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My Five Fs of Growth

You may have read a recent blog post of mine, Change for a Purpose. Well, when I made that change I also embarked on my new journey of personal growth and creating the me and the life I want to live. It is a path that continues to lead to new paths and the growth journey just keeps going. I have found myself in stages along this journey and I believe they expand more and more as we continue to grow.

  1. Forgiveness

When my world was turned upside down a few years ago and I realized that so much of life as I had known it had been a huge sham, I became very down and upset and even angry. I had wasted decades of my life fulfilling the expectations of others and not being the person I wanted to be. I had mistaken the control and manipulation for love, respect, and support. Regret began to overflow my thoughts. Regrets of a career that I had followed instead of the one I had wanted. Regret of the person I often was because I was constantly filled with frustration and unfulfillment. Along this journey I learned that the best way to let go of the hurt and betrayal was forgiveness. It is a conscious decision to forgive someone that has greatly hurt you. Forgiveness is the way to not letting them control your heart. Forgiveness isn’t saying that what they did is okay. And forgiveness isn’t re-establishing a relationship (especially if it is dangerous to do so). Forgiveness is saying you are letting go of the hurt consuming you. But even after I made it through this process, I was still constantly regretting all the years I had wasted. And that is when I figured out that you also have to forgive yourself. We can’t change the past and if we spend all our time dwelling on the past and what might have been, we aren't changing the future for ourselves. Forgiving oneself is not a free pass to continue regretful behavior; forgiveness is closing the door on regret and changing your behavior to become who you want to be. Will there still be mistakes? Of course; but they will come from a mind of intentionality that is always looking to better itself.

2. Full Responsibility

Once forgiveness has taken place, it is time to take Full Responsibility. I spent so much time blaming the people that had betrayed and hurt me because they had ruined so much. But blaming wasn’t going to change the past either and it wasn't going to get me anywhere onto the path of becoming the person I wanted to be. Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” put into perspective taking Full Responsibility for the quality of your life. Early in the book on page 5, it states "If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you can't and why you haven't up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances." We can not control what others do to us but we can control our reaction. We can control the boundaries we put up to protect ourselves. I asked myself hard questions about how I could take responsibility for all the years I had regretted. I was responsible for being a people pleaser. I was responsible for not initiating hard conversations. I was responsible for maintaining the status quo to avoid conflict. I was responsible for not seeking personal growth sooner. It was time to change the behavior that was producing those same results.

3. Find Your Purpose

Now that it was time to change my behavior in order to produce different results, I had to ask myself what I wanted the result to be. I had to ask myself what is my Why? What brings me the most joy to do? What qualities most define me? As I began listing out the answers to these questions, I quickly realized how wrong my old path was. I was nowhere near my purpose. I began to immerse myself into new activities that were aligned with these lists I had made. Even though I was completely out of my comfort zone, I experienced repeated WOW moments as I enjoyed what I was trying. As you begin to discover your true purpose and live it, you are only inspired to continue diving deeper into it. Living our purpose is what we are here for and how we help make the world a better place.

4. Focus

Living our purpose is often easier said than done. There are distractions everywhere so staying focused is key! We define our goals once we know our purpose and we have to stay on track to achieve them. The world is a noisy place. Focus your relationships on people that support you and want to see you succeed. There are haters everywhere and to maintain focus you have to create boundaries to keep those people out. To stay focused, you have to learn to say NO to things that don't align with your purpose, even if you feel expected to do them. I have taken on a lot of new tasks on this journey but I have been mindful that they are the right ones for me. I have turned down several tasks as well. It wasn't meant negatively but I knew my purpose wasn't aligned for it so I wasn't the best person for the role. Your focus must remain clear.

5. Fulfillment

As you start living your life of purpose and staying focused and accomplishing goals, the joy and happiness you have living each day creates the most fulfilling life! And it fuels you to do it more and deeper and again and again. I am excited every morning when I wake up. Little things don't bother me like they used to because they are just little things. I stay focused on my path for the day and truly focus on the joy of everything and how fulfilled I am by becoming a better me each and every day.

If you are struggling with your purpose and being fulfilled, take your life back. I truly encourage you to forgive those that have hurt you and are hindering you, forgive yourself for your regrets, make a list of how you can take full responsibility for your life, make a list of what you enjoy most and a list of talents and qualities you have then align those to find your purpose, focus on your purpose and create goals, both short term and long term. It's the path to fulfillment!


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