Growing Pains

When I set out on this new chapter I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I am humble enough to know I have a lot to learn. I have never started a job and knew how to do it, that would be boring. But holy moly there is a lot to learn and surprise, surprise I am not “acing” it on day 1. For context, I was not an “A student”, I am remarkably familiar with not being a star pupil, so I don’t think I have a complex of needing to be the creme de la creme. I left the “A” grades to my little sister. My daughter’s kindergarten taught them the mantra of “practice makes progress”. I love it. How warm and fuzzy, allowing our kids to not get frustrated or feel bad when they don’t know something out of the gate. I mean sheesh they are kids, they are just learning. Oh wait…. Does that apply to me too?? I know it “should”, but why is not knowing or not being great at something new such a huge blow to the ego!!!

A growth mindset is one where we look at our experiences not as failures, but focused on the things we are learning. If everything was easy, we wouldn’t grow. Awe, isn’t that so beautiful and positive! I really want to be that person who doesn’t feel bad and can look at situations as opportunities for growth, but man I am sooo tired! It is hard work to have to keep telling yourself that, on top of the learning new skills, when will it end! I just want to dive in, be amazing and comfortable, in my super performer zone. But low and behold it takes practice and patience. I know this in my head, so why can’t have a bit more compassion for my heart (and stomach ache)? When I was getting my masters I told my husband, “I didn’t like to learn.” To this day, that comment still gets a good laugh. I quickly restated that is it the act of learning through reading that I don’t love. New flash, adults don’t learn that way. But the bigger part I struggle with is that it highlights the stuff I don’t know. I value knowledge. Not having it makes me feel insecure. This, right now, is a perfect opportunity for me to reframe, I didn’t know the stuff before, and now I do… or know more. The growth mindset.

The funny part, or not so funny, more sad… is that when people around me don’t know something or are learning I have WAY more compassion for them (as long as they aren’t hurtful in their growth journey – although I try to empathize with what they are going through, but I am getting off topic). But compassion for myself when I am learning or trying something new… Nope! I am a loser who will never get there, who probably made the biggest mistake of her life, and should, blah blah blah… the negative stories continue. BUT NO! I am working (cognitive therapy, also hard) on re-wiring the very deep and rooted negative storylines in my brain to say “THIS, this is the growth mindset”. If I only did the stuff that came easy to me, well I don’t know what I would be doing, but it certainly wouldn’t be writing this (frightening and vulnerable) or being a mom (that scared the crap out of me), possibly still working at the Bagel Train on Route 59, that was a job that did come relatively easy; I still had my growing pains dealing with the general public, who PS are not always kind…There are millions of things I don’t know. I seem to be okay with not knowing how or why stars explode, although my husband keeps trying to teach me. I am not trying to boil the ocean with my knowledge, just the areas I am passionate about, so at least I have a box around it…I don’t feel bad about everything I don’t know (if that were the case I would never get out of bed).

So this is me, working on my growth mindset… challenging myself to learn something new. Every time I have done something challenging, it worked out. Not that it was easy, but to date I have little regret in life. I am more of the “regret the things you did, not the things you didn’t do,” kinda gal. I am beefing up on the positive self-talk. The positive mantras that are powerful to me, that empower me to keep going and have compassion. I have a vision, I have a plan, I have aptitude, and now I just need to keep the positive attitude and perseverance. When the growing pains become exhausting, I will keep reminding myself that nothing worth doing comes easy. I am not interested in a life of quiet desperation. I want to be pushing myself to try new things. When this time is over, I will be proud that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to fulfill the vision I set for myself. I must get out of my own way and let the plan take hold to keep moving forward. We got this! Whatever you want from life, you are in the drivers’ seat. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

“We don’t grow when things are easy, we grow when we face challenges.” ~Joyce Meyer

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

4 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. I love it! If you ever need someone to feed you tons of positive energy to support on your journey, just send me a note and I will be there.

    Super excited to connect December 8

    Keep them coming.



    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVED reading your blog Rachael. You remind us to be compassionate with our selves, to keep learning and enjoy the journey! I look forward to reading more!

    With Fondest Regards~
    And Love Always,
    Mimi Benvenuto


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