Hello, thanks for reading today’s Cathy Chats. Sentry News is a dream fulfilled. The site evolved alongside my faith, writing skills, and personal growth. Launching the site helped me focus on personal and business-oriented values. However, my passion for sharing news and information drives me to write daily. In fact, my day doesn’t start well unless I sit down and write because focusing on a single task slows down ever-present and often annoying inner dialogue.
Despite having a writing/publishing calendar, breaking news, press releases, or intriguing interview offers often cause me to shuffle publication dates. And regardless of believing the change will benefit readers, there is still an internal struggle against the need for organization. Fortunately, at nearly 65, life experience and therapy taught me to allow for unexpected situations.
Personal growth happens whether or not we want it to occur. It is up to us to decipher the value of the change: Is it positive or negative?
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) taught four planes of development that begin at birth and extend into adulthood. Early adulthood, ages 18 to 24, is the 4th stage. Here individuals start to ponder their contribution to humanity. This assessment was based on the scientific knowledge of her time.
Adjusting Montessori’s data to reflect today’s maturation periods would extend the 4th stage to age 26 when the frontal lobe fully matures.
Unaddressed psychological and physical trauma can cause emotional development delays as well. For many, emotional maturity is difficult to achieve, given the chaos found today in families, schools, and society.
While reliable statistics are limited, COVID-19 shutdowns dramatically challenged children, adolescents, and adults’ ability to adapt.
They were forced to socialize online, negatively affecting their mental acuity, stalling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery, and decreasing overall mental wellness. Conversely, the lockdowns prompted discussion about mental health awareness and personal growth.
Overcome Delayed Personal Growth
Surprisingly, the COVID restrictions affected me in unexpected ways. I have worked from home for the last 15 years due to a disability that makes traveling to and from a job difficult. As a result, I thought staying at home would not be as difficult of an adjustment as those who left home to work or attend school.
However, I felt a tremendous loss. I missed my support network and the people I saw at church or community meetings. The pandemic and decreased human interaction delayed my personal growth and stability. Admittedly, I struggle to regain what I lost during the seemingly endless shutdowns.
How does a person overcome personal growth delays? Jude King says the key discussion surrounding personal development “emphasizes determination, discipline, persistence, creativity,” and more. He asserts the biggest challenge to improving ourselves is our struggle with impatience.
King compared this struggle with intuitively understanding that in the physical world, it takes nine months for a baby to be born or about three months for seeds to grow tomatoes.
For some reason, we trust that time is necessary but won’t give change the same understanding. “But when it comes to personal growth, we seem to think we can short-circuit.” King continued, for example: “We think we can read a book or article that would magically make all our procrastination [disappear] — forever. We seem to think that a chronic bad habit can be shed forever just [by] sitting through a 60-minute webinar.”
He declared the examples showed poor judgment, which wouldn’t really be a problem if the consequences were significant. When the change we seek doesn’t happen in a snap, “we become frustrated and jaded about the concept of personal growth and development.”
Personal growth may look like a scam, especially if we expect it to happen quickly. Therefore, the reality is that it, like most processes in the physical world, requires tremendous patience.
Journey Toward Change
King’s words hit close to home; he helped me to realize I am impatient with the molasses-like slowness of developing personal growth. Every time I’ve attempted to rush change, it figuratively says, tells me to wait. When I actually relax, I can see the small differences. I remind myself that a half-hearted change is akin to an undercooked turkey.
Moreover, I remind myself that it takes time to break a habit. New data reveals the 21-day timeframe is not accurate. Essentially, what researchers say is that 21 days is a myth. According to Medical News Today, study participants were tasked with forming a new habit. The study’s results led researchers to conclude it can take anywhere between 18 and 254 days, and people are more likely to change a physical habit rather than changing their thought processes. After reading that, I will give myself a break from self-chastisement.
How about you? Do you struggle with personal growth or believe the concept is a therapist or motivational speaker’s capitalist agenda?
By Cathy Milne-Ware
Medium: Cultivating Patience For Personal Growth; by Jude King, Ph.D.
Thinkamajigs: All About Montessori’s 4 Stages of Growth
Featured and Top Image by Noorulabdeen Ahmad Courtesy of Unsplash
First Inset Image by Valentina Conde Courtesy of Unsplash
Second Inset Image by Dollar Gill Courtesy of Unsplash
Third Inset Image by Jonathan Borba Courtesy of Unsplash