Updated: Jan 15
It gets to a certain point in one’s life, you have to look back on yourself and ask “how much have I grown?”
The question “how much have I grown?” Means a lot of things, it could be physically; as in height, size, one’s overall physical appearance, or it could be financially; referring to your business or career, investments and savings, or it could be spiritually; pertaining to your spiritual life or religion, that is if you have any or belong to any, but in this context, “how much have I grown?” Refers to one’s personal development, your overall wellbeing which includes mental and emotional development, relationship and interactions as well as lifestyle.
“How much have I grown as an individual?”
This question has been haunting me for months now, in a few hours, I will be celebrating the anniversary of my birth and I’d like to think it as the trigger for it and hence, this post. Since I’ve been constantly haunted by the thoughts triggered by the above question, I decided to observe myself to see where and how much I have grown over the years and subsequently, I discovered signs that proves how much I’ve grown and continue to grow as an individual. These signs I’m about to share are also beneficial to you in two ways; it can either be a way for you to check how much of personal growth you have achieved or it could act as an instruction to help you achieve them. Mind you, just like plants, we are never fully grown as individuals, we grow every day, every year and these signs will only help you observe and monitor how much you’ve grown from before to now and how you continue to grow and act as tips to help nurture your growth.
There are a lot of signs that shows how one has considerably grown individually, but based on personal experiences, I’ve narrowed it down to five.
SELF-AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE; you’ve become more aware of yourself as an individual have come to accept strengths and weaknesses as well as your flaws as part of yourself.
When you discover that you no longer cast or push blame unto another but accept responsibility for your actions, apologize for your mistakes and take corrections and make efforts to correct to them. This marks as the first sign of your personal growth. We all are humans, over-ridden with flaws and imperfections. Flaws? Everyone has got more than one, becoming conscious of it is one thing, accepting it is another. It is only when you have accepted that both your flaws and strengths are part of your daily life that growth, change and development occur.
SELF-IMPORTANCE; you’ve started to put yourself and interests first and love yourself more.
As humans, we all have insecurities, we have always felt inadequate with ourselves, always felt like we are not good enough, being ourselves, exactly as ourselves is not enough, so we try to become like others, look up to others, attach our self-worth to others but years of experience with that have only shown hurt. First comes realization, awareness and acceptance, then second comes implementation.
At some point, you have to let go of all that insecurity, you have to realize that you’re all that you are and it is more than enough, then you begin to accept yourself as you are, slowly, in time you will come to embody your individuality and go after the things you want not the things you’ve have been told to want, taking care of your self-interests and protecting your energy. When you realize there is nothing wrong with being a little selfish and boosting your ego once in a while, then you’ve achieved another growth.
SELF-RELIANCE AND INDEPENDENCY; you have finally become content with you who are, what you have and no longer depend on others for a living
Just like the US senator, Lisa Murkowski once said “freedom comes from strength and self-reliance” even though she said it pertaining to politics, it also applies to one’s personal growth. We all claim to be independent but truthfully speaking, how independent are you? You claim independence but you’re in a relationship because you’re house poor, financially poor, visa poor. You claim independence but you still live off pocket money from your parents, partners or friends/siblings, you claim independence yet you can’t make critical decisions in your life without someone else weighing in, if your survival or existence is crucially tied to another, you are not truly independent, mind you, asking for help or receiving help when needed isn’t wrong or take away from your independence but solely relying on others instead of yourself proves that you are yet to be what you claim.
Everyone’s circumstances are not the same , when you realize that you have started to understand yours, accept it, be content with it and try to live your best life as you are then you have achieved another growth. Independence and Self-reliance breeds determination and risk taking, when you understand the true extent of your freedom, your independence, you become determined to push your boundaries, to achieve your goals. Each and every one of us have goals or dreams we want to achieve but sometimes circumstances undermine them and we tend to abandon them but the moment you start to take steps towards becoming independent and self-reliant, you notice you become more determine and willing to take risks to achieve them. For example, quitting a good paying job to start your own business that you’re more passionate about or holding down your day job while starting up a side business, moving to a new state or country and starting over, it takes a great deal of courage and determination to do any, it is only a mind that understands its independence and is self-reliant that is strong and willing, and if you find yourself, willing to risk and pursue something or change something in your life that you have been unwilling to before, then you have taken a big step to achieving another growth.
But then it takes a lot of practice, you don’t become self-reliant in one day, but all it takes is one leap of certainty and practice, then one can truly become independent and subsequently earn the respect of others and themselves.
HABITS AND LIFESTYLE; you have started to make conscious efforts to adopt a healthier lifestyle through your habits
According to Will Durant “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit”. One’s habits determines and becomes their lifestyle and one’s lifestyle is a reflection of the life they are living. All these talk about self-reliance and independence and yet your habits say otherwise, you are trying to be content as you are, but as you are is unhealthy and lazy, like I always say, unhealthy living breeds’ unhealthy choices. When we talk about habits, we are talking about a series of regular behavioral patterns that determines one’s life. In order to be self-reliant and independent, we work our asses off, in order to achieve our goals in life, we work relentlessly, to make that money, to buy that dress, that car, those shoes, to party non-stop but then our habits hinder our health, did not know? Health is Wealth, it doesn’t matter how much you have made, but health is something can’t really buy and even if you manage to buy it, it’s expensive; extremely.
Just like Benjamin Franklin once said “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”, if you have started to take your health into consideration by eating right, exercising right, sleeping right, going for medical checkup on your own without being prompted by faint illness and etc., you truly have become wise. The moment you start taking conscious effort to adopt healthier habits and lifestyle you have achieved another growth.
A CONSTANT STATE OF HAPPINESS; you are always happy with every decision you make, even the worst ones
No one is perfect and nothing ever happens the way you want it to, but the moment you realize that you are always thankful for every moment, even when nothing is going right and you have messed up badly, you are still capable of putting up a smile and moving on without putting yourself down, then you have achieved the highest growth.
We constantly give ourselves anxiety over everything, even to the extent of projecting anxiety unto others, it takes a lot of strength and understanding to overcome anxiety on our own, but then it gets to a point in life when you just take life as it comes without expecting too much and just enjoying every moment as it is, good or bad, when you have reached that point, I call it the constant state of happiness; when you have become so sure and content with yourself and all that you are and there’s nothing to be anxious about anymore.
Like I said earlier, we are like plants, we are constantly growing, even if you haven’t achieved much growth, eventually you will, and if you have, you still will continue to grow, just keep on a positive energy and don’t stray from it and if it happens you haven’t achieved much or any, then let these signs act as a guide, an instruction for you follow i.e. self-awareness and acceptance; try to become more self-aware and accept your flaws as part of yourself, self-importance; learn to put yourself first, self-reliance and independency; try to understand your independence and become more self-reliant etc. and in doing these things, you will achieve your own form of growth.