Growing Pains –The Personal Side

In my opinion, there are two main ways personal growth happens in life. The first way comes when we consciously choose to try and become better in a specific life area like work or marriage. The second way personal growth occurs is from weathering various life trials and as a result discovering personal strengths we did not know we possessed. 

So, here is what I have learned about “growth experiences” during my time on the planet. First, I try to foster personal growth by setting weekly, monthly, yearly and yes, sometimes even several year goals. I write these goals down, revisit them often, share them with close friends for accountability (just as one would with a life coach) and do my best to attain them. I fall short of my goals often, but when I do achieve them I feel encouraged, accomplished and hopeful for the future.

Having said all of that, what has “grown me” personally most throughout my life has been the major stressors I have dealt with—some chosen, some not. Stressors like death, sickness, loss, separation, moving, financial hardship, work, strained relationships, etc., have taught me so much about myself.  With good support from friends and the occasional therapist, I have weathered these storms, uncovered strengths, learned new coping skills and even later helped others facing the same challenges.  While I would never choose any of these hardships, with the right support I have learned more from them than I ever thought possible and can truly say I am stronger having had these experiences. 

My point is that every major life event—good or bad—holds the potential for personal growth. When we surround ourselves with supportive individuals such as friends, family members, counselors and life coaches during trying times we have the opportunity to uncover personal strengths we never knew existed. Even though personal growth is often uninvited and challenging, it can still be rewarding in the end. 

In the practical side of this blog, I talked about how licensed mental health counselors and certified life coaches provide knowledge, support and expertise to individuals on the path to personal growth. To further clarify, a life coach is an expert that is most often used when someone consciously sets out to grow in one or more areas, whereas a therapist is more helpful to an individual experiencing one or more life stressors. If you would like to speak with a licensed therapist or certified life coach today, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey