Try to understand the source of my “problems”.

But I’m tired. I want to stop growing (at least for a bit).

How much challenge is too much challenge?

If you’re into personal development, you may relate to this feeling of constant growth. It’s great that we’re constantly growing and have all kinds of tools and tips online to help us do the work. But this constant “getting better mode” can become so intertwined with our routine that it wears us out.

This is different from somewhat manageable growth pains, it’s literally a state of exhaustion. Sometimes, challenges can be too much.

I’ve found that in such occasions, it takes as much compassion towards yourself as you would have towards a friend. There’s the need to be especially gentle and forgiving, not beating yourself up, and most importantly, not trying to live up to everybody else’s expectations.

If it’s possible to remove yourself from the challenging situations in your life, it can be desirable to do so for a bit. What’s the worst that can happen?

Self development books should write this more in bold:

Growth is hard.

It is necessary, but hard. And life is also this: recognising you just need a time off from always trying to be better and accepting who you are.