How to Keep Your Growth Game Strong

How to Keep Your Growth Game Strong
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September is Self-improvement Month. It’s a timely reminder to stay woke on my growth game. Stagnation is not an option for me. It often leads to complacency, which then leads to murdered dreams. With my new lease on life, I do not have the luxury of staying the same.

Personal growth became a part of my life a few years before my transplant. I had always been open to learning new techniques for improving my life, but when my circumstances got down to the wire, it became abundantly clear what I had to do. I couldn’t stay the same if I expected to have a better life.

A short stack of reading material for my personal growth tendencies. (Photo by Lara Govendo)

Health situations, various relationships, and career changes propelled me forward into growing exponentially. I’ve learned the importance of comparing myself to my previous self rather than comparing myself to others. Learning what was important in my life was essential for growing at my own pace. This also taught me how to develop my own standards to measure my individual success and create the vision for my life.

Too often, we get stuck when we see others’ highlight reels on social media. Rarely do people show the reality of life behind the scenes. To be completely transparent with others, we must be willing to risk the picture others have built of us in their heads. It’s a struggle to continue growing when others aren’t growing alongside you. When people have an outdated version of you stuck in their minds, it’s challenging to maintain relationships.

There are key factors for positive progress on my own personal journey of self-improvement. Even with medical setbacks, there’s a way to keep the motion going forward. Because I’m familiar with the cha-cha of five steps forward, three steps back, I’ve concocted a formula for continuing to grow despite challenges.

Learning from others is crucial. I begin my mornings with podcasts or sermons of mentors. Starting the day off by renewing the mind is essential for growth. My favorite genre of books is personal development. Various people have influenced my life from diverse areas of expertise. I dive into books that deepen my understanding, wisdom, and knowledge.

Writing is another tool that has propelled my personal growth forward. Journaling has taught me how to process my feelings in a healthy way. It’s neat to look back at old journals to see my progress, learn from my past, and celebrate how far I’ve come. Writing has also been a way to connect with others and help those around me know they aren’t alone in their journeys.

Writing requirements: multiple journals, fancy pens, superb coffee, and a few laptops. (Photo by Lara Govendo)

Surrounding myself with those who support growth and grow with me has been a game changer. My growth depends on whom I surround myself with. Others have the ability to influence how we think, feel, and do life. It is of the utmost importance to spend time with those who are heading in the same direction so as to stay on course. These individuals are also imperative so we can encourage one another on our individual journeys. Additionally, accountability is essential for continuing our journeys forward. Having people who will keep us accountable to our goals is an accurate measurement of real love.

It’s also vital to have people in our lives with differing points of view. This stretches our ability to build acceptance and agape love. Having people who can hold challenging conversations while still honoring one another is a measure of true relationship. The world needs more of this to build diverse, united communities.

Rather than looking for others to change, looking inward and asking “what needs to change in me?” has led to personal responsibility and accountability for my own thoughts, words, and actions.

Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone has been crucial for self-improvement. Taking risks, thinking outside the box, and being the anomaly has led me to my truest self. Peeling back layers I have built of other people’s opinions, trying to fit in, and rejection, shame, and abandonment have revealed who I am at my core.

When we delve into learning more about what makes us who we are, it gives us the opportunity to heal and truly love ourselves. Embracing who we are also makes it easy to embrace who others are. There’s no competition when we were all built to be our unique selves and celebrated as such.

Growth is a journey, not a race. It’s something we have to work at every single day. Much like a muscle, the more we use it, the further we can push ourselves to be our best selves.

Never stop learning. Always keep growing. There isn’t a destination arrival of growth; it’s a continuous process. Growth is what you make it!

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Note: Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cystic Fibrosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cystic fibrosis.

Lara, 33, resides in Vermont (for now) as a wild, adventure enthusiast who holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She writes about living out loud and develops educational programs to restore hope to those in need. Thanks to her double-lung transplant in 2017 due to cystic fibrosis, you can now find Lara traveling on the regular, exploring the glorious outdoors, and belly laughing with her loves. She’s passionate about connecting with like-minded people, so join her at www.laragovendo.com and on social media (“Lungs4Lovey”) while she flies by the seat of her (no) pants.
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Lara, 33, resides in Vermont (for now) as a wild, adventure enthusiast who holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She writes about living out loud and develops educational programs to restore hope to those in need. Thanks to her double-lung transplant in 2017 due to cystic fibrosis, you can now find Lara traveling on the regular, exploring the glorious outdoors, and belly laughing with her loves. She’s passionate about connecting with like-minded people, so join her at www.laragovendo.com and on social media (“Lungs4Lovey”) while she flies by the seat of her (no) pants.
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