personal growth is not a sprint

personal growth is not a sprint
Photo by Toa Heftiba / Unsplash
"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." — Rainer Maria Rilke

Many people think that changing yourself or growing as a person is something that should happen quickly. They treat it like a race, rushing from one self-help book to the next guru to the next seminar. They want all the answers right away about life's big questions they are grappling with. But this is the wrong approach.

Personal growth is not a sprint, it's a journey. And paradoxically, the harder you frantically try to force change, the slower the real progress often comes. It's like struggling to open a big jar - the more you grip tightly and strain, the more stuck it becomes. But when you breathe, relax your grip, and gently keep working the lid, that's when it finally loosens.

The people who tend to make the most lasting changes in their lives are those who can embrace the journey itself. They learn to get comfortable with life's mysteries instead of demanding instant answers. They enjoy the process of self-discovery rather than aggressively chasing a finish line.

"The path isn't a straight line; it's a spiral. You continually come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths." — Barry H. Gillespie

It's understandable to want relief from your struggles. But someone fixated on racing towards personal transformation is actually running away from being present. They are fleeing from the discomfort of limbo and not knowing. True growth arises from being with yourself exactly as you are, without judgment. It blooms by staying curious, not impatient.

Like a tree growing over decades, you must let your roots go inward before your branches can stretch outward. Personal change unfolds at its own natural pace. So keep walking your path, but walk it with an open, easygoing stride. The more you can make peace with life's mysteries, the more those mysteries will peacefully unveil themselves to you.

For more exclusive insights on personal development and self-help, please check out my Substack publication "Betterthrive" here.