Is there any easy way to know if you have personally evolved and grown?
If you are reading this, it is likely that you have participated in personal development programs or read books about self improvement.
Many times, you may have taken on board new beliefs, ideas or habits that have altered the way you approach situations in life.
Yet, even when we have consciously modified who we are, “worked” on ourselves and developed a stronger sense of our place in the world, then we might still berate ourselves for not quite “being enough”.
Often, that disappointment in ourselves is sourced in comparing ourselves to others.
Exploring a comparison of self-with-self is more empowering. Plus, doing that in relationship to people, places or moments from our past.
For example, I’m now quite proficient at getting around changing my web sites. I take so much of that knowledge for granted. Yet, the other day, I was speaking with a friend who’d only just learned how to cut and paste text in a computer document.
Nelson Mandela said something great about this. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged, to find the ways in which you yourself have altered”.
All life experiences change us. Changing us in ways that we may not even recognize.
We are in the center of a whirling pool of activity. Often, the changes to our essence are subtle yet exponential, as we bump against new experiences.
We live through many powerful experiences. Helping us see something in a completely different light and from a brand new perspective. Furthermore, this continues to have a domino effect, changing our perspective in follow-on scenarios.
Let’s say, for example, a family of a completely different culture to your own moves into a house next door. Over time, you learn about the ways that they perceive life. You learn about some of their customs that are different to your own.
As a result, when you next meet someone else from that same ethnicity or another, then you are likely more understanding and can better engage in conversation. Therefore leading to you connecting with new people, fresh ideas and brand new experiences.
Years down the track, you might well believe that you’ve always been an open minded person, without bias towards alternative cultures. In addition, you forget completely your very first experience, which was the catalyst for you becoming that person. Subsequent relationships with people of various ethnicity, has then continued to evolve the way that you relate to any person who is different to you.
When you’re ever feeling despondent about not having made much progress in any area of your life, take yourself back. As far as you can recall, return to a time when certain personal traits were not a part of your make-up.
Make time to revisit your old school, a city where you’ve lived or reconnect with a long lost friend. It may open up your eyes to all the forward steps that you have taken and the positive changes in you. Give yourself a pat on the back!
Over the years that growth is exponential, which we so often don’t see for ourselves.
Keeping a journal, over an extended period of time, is a terrific way to record your evolution. Re-reading it will help you in those times that you feel there has been no forward movement.