Today I want to begin a discussion with you about the difference between REAL growth and FAKE growth.
I want to give you some deep insights into how you may be fooling yourself with regards to your personal growth/development/actualization – and how you can stop fooling yourself so that you can actually get what you want in your life.
Not because it is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ to have fake growth – not at all! Fake growth can be incredibly useful and will teach you much about life. Every experience is worth having if you are having it. That being said, you will come to a place where you have outgrown fake growth, and you will want something new. You are worthy of having the exact experience of life that you want, and that is only going to come to you via the avenue of real growth. You deserve an ecstatic experience – and you can have it.
You see, a LOT of us genuinely believe that we are working towards personal growth/self actualization, when in fact we have been sold a bill of goods that actually fully prevents such a thing from ever occurring.
In this blog, we will explore what ‘fake’ growth really looks like, so you can see if you may be living in that zone. We will also look at the signs and symptoms of real growth, so you can compare and contrast. In the next blog we will talk about the actual tools you can use to foster true, deep, lasting growth in your life that leads to permanent transformation.
You see, the two main modalities of ‘personal growth’ or ‘self actualization’ that are most popular right now are the following:
The “Follow Your Bliss It Should Feel Amazing All The Time Growth Route: You have been told that growth should not be work – that working hard or doing hard things means you are ‘out of alignment’ and thus should pull back and wait for something else. You have been told that hard work and determination are not good, and that you should always be in some sort of effortless, inspired flow state. And when you don’t feel that, you assume now is not a good time for growth and so you continue on with what you are doing waiting for that lightbulb moment to hit you. You are constantly waiting for the right time, the right inspiration, the right idea, the right feeling – and it never seems to arrive for you.
The White Knuckle Your Way To Growth Through Changing Your Environment And Being All Over Yourself Life Coaching Route: You have been told that ‘growth’ is all about catching yourself in behaviours you don’t like. Being ‘on top of’ yourself all the time, aware of your shitty behaviours and essentially beating yourself up for them. Working really hard to re-arrange the externals of your life and creating ‘plans’ and ‘strategies’ to stop those seemingly negative behaviours so you can build the newer, seemingly more positive ones. It is all about making a ‘program’ for yourself that you work on all the time to become this new, better version of you – that requires a lot of specific external environment circumstances to make happen. It is all about those ‘goals’ and what you are doing every day to move towards those goals. Also it is all about looking at how you have failed, and trying really hard not to fail again by adjusting something else in your external reality.
The problem here is – neither of these strategies actually lead to the kinds of changes you want to make.
They don’t lead to the kinds of changes you want to make:
1. Because they do not instil any sense of actual CLARITY in you with regards to what you actually WANT for yourself (which is not to stop yelling at your wife, to have a more successful career or find more people to have sex with, or even to become a ‘better’ person – sorry to burst your bubble)
2. Because they do not give you the tools of self awareness and programming that you need to actually create REAL LASTING shifts in your life – these tools which DO NOT require a specific and finely tuned environment/routine for you to maintain.
3. These paths distract you from the whole point. They get you all wrapped up in ‘perfect timing’ or other inconsequential feelings, or they get you focused on a whole bunch of activity and ‘progress’ that does not actually move you towards your new, desired state.
This fake growth is sneaky. Really. You could be smack dab in the middle of a life where you are working you ASS off, setting all these goals, white knuckling your way through ‘routines’ that are challenging, falling ‘off the wagon’ over and over and still thinking you are headed in the right direction. You could be sitting around waiting for the right moment or feeling or vibe for the rest of your existence. And have no clue that you have not even begun the transformation process yet.
Whats worse, you will most likely look around you at the people who are ‘changing their lives’ and see that they are doing all the fake growth stuff I listed – and it may even look like they are getting results.
Just know that when you start to experience real growth, you will KNOW it. You wont have to wonder if your techniques are working – because evidence will be on your side.
So with this, how can you tell if you have been participating in ‘fake’ growth and not ‘real’ growth? Consider the following:
Do you ever feel ‘stuck’ in life? Like you really want to change some habit, thought or behaviour pattern, but seem to lack the will power/know how to make the change?
Do you ever feel like you ‘know’ what you should be doing to transform something in your life – you are aware of all the tools, you have done all the coaching, read all the books, watched all the videos – but still struggle with making big changes in your life? Maybe you still struggle with the small changes?
Do you feel like you are doing so well with your changes, but then as soon as you move countries, or see your family, or your daily routine gets messed up in some way, that you fall back into all your old patterns seemingly without the ability to stop yourself?
Maybe you are feeling like the tools you have been given and that you have read about don’t actually work. Perhaps you feel like you have really tried to do what the books, videos and coaches have guided you to do – and you are still feeling like progress is impossible.
Perhaps you feel like you are making progress, like you are doing all this work and traversing all this ground - doing all your personal development, you are catching yourself in old patterns and making plans to change, you are developing new habits and working *sohard* to make yourself different – but when you stop and really deeply consider where you are – you realize that all that progress and work has not really touched the actual issue that you started doing the work for? You are doing all the things, but the ground you are covering has not actually made the root issue any less of a problem for you. Ie. you have changed your work outs, your eating, you have all your goals laid out – but you still have to use will power to do what is healthy for your body, and you find that you still feel the same way about your body as you did when you started – change to your physical appearance or not. The root dissatisfaction is still there – and you don’t really even understand WHY you are so dissatisfied in the first place. You *think* you know what your issue is, but you don’t really know why you do what you do, or why you want to change, or what you want to change into.
Are you a proponent of the new age ideas that tell you that life should always feel good? That if something is hard work, if you have to put forth effort or if it is uncomfortable for you to make the changes you want to make – then there must be something ‘wrong’ or ‘out of alignment’ with that, so you pull back and wait until something that feels better to come along before you start moving again?
Basically, all of the above are symptoms of ‘growth’ programs that provide fake growth.
- They do not get to your actual root issues.
- They do not actually help you see WHY you do what you are doing – and inso doing reveal to you how to change.
- They do not address what you ACTUALLY want.
- They make you believe that the changes you are seeking are EXTERNAL changes, not internal ones. (Hint, the changes you want to make, are always, always, always internal perspective/feeling state changes – that will then be REFLECTED in your outer world)
- They distract you with spiritual mumbo-jumbo that has no basis in actual reality.
If you resonate with any of the above, today you will find some freedom to move yourself forward in ways you never thought possible.
You are going to have to open your mind a little in order to make it happen.
You are going to have to look at some of your ideas about change and growth and realize that they are actually preventing you from moving forward the way you would like. Even the ideas that you so strongly believed were ‘right’ you may have to come to terms with the fact that they are simply not working.
These realizations are not always fun, and of course they are not easy. But if you are able to make the shifts in your thinking and perceptions suggested here, you are going to find that you end up on a path that actually serves you.
Lastly, before we move on, I am going to preface this with the fact that what we are going to be looking at here is cultivating REAL growth. Not pretend growth. Not a lot of work and a lot of manipulation of chess pieces that don’t actually lead to the kinds of changes you are endeavouring to make here.
We are going to be working together to find a place where actual long term transformation of yourself and your life happens. Where you can step back out of your life, take an objective look, and visually SEE that shit has shifted.
Which means it is going to be RADICALLY different from the personal growth paths you have taken before. Which may make you think that these strategies could not possibly work.
So again, I ask you to be really honest with yourself – do the strategies that you have employed for growth, that you are holding onto, actually work? (Hint – if they ACTUALLY work, you no longer need to put forth any effort to be the new version of yourself. It is automatic. If you still have to work for it, if you still need an ideal environment, if you still feel called to your old ways – it didn’t work. Even if it seems like it works until you lose will power, it didn’t work.)
Let’s define what TRUE growth looks like, so that you have a clear idea of where you are headed:
Things that used to be in your life that were self destructive or bothersome are no longer there. You do not have to put forth any effort or willpower to not do those harmful things. They are simply no longer a part of your existence in any way.
All the things you wanted to cultivate in your life have arrived, along with some extra special blessings you didn’t even know to expect.
You will have the kind of growth that is OBVIOUS even to those outside of you. Others will comment on how you have changed, how your reactions are different, your attitudes, outlooks and beliefs.
You will experience the kind of growth that actually shifts your 3D reality so much that it is undeniably different than how it used to be. You won’t have to convince yourself that you have grown, you won’t have to go back and try to find the evidence that things have shifted for you – it will be plain to see for everyone. You will be in a different place, doing different things, with different people, different common emotions and thoughts, different desires and different values.
You will have an insatiable desire to serve others. You will KNOW that your satisfaction in this life (not your happiness, or validation, that is an inside job) comes from what you GIVE not what you can GET from this life.
You realize your growth is not all about you, you see the bigger picture of how your growth is affecting the world in positive ways, and that motivates you to continue on down your path.
You don’t need anyone to acknowledge your growth in order for you to feel good about yourself.
You do not need external motivation to keep going on your path – you are pretty well totally internally motivated.
You start to pursue big shifts in your thinking and feeling, because you are aware that growth and expansion are a part of your life now. You seek INTERNAL transformation rather than trying to shift your EXTERNAL world, because you KNOW that when your insides shift, that is the ONLY time your external world can actually CHANGE for the better – not just be a re-arranged version of what you had going before.
You no longer resist change, feeling that changing is admitting you were ‘wrong’ before.
You don’t try to change your 3D reality. You create new programs for yourself by witnessing the old ones, and then you take new, inspired action from that new, inspired place.
You are empowered to make the shifts in your life you know you want to make. You are creating the new, not running from the old.
You are far too busy creating and expanding to spend much – if any – time criticizing or tearing others down.
This real growth – the kind you want – is possible for you.
It is just slow.
It is more subtle.
It is not flashy ‘self help’ ‘personal development’ growth.
It is not make a million dollars in a weekend, lose 20 pounds in 10 days and meet the love of your life in three simple steps kind of growth.
This is the kind of growth that requires cultivation. That requires commitment. That requires self-honesty. That requires – above all – TIME. SPACE. Energy. Focus and yes – WORK.
Next week we will look into the strategies you need in order to be on the path of true transformation.
For now, get really honest with yourself about your personal growth path. Really ask yourself if you are making true progress, or if fake growth has been ruling your roost. There is no blame or shame in this. It is all awesome and you are learning regardless. But to get onto REAL growth is to get onto REAL satisfaction.
So, are you really growing right now?