I used to think it would be over.
When I first started this journey of self-development I thought that I would reach a place where I was this soul of radiating light simply floating through each day and just watching the problems bounce off my effervescent exterior.
Ok, so that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but I did legitimately think that I would reach a point where I just didn’t have to think about being happy or pay so much attention to my needs and want all the time.
I haven’t pinpointed yet where that idea originally came from, but what I do know is that I was wrong.
And it was making me miserable.
I was chasing a reality that is not real. And let’s be honest, not very healthy either.
See here’s the thing. I used to be a black & white thinker. I only wanted to see the world as either this or that, A or B. I had no room for grey, off-white, or anything in between.
Because it is SO much easier that way.
I want to be as transparent as I possibly can in these posts so I’m going to tell it like it is. Being able to put things in categories, something is either this way or that way, someone is either an angel or the devil reincarnated, or that behavior is 100% acceptable or unacceptable makes things easier. I wouldn’t recommend it for a long-term strategy, but it is the truth. If you have the tendency to think this way, you know what I’m saying.
By thinking that one magical day I would wake up and after years of self-development, I would turn into a magical-confident-self-esteem fairy is making things black and white. It’s saying, your life was horrible and hard before and now, TA-DA! It’s wonderful and joyful and easy 100% of the damn time.
By believing that would actually happen I was relieving myself of any of the responsibility of actually having to put in the work myself. Of actually have to learn how to deal with any of the problems that wanted to permeate my budding effervescent exterior. Of figuring out how to find a place for all the things, the people, and the experiences that just didn’t fit into my neat black and white compartments.
So I’m here to tell you that it never ends.
But that’s OK.
In fact, it’s the most awesome thing that could possibly happen.
Once I realized (and then came to terms with) the fact that I will in fact have to keep working on myself no matter how strong, resilient, successful and confident I become, amazing things started to happen. And I’m not just trying to build you up because self-work is hard, it’s the truth. When I embraced the practice of self-development and not just the theory or the outline of it, things got better.
The thing is, if I had kept my old mindset, I would have kept myself small. I would have kept myself boxed in and limited to only the growth I had achieved up until that point (and how boring is that?).
But I didn’t and now I feel limitless.
I hesitate at using such a big word mainly because I used to be the type of person that would read things like this and smirk to myself, “Yea, right. Limitless, sure.” and then go on about my smug “I’ve reached this level of growth, I don’t need to do anymore” type of ways.
But honestly, it all changed when I heard the comparison of self-development to working out. I’m a workout person so it stuck with me. Maybe it’ll be the same for you.
The comparison went something like this, you wouldn’t workout once (or twice) and expect to be fit for life, so why would you read one self-development book or listen to a couple of audio workshops and expect to be happy for the rest of your time here on Earth? This resonated with me on another level and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
My takeaway from all of this? Embrace the work. Embrace the change and the growth. Embrace the challenges and the times you have to catch yourself and remind yourself of something you’ve learned before. It’s never over, but it shouldn’t have to be. We shouldn’t be striving to get to a place where it’s over because once we got there, there wouldn’t be much more life to live and then what would be the point in that?