Growing pains are such a crucial part of life, yet sometimes difficult to accept. We often pull away or push back on major decisions for fear of change, challenges, or heartbreak. Yet it’s these defense mechanisms that we put in place to protect ourselves from pain that often inhibit our growth, preventing us from reaping the rewards of progress.
Our lives are comprised of continual transitions, yet most humans innately fear change. Within this paradox comes another human instinct, to crave challenges—to a degree. In order for our species to develop and survive, we have to be willing to learn, accept, adapt, and overcome. At the same time, bearing witness to others’ pain and failures can leave us paralyzed, defensive, and in a depressive purgatory, addicted to the very vices that keep us rooted in our own muck.
While this might sound like a rallying cry to just get out there and chase what you’re after—and it is—it’s also a stab at de-stigmatizing seeking help and figuring out what to do when you finally get there. The first step is finding someone to talk to and at Poosh, we are firm believers in an unbiased professional.
Give yourself time to find your match. It’s OK to dump a therapist that doesn’t work for you—after all, they are just people, with opinions, beliefs, and a specific education, and all therapists have a different approach. If you’re not jiving with someone after giving them a fair chance, break things off professionally and explore the next option.
Sharing intricate details of your life in order to grow is, of course, a difficult game all on its own. Even if you’re an open book, it requires facing your darkest failures and serving them on the silver plate of truth to a stranger, and that in itself is incredibly painful. You may feel the instinct to edit your stories the way you might to a boyfriend or best friend, or to defend your choices with excuses or white lies. Even the most honest person can experience a mental and verbal block, like there is suddenly a wad of cotton balls in their throat when sharing gets real. Time to spit it out—pun intended.
The road of work you put in to achieve growth won’t be paved for you in therapy. Don’t expect to be given answers that will validate your personal failures and mistakes, but do expect to be given the tools to understand and accept them. Allow yourself to be human, but also allow yourself the opportunity to be your own personal best. When you work on yourself, peace and self-actualization is achievable. The grass is greenest where you water it.