I took my daughter to the sports doctor last week. She’s been having some issues with her ankles, and she’s been pretty frustrated about it. If you know Ella, then you know she never stops moving. She goes from dance to gymnastics to running all day long. She’s always pushing herself to do better, be stronger, stretch farther. She makes us really proud with her work ethic.
But she’s been sidelined more and more lately resting and icing those stupid ankles.
To be honest, I’ve really not been overly concerned about this, and getting her to the doctor hasn’t been big on my priority list. Something else you should know about Ella is she’s got size 9 feet and was taller than me by age 11. She’s grown, like, four inches since March and is showing no sign of stopping any time soon. So logic told me she’s just growing and the discomfort and pain were a result of that. But I knew hearing that from someone OTHER THAN me was what was going to set her mind at ease. So, off we went.
Lo and behold, mom was right. GASP. She was sent home with instructions to rest when she can, keep up with the ice, and to wear her brace as necessary. Explaining all of this to Ella is actually really fun for me. (I’m such a nerd when it comes to anatomy and kinesiology.) Essentially, as you grow, everything stretches. Now, everything inside of your body is actually quite happy right where it is, but this stretching pushes all parts out of their comfort zone. And as things are stretching out, there are points of instability where things aren’t quite situated yet. And herein lies the problem of Ella’s sore ankles.
Okay, I love a good metaphor - so OF COURSE, we’re going to use Ella’s growing pains
as an object lesson for our lives, friends. Let’s chat about GROWTH.
I feel like “growth” is a super popular buzzword right now. There are books, online courses, blogs, conferences, more books, podcasts, journals, planners, and more books that are branded to help you grow in some area or aspect of your life. Please note - this is not a read or a criticism…I’m just reporting the news here, folks. (Seriously, I’m part of the noise myself with this blog right here.) I am ABSOLUTELY HERE for all the things pushing people to be their best selves. But as happens too often with things that blow up in pop culture, the real message gets diluted until it’s basically no longer effective.
Growth can be awesome. In my opinion, growth is absolutely essential. A cliche that comes to mind often is “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.” That’s the truth. Think of the flowers that begin growing in the springtime. As soon as they’ve reached the peak of their blooming and growing, they begin to die. So, why in the world wouldn’t you want to keep growing, right?
Well, here’s the flip side. Growth can be uncomfortable. In fact, growth can be downright painful. Just like Ella’s ankles, growth can make you a little unstable at your points of weakness. How many of you have ever embarked on something - anything - that you thought was worthwhile on the path to bettering yourself? Perhaps you decided to start running, go on a Whole30, start a daily gratitude practice…these are all great things. But none of them are easy, especially at the beginning. You may start off strong, feel great, be so proud of yourself. But then, the newness wears off, progress slows down, discouragement creeps in, and motivation goes out the window. You decide growth isn’t worth the discomfort.
Those points of weakness in our growth are our insecurities. For me, they are literally my worst enemy - that negative self-talk that will convince me I will never get to the top of whatever mountain I am trying to climb. This is when it’s best for me to seek out support; I need to find one of those books or podcasts that will help me refocus. Maybe it’s connecting with a friend or a fellow entrepreneur so we can encourage and motivate one another. However you reach out, you must. Those points of weakness are what will stop your growth journey. It can be so easy to stay in your comfort zone. But your comfort zone is NOT where your best life lies (this does not include the occasional #selfcareSaturday, complete with all day pajamas, mimosas, and Netflix. That comfort zone can be very important sometimes).
We are three weeks away from a new year, and once the ball drops in Times Square (side note: are they even going to do that this year? Ugh, 2020) people will be SO MOTIVATED to move toward being their best selves. The third week in January, discomfort will creep in and all of that motivation will take a hike. Here’s a thought…instead of waiting until 2021 to make a move toward growth, start right now. Finish this year strong; head into the new year three weeks closer to your best self.
Embrace the growing pains, friends. Acknowledge them, rest as needed, seek out support, but know that they’re going to happen and be prepared to withstand them. It’s an inevitable part of reaching new heights. And I cannot wait to see how far you go.
Sending you all of the love, and strength for those growing pains.
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My name is Miranda and I'm a mom, spouse, dance teacher, and entrepreneur. I’m going to share my life with you. The good, the bad, the weird. I hope to inspire you, encourage you, make you laugh. I’ll be honest. And I can’t wait to learn more about you through it all.