“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” – Abraham Maslow
I want you to do something for me. I want you to look back on the same time last year and make a mental note of any changes you might be aware of — changes in the way you act, the things you tolerate, and the values you stand for. Now, these changes, they don’t have to be substantial. They don’t even have to make you proud. You might not have achieved the things you wanted to. Or maybe you have.
But darling, I’m sure you can pinpoint at least one area of your life where you’ve grown. It could be the most insignificant thing in your eyes, something that those around you or society might not reward. Regardless of what it is, I’m confident you can pinpoint an area where you’ve become stronger and more sure of yourself.
Growth happens so steadily that you won’t be aware of it until you reflect months or years down the line. You’re not going to witness your strength improve overnight. It’s a slow burn. It’s going to take time. Your mind needs many chances to unlearn bad habits and toxic behaviors and become more resistant to the world’s obstacles.
What you used to tolerate will shock you. The way you used to act might embarrass you. But you shouldn’t regret your previous actions. In hindsight, we all wish we could go back and do things differently. But for true growth to happen, we must be exposed to our weaknesses. We must be placed in uncomfortable situations where we question ourselves. The concept of growth is so incredibly beautiful if you stop dwelling on how you used to be and focus on where it led you to be — right in this present moment.
You are growing stronger day by day, and you might not even realize it, darling.
The more you get used to saying no, you grow. The higher you set your standards, you grow. The more secure you become in your body, you grow. The acknowledgment that you’re not a perfect person and will continue to make mistakes and fall until you learn is growth.
Your strength is vibrant and unstoppable, and it has always existed within you. Each day is a new opportunity for lessons to be learned and strength to flourish within.
These experiences that you are going through have not gone to waste. They are shaping you. They are paving the way. You are becoming the truest version of yourself each and every day.
Written By Samira Vivette Originally Appeared In Thought Catalog