Have you ever noticed how your greatest moments of personal growth occur?
There’s a pattern to it, I’m convinced.
First, a challenge. A challenging life circumstance or situation. Something comes at us sideways when we least expect it. A loss. Break up. Health problem. We don’t feel equipped to handle it, yet somehow we do. We’re faced with an obstacle and we pull through.
But we haven’t grown yet.
Next comes vulnerability. We share our experience of this challenge with another person. In all of our raw honesty, we open ourself up to another. We share in our weaknesses and by doing so, we experience vulnerability.
Then we reflect. Only after a difficult challenge and shared vulnerability, can we pause to really reflect about what exactly we’ve just been through. What we’ve grown through. How we’ve grown. And in our reflection, finally, our great moment of personal growth arrives. Clothed in compassion and humility. Void of all judgment. An “Aha” moment.
Challenge. Vulnerability. Reflection. In that order.
I believe that all of our greatest personal growth experiences follow this pattern.