Sometimes Growth Feels Gross (or, Today’s Full Moon and the Discomfort of Changing Your Story)

“May we remind ourselves that growth doesn’t need to feel good to be good for us in the long run.” ~Chani Nicholas

THIS.

Whether or not you’re into astrology and tracking the cycles of the moon, this message from the infinitely wise and talented Chani Nicholas on this day of the full moon is so on point I couldn’t not share it.

Growth is painful sometimes.

(Ahem, most of the time.)

It can feel fucking terrible and make staying the same seem like the better and more desirable option. The discomfort of becoming something different than you are right now without any guarantee about what exactly your efforts to change will ultimately bring about in your life can feel like it’s not worth the effort.

But I promise you:  IT IS. Always.

If you listened to this week’s episode of the podcast I am co-hosting with my brilliant friend, Tracey, you will have heard me talk about my recent efforts to write a new story for myself after getting stuck in a longstanding but outdated story about negativity and pessimism and not being a person who is able to easily engage with the upside in most situations.

As part of this process, the questions I am repeatedly asking myself these days are:  What if I could be an optimistic person? And what if the story I’ve been telling about myself this whole time just isn’t true?

What if I could change my story?

The answer to this last question is that I absolutely can change my story. And so can you. If we want to. If we choose to put in the effort to do so. If we’re willing to get really uncomfortable along the way.

Because I’ve done it before. With great success. And, yes, a shit ton of discomfort.

And let me tell you, I have been unbelievably uncomfortable quite a lot these past few weeks. My anxiety alarm bells have been going off left and right urging me to dig in my heels, to double down on my hypervigilance, to make sure I’m always on guard for any potentially undesirable outcome that might come my way at work, at home, in life.

But the alarm bells are getting quieter and I am getting more adept at not allowing them to dictate my thoughts or actions or attitude.

Like Tracey suggests in this week’s podcast, I have been giving my old story about negativity and disaster-planning a giant hug when it shows up, thanking it for its efforts, and then letting it pass me by so I can write a new, more beneficial-to-me narrative in its wake.

One in which good things happen all the time.

And one in which I’m actually able to focus on and appreciate these good things when they occur.

This doesn’t mean I don’t give myself permission to entertain possible pitfalls and prepare for the unexpected. As I spoke about in this article last year, there is real value in acknowledging the worst case scenario and deciding that you are going to be just fine regardless of what happens.

That being said, there is a difference between making room for the less awesome outcomes in your brain space and allowing those possibilities to become the first and most powerful ideas to pop up in your head.

And this is the essence of the change I am working to create in my life.

The verdict thus far?  Two uncomfortable and enthusiastic thumbs up.

What I’m trying to say here is:   You can change your story. You can write a new narrative. And even if it’s terrible and painful and challenging along the way, it will absolutely be worth it.

Remember:  “Growth doesn’t need to feel good to be good for us in the long run.”

Many thanks to Chani Nicholas for articulating this truth so beautifully, thereby saving me the effort of trying to figure out how to do so on my own.

(P.S. If you’re not following her work yet, you should.)