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Growth, Change, and Relationships

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Photo Credit: Suyog Gaidhani via Flickr

Growth is sometimes painful. Although pain is not a prerequisite to growth, sometimes it happens. Ideally, we would all grow painlessly and effortlessly. It is an important ideal to shoot for and one to which we all aspire. A critical part of growth is flexibility and the willingness to change.

One of the most difficult aspects with growth can be the relationships in your life. If, for example, you decide to make a major change, every relationship you have will be affected. Some people will be inspired to change themselves as a result of your new found discoveries. Others, unfortunately, will be at the ready to pounce as soon as you show any sign of fear or insecurity. Why? Because your decision to change can make others insecure about their situation. 

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Photo credit:sillydog via Flickr

When you stretch, it can be uncomfortable. This discomfort does not mean the change you are making is wrong. It is simply a reminder of how long you have stayed in a familiar place. Here are some simple ways to gauge the level of support in your relationships:

  • Validation is vital. Growth can be scary. It is nice to know people in your life are empathetic. Hearing from someone who understands goes a long way to galvanizing your conviction.
  • Understanding, or the desire to understand, lets you know the other person really listens to you. 
  • Encouragement comes in many forms. Sometimes it is verbal. It can also come in the form of what is not said. When you clearly state goals to your friends, and know why you have these goals, you need encouragement. You will experience times when you simply want to acquiesce to the status quo. It is at these times the encouragement from vital relationships provides the added strength you need. If someone supports you giving up, the relationship is negative. 

The status quo is safe. Nothing changes. We can find security in not changing. Unfortunately it is impossible to experience joy, happiness, and success without taking risks. Make sure your relationships support you. 


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