Conversations at the Crossroads.

Growing Pains

Recall a situation when you’ve complained that your brain “hurt” from learning a lot in a short amount of time. We’ve all been there. It happens often at the start of a new job, role or project. We lament how much we have to absorb, how challenging it is to learn the ropes, gain momentum, catch up, etc.

We grumble about “steep learning curves” that conjure images of uphill climbs.

We complain about the exhaustion.

And yet, we know that through these experiences we are growing ourselves—evolving our sense of self, expanding our understanding of what we are capable of accomplishing. Given the option to avoid a growth situation and related complaints, many of us choose to do it anyway. We sense that it’s good for us. We surmise that there can be meaning and purpose in all experiences, even the challenging ones, when we approach life with that mindset.

The exhaustion and headaches may be real, but we also have very real power over the way we enter into and react to these circumstances. We can focus on the pain, or we can focus on the gain. It’s a choice.

This week, think about your common topics of complaint and consider which of your pains might be growing pains. Acknowledge that the pain comes from moving past old boundaries, stretching beyond previous limitations to discover new things about yourself and the world.

Recognize that you could have taken a path of less resistance but didn’t.

Celebrate the fact that you chose to grow.

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?”

John Keats, Letters of John Keats

With support and encouragement for your journey,


Founder, The Crossroads Coach

Published October 22, 2013