6 Stages of Growth

Have you ever decided there was something in your life that just wasn’t working for you anymore? You knew something needed to give. You set out, determined to change it, you left your comfort zone, you went through the pain of change, thought you succeeded, then - lo and behold - a similar scenario found its way right back in your path… what the heck is that about?

The universe seems to have an interesting way of helping us grow. I've created a (by no means exhaustive) list of what I've found to be the most common stages of growth. These can certainly vary, but this is what I've often experienced when going through big life changes.

1. Discomfort - The first inkling of the growth process often begins as discomfort. This may be the feeling one gets of being dissatisfied with their job for “x” reason - they feel undervalued, boxed in, angry, etc. It could be a feeling of boredom, loneliness, or pain in a relationship. Perhaps it’s discomfort with the city one is living in. Either way, it stirs emotions and pushes us. We know that something has got to change.

2. Vision / Daydreaming - As discomfort floods our body, the next tendency is often fight or flight. We begin to fantasize about what life would look like in a different setting. What would life look like without this current discomfort? If we are unhappy with our current city, perhaps we imagine living close to a towering mountain range or on a sunny beach. Maybe we picture ourselves in a job with more power, where we feel more valued - maybe we even imagine ourselves standing up to our current boss and demanding more. Perhaps we visualize ourselves in a happy relationship where we are complimented and feel loved - maybe with our current partner, or maybe a new one, or maybe just with ourselves. What we often don’t realize, however, is how powerful these daydreams are. Creating a visualization is actually a beginning step in creating the outcome that we want. This is called manifestation. If you have ever heard it said that your thoughts become your reality, then you are already familiar with this concept. When you align your mind with the feelings of a certain outcome (good or bad - careful what you wish for), those feelings go out into the universe with a certain energy vibration. This vibration sends the universe “a message” that causes vibrations of the same frequency to enter your path. Think about it, have you ever found yourself hoping to meet like-minded people and, suddenly, someone with a refreshing outlook like yours just appeared in your path? After this first person, perhaps you began to meet more and more people that align closely with your values. I hear about these situations often and have experienced it myself. I happens because they are matching the vibration you are emitting. This works the same way with romantic relationships, with money, with jobs. So, when you daydream, you begin to align your reality with that outcome (whether you know it or not). That being said, there is a caveat to this and this is where many of us give up or retreat back to what is familiar…

3. Change Begins - When the universe/God/Source gets this message that you want a certain outcome, it begins to align the pieces into play. But where does it start? With change of course. The Bible says that you cannot put new wine into old wine skins. Regardless of your faith, this is true. In order for the new to come in, the old must go out. In order for new flowers to come, the old must die to begin the new cycle. In order for you to have the romantic relationship you want, the old must fall apart. In order for you to have a job you are happy with, you may have to lose the old job. Change can be painful - especially because we do not know what is on the other side. It can be easy to lose sight and, because the old story was familiar, this is where we often fumble. We go, “Oh crap. I don’t want to lose my job!” or, “I don’t want to be alone forever!” and we run back to the old setting, even though we were very unhappy, because it’s familiar - we feel safe; it is a comfort zone. However, if we are able to see the other side (continue holding onto our original vision), if we just bunker down and ride the wave of change, we do come out on the other side.

4. A Taste of the Other Side - When we successfully surf that wave of change, we finally get a glimpse of the other side. The coast is in sight, the sun is shining, we are almost there. Perhaps you meet some people that start networking you into a new industry and you begin hearing of all these new job possibilities for you. Perhaps you break off that relationship and cross paths on the street with a nice person who compliments you. These inklings of your daydream start to come alive in little doses if you pay attention. What is important to keep in mind here, however, is that sometimes we are actually in the eye of the storm…

5. The Test - Now, I’m not sure if some higher power is really trying to test us, but… it sure feels like it sometimes. After I decide to make a change, I often come across this scenario… I think that I’ve shifted everything that I was trying to, when suddenly a very similar situation comes around. Perhaps I meet a person who is very much like the person I was just dating. It’s kind of like a little test, “Christine… did you learn the lesson? Did you learn what you were supposed to?”. So… sometimes we recognize the pattern and, because we have learned from the past, we are able to make a new choice this time. Other times, we don’t recognize it because we didn’t fully learn the lesson, so we find ourselves in a repeat situation. When this happens, we may start to feel doomed. These negative feelings start to come rushing back like a waterfall. We want to give up and go right back to where we started because it is comfortable and familiar. We don’t want to face the pain again. BUT… if we can pick our heads up and snap out of it, if we can remember our vision, recognize the lesson, suck it up and continue down the road, we will have a breakthrough.

6. The Big Breakthrough - We finally reach the other side. We finally set foot on the coast. We have endured the storm and it has passed. We have learned the lessons we were meant to learn. We are stronger. We have achieved what it is we were daydreaming about.  We have grown. We can enjoy the fruits of this labor. And now, we can help others we meet who are going through a similar situation.

What area of your life are you growing right now? What are you manifesting?

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