We are all growing. Everyone should be able to look back and see a place from the past that looks different now. I work with a lot clients who struggle with this when it comes to emotional growth. This is usually because they have trouble measuring it.
We can see physical growth easily. Tests can gauge intellectual growth as well. But emotional growth can be harder to measure- especially when you’re an all or nothing thinker.
An all or nothing thinker focuses on the end of the goal. If it isn’t met, it feels like nothing has changed. They often don’t give credit for the small progress along the way.
If you are feeling discouraged by a lack of or slow emotional growth, you might be looking at it all wrong.
Here’s 3 things to remember about Emotional Growth:
One of these easiest ways to look for emotional growth is to see if your awareness has changed. Here are some questions to help…
Can you feel your feelings?
Do you understand your emotions?
Are you expressing your emotions to others?
Do you own mistakes?
Do you have empathy for others?
Are you a grudge holder?
Is fighting fair hard for you?
Are you better at balance and self-care than you’ve been in the past?
Do your emotions affect your behaviors in a way that hurts others?
Do you know the answers to those questions?
Growing emotionally starts with being aware of your emotions. Over time, you should see that behaviors and reactions from the past have changed as you’re growing emotionally.
Maybe you haven’t mastered talking about your emotions easily or you don’t know the answers to the questions above, but don’t sweat it. Start with naming how you feel about something and work from there. Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared are you basic 4 emotions. Start there and see how it feels.
Appreciate the baby steps
Each step along the growth path is important. You can’t just push a turbo button and fast forward to an ideal place. Give yourself some grace and see how far you’ve come. I love this quote by James MacDonald “I’m not what I could be. I’m not what I should be. But I’m not what I was.”
Slow down and enjoy the process of growing emotionally rather than beating yourself up for how much longer you have to go.
As an all or nothing thinker, it’s important to allow for “some”. This is when you relax your expectations and give yourself permission to not be perfect. Be ok with the journey you’re on as you take one step at a time. This will help you measure your growth.
If you’re on the road to emotional growth, stay focused on the next step in front of you. It can be a slow process, but makes life and relationships a lot more fulfilling.
What helps you to grow emotionally?