I woke up this morning, feeling incredibly driven for some reason, bright and early, 5AM. I shoveled my driveway, I took my trash out, and got right on my computer to start doing some work, when I came across an article that really made me think. For the longest time, I have been trying to rise back to the top, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but what I didn't realize is that I wasn't and still am not letting myself grow. I have always felt inadequate with myself, I would even sometimes display a narcissistic image, not that I am incredibly egotistical. I would just paint that image, a disguise, I wasn't real with myself. I have been lying to myself, what I thought was authentic, was in reality fake. Sometimes I would really feel I was growing, and I really believed it. See, what I realized is that a lot of the times I thought I was growing, but I wasn't really growing, I was just trying to fix or improve myself (not that there is anything wrong with that). But now I see what I was doing, I was displaying signs of inauthenticity, I was trying to cure an invisible sickness: my perceived insufficiency. This insufficiency is a merely a fabrication driven by your ego, and has nothing to do with real growth. Now I am a person driven by insufficiency, that's the problem. But what I am learning is that real growth has nothing to do with:
- Earning more money
- Becoming more popular or famous
- Adding things to your list of "accomplishments"
- Inflating your self of entitlement
- Ego based pursuits
On the other hand, fake growth is all about:
- The future
- Doing new things just for the experience
- Changing just because
- Counting everything
- Temporarily boosting your self-esteem
- Chasing meaningless causes
See, this is what I believed for the longest time, I am constantly on the path to changing, improvement, making money, experience, and the future. Now like I said, I don't believe there is absolutely anything wrong with this, I will continue to follow that path for the rest of my life. But what I believed was real growth isn't. I believed when I achieved something like improvements, changing, or experience, that I was really growing. The abundance of fake growth often hides in hard to find places.
All change is not growth; as all movement is not forward - Ellen Glasgow
Recognizing Fake Growth
You know the drive inside of you that is constantly dying to reach a higher level? That's the fake growth addiction in you, what you have led yourself to believe that you will grow from this experience. Real growth isn't about reaching another level or a higher level. It's not about constantly seeking "something" outside of yourself. Real growth is realizing that you are already more powerful than you could ever imagine, you are already whole, you are already complete. Real growth is about internal metamorphosis or alteration, a complete change with you.
See, fake growth consists of constantly chasing dreams, constantly trying to prove to yourself or others, inflating your ego, just to look better. Constantly trying to satisfy yourself and others around you, but you never do feel satisfied right? I don't, this is the number one sign of fake growth: continual chasing (constantly trying to improve).
In all honesty, I am 100% fake at this point (doesn't sound right, haha), and there is nothing wrong with constantly seeking to improve yourself at all. But what I am talking about is exploring you, and realizing what real growth really is, so you can better determine if you believe you are really growing, or if your just addicted right now.
The Secret Of Real Growth
Here is the thing I am learning, is that real growth doesn't need for you to approve or disapprove, it doesn't need any type of validation, nor does it need to be formally approved by a list of goals. Real growth doesn't have an ego, and it doesn't have some type of validation system. Real growth is about:
- Accepting problems, and facing them head on.
- Moving past a plateau, a higher level of understanding.
- Emancipation, not restriction
- Where you are now, the current moment
- Accepting the reality of a situation
- Experiencing a greater intimacy with life and a deeper passion for it.
Real growth just happens, real growth is just there. I feel from just realizing this, learning this, and writing about has just educated me tenfold. I hope this has helped you as it helped me realize the difference between the constant addiction of unnecessary but sometimes necessary addictions. Fake growth is healthy, but don't let it take you over, and blind you. Balance it. You need to grow internally, and externally. At least, I believe :)
Let me know what you think! Comments and feedback is appreciated! Subscribe to my blog if you like it!
Thanks to Jonathon Mead for opening my eyes on this.