I’ve kept a journal ever since I was in middle school and I still have them all. For the longest time when I would look back at old diaries I found that I complained about the same things. I hadn’t experienced much growth in areas of my life I needed to address to have more confidence and inner peace. At one point it was frustrating but it was also a great way to recognize that I had work to do.
I began a personal growth journey that remains, at times still quite challenging. Once you’ve decided you want to work on yourself it seems there will be nonstop difficulties to help you grow and test what you’ve learned.
For instance, when I decided I wanted more inner peace, difficult experiences and people popped up all over the place to test my ability to keep my cool. And what I’ve noticed is that once you pass your tests, there are new and harder ones to take their place. It’s called leveling up.
Though it can be exhausting to transform, the satisfaction you get from reaching higher ground within yourself is rewarding. I’ve realized lately that I’ve grown, and it feels wonderful. But how do you know you’ve changed? I found that it’s a gradual process leading to a sudden realization that you’ve left a former version of yourself behind. Now, when I look at journal entries from even a year ago, or find myself handling something differently today, I can say, “Wow, I’ve changed.” Feels awesome.
I’ve noticed a few nice differences in myself that have made my inner life easier. And none of these are constants as I still slip back into old ways or thinking on occasion, but overall, I am more evolved.
I am no longer as bothered by things that used to really annoy me.
I’ve adopted a new found acceptance of the way things are that leaves me more at peace than constantly getting worked up over things and people I feel should be different.
I am able to handle personal crisis better.
I am able to see other people’s struggles better and depersonalize their dysfunctional behavior. (That’s a biggie!)
These are just a few ways I’ve leveled up personally. It’s a much better place for me to be with myself than before, where things and situations I didn’t need to give energy to stole too much of my peace.
Personal growth can be a rough ride, but meet yourself with compassion when you feel you haven’t met your goals or expectations. And celebrate yourself when you find that you have. Those moments when you realize you’ve worked hard and transformed are golden.
How is your personal growth journey going? How do you know you’ve achieved your personal growth goals?