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Thresholds

by Donna Bennett
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A Process of Personal Growth: Resistance, Revelation, Resilience

Resistance

Personal growth is a process that requires some degree of change. And, whether you invite it or it is imposed on you, there is usually a period of uncertainty that goes with it. As a result, a certain amount of resistance is inevitable. However, if the degree of change is too painful, you may become so resistant that you become immovable. That is, when you are at the point where you can't go back to what was, and you can't even imagine what could be. When, no matter which way you turn, you are held back by fear, panic and worry. Fear of all the unknowns; panic that if you weren't already uncertain, the dire warnings of others ("You're going to do WHAT?") will get you there; and the worry that no one wants to face: "What happens if I fail?"

It can feel so scary that staying in place seems more comfortable than taking even one small step forward. You see no options, nothing feels right and you are stuck. It's okay and healthy to be stuck for a while if the time is used productively. If not, and you stay stuck too long, you may find yourself in a permanent state of resistance.

So, how can you get yourself unstuck and moving again? You don't suddenly discard the pain. That is unrealistic. Rather, you can choose to take fear, panic and worry along with you. Then watch how they get smaller the more you take action and regain control of your choices and decisions.

Revelation

The goal then is to make a fluid transition from resistance to revelation. To do that, take an honest analysis of what holds you back. Then without self-judgment or defensiveness, take note of your choices. You can choose to stay frozen in self-doubts and fears, or you can make the transition a productive, imaginative and active time of growth and discovery. How? Begin by using every trusted resource available to you - friends, classes, colleagues, mentors, internet, acquaintances - anyone or anything that informs and increases your knowledge towards positivity and action. This has a wonderful side effect: it gets you back in control of your own life.

Resilience

When you decide to move through resistance and open yourself to revelation, you take on a protective coat of resilience. Resilience is when you have learned and experienced a new way of moving with and beyond challenges until it becomes a part of you. So that when you come to a new threshold, you can tap into your past times of change and utilize this process to help you move forward again. Rather than "learned helplessness," you learn to take control, and create and manage each stage of your own life. Things won't be the same. They will be different at every juncture. Yet, each time, it will be a personal time of growth that is solely YOURS.

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