Every body who is serious about growth needs to outgrow certain things and people along the way. In order for us to reach success and greatness in our chosen area of purpose in this life, we need to get rid of whatever is not part of the identity we are building in order to achieve our unique purpose. The process of growth mostly entails more “getting rid of” than adding to our life.
Just like a snake sheds a skin that suited him like a glove during a certain growth stage, we need to shed that which no longer fit us and hamper our movement on the journey of personal growth. If we cling to certain things and people who are no longer aiding us in moving forward, we get distracted and it becomes more of a hindrance than a help, like wearing shoes that are too small start getting uncomfortable and painful and the more we insist on continue walking with them, the more we are chafed and slowed down until it eventually gets so painful that we cease walking at all.
We as humans were not designed to stagnate. We can either move forward or we back slide. Just like the universe expands daily, we were created to make progress on a daily basis. When we try to hang on to the past, the things and people who no longer serve us, has a hold on us and we get stuck in a place in time where we do not belong any more. Feeling “stuck”, feeling “like a square peg in a round hole” and experiencing other stifling emotions, are all signs that the people we surround ourselves with and the things we occupy ourselves with no longer helps us to move forward.
The longer we deny that it is the refusal of getting rid of that which holds us back, the more painful our circumstances will get. What we need to realize, is that this pain is “good” pain, like labour pains that intensify to let a mother know that it is time for her baby to be born and to push it out into this world to start his/her own journey of life, is “good” pain.
Holding on to things and people from our past that do not aid us in our growth, let us die a little every day, the authentic identity that we strive to create becomes more and more smothered by the “dead wood” that drowns us. James Clear, habit specialist, put it this way, in an article on having too many ideas that eventually exhausts you and keep you away from what will be the most prolific for your personal growth:
“As a rose bush grows it creates more buds than it can sustain. If you talk to an experienced gardener, they will tell you that rose bushes need to be pruned to bring out the best in both their appearance and their performance.
You see, a rose bush isn’t like a tree. It can’t grow wider and taller each year. And that means if you never trim away some of the buds, then the bush will eventually exhaust itself and die. There are only so many resources to go around. And if you really want a rose bush to flourish, then it needs to be trimmed down not just once, but each year. 
Ideas are like rose bushes: they need to be consistently pruned and trimmed down. And just like a rose bush, pruning away ideas — even if they have potential — allows the remaining ideas to fully blossom.
Just like the rose bush, we face constraints in our lives. We have a limited amount of energy and willpower to apply each day. It’s natural for new ideas and projects to come into our life — just like it’s natural for a rose bush to add new buds — but we have to prune things away before we exhaust ourselves. In other words: new growth is natural and it’s normal for tasks and ideas to creep into your life, but full growth and optimal living requires pruning.”
We can derive from this imagery that it is not just things from the past but things and people that we encounter daily that needs to be pruned away in order to keep on growing. Simplifying our life in order to concentrate on that that is uniquely important to every one of us individually, is of paramount importance for growth.
We must learn to make it a daily habit to review what is of true importance for our growth. We get so easily distracted by people and things in our busy life. The way to counter this, is to become self aware. A daily journal is a good way to keep track of our thoughts and feelings and to evaluate if we are still on the right track.
It is sometimes painful to let go of outdated things and people, but we must realize that they are part of our past, they are part of the ego life that we try to shed in order to let the authentic self shine through in order to live our optimum life. You might have noticed that it is usually old people who keep memories of the past alive by keeping on talking about it repeatedly. these are people at the end of their lives who have no more plans for the future and are getting ready to once and for all leave this life. As long as you live and move forward to fulfill your unique purpose, you dare not look back and long for that which was once part of the journey but no longer serves you. In the Christian Bible we read about Lot and his wife, who had to leave the city they settled in behind before God destroyed it by fire. God ordered them not to look back but to move on forward. Lot’s wife turned to look back and turned into a salt pillar. M.Scott Peck in his book “Further along the road less travelled” says that she was literally “pickled”. She could not move forward and was in a state of stasis, a useless state of inaction.
In order to grow, we need to “out grow” and keep on moving forward. As long as we do not look back or get distracted and stay extremely selective about who and what we keep and add on our journey, we will fulfill our potential and unique purpose and our lives will flow easily. Keep on challenging yourself. Keep on asking yourself: “Does this thing or person still serve me on my journey to greatness?” If not- let it or them go. You can know that as long as you keep growing in this way, all you need for every part of your journey will be provided. Your path will be clear enough to see the opportunities and things and people that are needed to help you grow every inch of the way.
If you feel your path is so overgrown that you need help in pruning it, get a life coach to help you clear the way and guide you towards the way of optimum growth.
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