Here are 5 signs that your hard work is paying off and you are growing as a person.

There are parts of my story I still shake my head at. I find myself questioning how and why years later. I’m finding that even now, while I’m working hard to move forward, I have moments where I lose my footing and am knocked backwards. During these times, it’s easy to feel intensely discouraged, and have feelings like, “Why am I still dealing with this? I thought I forgave. I thought I healed. Why am I still grieving this loss?”

Few things give us the opportunity to grow and change like pain.

Rachel Taylor

If we have been in adulthood for long, then we know the truth that life can wreck us. Things happen that we never anticipated, or we make mistakes we wish we hadn’t. Friends lie to us, loved ones betray us, people pass away, spouses leave, we miscarry in pregnancy, we get fired from a job we loved…we each are left with a story that we wish we didn’t have.

signs of personal growth

Before we burn all of our hard work and progress to the ground, counting it as a failure, I want to remind us of this truth: we are growing! We’re healing.

Healing from pain is a process. This means that it rarely comes instantly. It rarely even comes within a few months. Healing requires growth and growth requires a process that takes time.

What does it mean to grow as a person?

My definition of personal growth is directed, or self-guided, improvement towards a healthy body, soul, and spirit. It’s when we dig deep in spite of our pain in order to understand better and get better. It’s when our triggers trigger us less, and we are able to learn boundaries to keep the peace we have worked hard to obtain within.

So, how do I know when I’m growing as a person?

Does it mean I’m not healing if I’m still hurting? No, not at all. The pain can be an indication that we aren’t numbing our pain anymore. This is a good thing! Numbing our pain through alcohol, drugs, tv binges, and other relationships may seem to work for a short while, but when we quit numbing, we are left right where we started. No healing progress is made when we numb out. It only pushes our healing further down the road.

Deep wounds take time and care to heal. When I was in college, I opened a soup can only to receive a deep finger cut. It hurt badly and bled for a long time. Stitches at the emergency room would have been in order, but I was a broke college student with no insurance. I was in nursing school, so I decided I would doctor the wound myself. Problem solved!

Thankfully, I was up to date on my tetanus vaccine, and the cut did not get infected. It did however hurt for weeks. It hurt to take notes in class and to do my job at the dry cleaners. Even after it closed and scarred, the scar throbbed. It was no longer at risk for infection and the pain lessened, but it still ached from time to time.

Our hearts are the same way. Just because they are working through the healing process, doesn’t mean it won’t still hurt. Even when we have long moved past it, the scar may ache from time. As pain and grief comes in waves, so does healing and hope.

signs of personal growth

5 Signs You’re Growing as a Person

1. You let things flow.

As we get healthy, we learn to let go of control because we learn this truth: we do not control other people. We can’t control their words, their reactions, their opinions of us, or their beliefs. It may hurt like hell to believe someone was on our team only to find out they weren’t, but it shows growth when we understand their behavior is not our responsibility. I control me and they control them. We’re growing when we learn we are valuable regardless of what anyone else says or does, and because of that we let things be how they are instead of running ourselves ragged proving our own worth.

2. Your happiness isn’t determined by others.

It’s been said before, but bears repeating. Happiness is an inside job. If we have built our perspective around the belief that it’s someone else’s responsibility to make us happy, we will always be left wanting. When we set goals for ourselves because we are powerful people that are capable of growing, building, and loving, then we are on way to growing as a person. Hint: start with small, easy to achieve goals. This will help us build momentum for the big stuff. If our lives aren’t built on the praises of people, then it won’t crumble upon their dissatisfaction.

3. You value peace over drama.

Have you ever been in a relationship or friendship that was emotionally draining? It’s easy to tell if this is the case, because with every encounter, you walk away feeling there is less of you. It can feel as is if you are constantly treading water, fighting to be heard and understood, but slowly wearing out through the process. Growth comes when we value peace over drama. This may mean having to let go of draining situations or people. It may not mean complete separation, but may include healthy boundaries so both parties are honored and feel safe. It also looks like ducking out of situations full of gossip because we understand that tearing others down is nothing to be proud of.

4. You work to forgive more.

The value of forgiveness is enormous. Many times, we withhold forgiveness because we believe that it let’s the other person off the hook for what they have done. This isn’t the case though! Forgiveness allows our heart to release hurts and move forward. It offers the opportunity for peace in our own lives because it releases bitterness. We live more free and more whole when we choose to walk the road of forgiveness. And it is a walk! Forgiveness is rarely a one time choice. Instead, it’s made up of a decision to forgive again and again until your heart is free. If you are choosing to release hurts and walk in forgiveness, then you are growing!

5. You respect others.

You matter, but so do I. A huge red flag in relationships is when one person has to be invisible to make the relationship work. When our thoughts or differing opinion is met with anger, belligerence, or worse, abuse, then we aren’t being respected, and the relationship is unhealthy. A sign of growth and health is when we can respect each other even if we disagree, and even if we aren’t understanding the other’s viewpoint. When we adopt the view, “You matter, but so do I,” then we are experiencing growth and learning to value ourselves and others.

signs of personal growth

Growing as a person is a process. We don’t expect plants to grow and produce fruit in one day, and we shouldn’t expect it of ourselves either. These 5 signs show us that we are growing as a person, even if we still struggle with hurt. They reassure us that all of the hard work we are putting in is paying off, and we are on our way to a healthier, stronger self.

Interested in books that help personal growth? Keep Your Love On, Boundaries, and The Gifts of Imperfection are my top three!

Because you received a double dose of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of endless joy and everlasting bliss.

Isaiah 61:7 (TPT)

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