(Estimated reading time 2 minutes)

Our most significant growth comes from our deepest pain – yes – but what about the growth that comes from the small discomforts, the itchy, uncomfortable things that are so much a part of our landscape that we hardly notice them? What if we start to see the things we’re tolerating as an opportunity for our development – the dirty tape stuck to the cupboard door, the niggling self-doubt we struggle with, the slow-growing distance in a relationship. What if one day when we notice, we don’t dismiss it? What if on that day we pull off the tape? What if on that day, we take a deep breath and have that honest and courageous conversation? What if we feel that self-doubt and decide it’s got too much power?

What has dirty tape got to do with personal growth anyway? A week ago, I did a speech on Zoom. I decided to tape my notes to the cupboard door in front of my desk in the hopes I could look at them while speaking, and it would still look like I had direct eye contact with the participants. That didn’t work at all – you can’t fake eye contact! Shortly before speaking, I removed the notes from the door, but in my hurry, I left the tape. That tape stayed there for the whole week. The tape was a small annoyance – like a mosquito buzzing around my head in the dark. It was too minor to make me feel like I needed to deal with it, but big enough to get under my skin.

The personal growth that comes from small discomforts like these is about taking the time to notice what has become part of your landscape. Does it belong there? Is it helpful? What does it cost you? The growth is seeing, yes, allowing yourself to feel the impact and then pulling off the tape.

This Week’s Photos

The photos this week are in honour of growth coming from things that look discarded, decaying or broken. I love taking pictures that show contrast, like light and shadow or decay and growth. Helping clients find what matters from the things they’d rather weren’t part of their lives is one of the things I love about coaching. It would be an honour to work with you if you’d like to use what you find hard as a starting point for finding a way forward.

Seeing things in a new way and appreciating overlooked beauty are two things that I value greatly. I express that in part through one of my hobbies, photography, but it’s also one of the reasons I love coaching. I get to look with a fresh set of eyes. I get to find and share the unseen and unappreciated in people. If you’d like to experience seeing yourself in a new way that celebrates who you are, I’d love to talk with you about coaching.

Sue Das, Coach, CPCC, ACC, B Soc Sc (SW)

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