When we undergo a significant inner transformational change for the better, it is often preceded by a period of duress, a sense of loss and deep pain, even a sense that things are falling apart. It seems we humans need a strong jolt to the system sometimes to get our attention so that we can become more aware and realize that change is needed to get into alignment with our higher true selves. Unfortunately we don’t get much help out in the world on how to make this transition. There is so little training in society about letting go and detaching from our false, limiting beliefs. Too many of us are also encumbered by a scarcity mindset which makes it even harder to let go of the familiar; we fear there will be nothing better to replace what we are losing. Here is where faith comes in. If you can believe that you will, in time, be highly compensated for what you are asked to give up, then you can confidently move forward in your transformational breakthroughs knowing that despite your “loss” you are on your way to higher ground.
Key Principle: When tragedy or challenging hardships befall us and shake our very foundation to the point that we think we will never be the same, that is when we are ripe for a major transformation.
Nature’s Way of Teaching Us
Nature has a wonderful way of teaching us lessons about life. Consider when a forest fire hits a stand of mature trees. It can seem like a tragic loss, but actually it is an evolutionary catalyst. Seeds that were once unable to realize their potential finally crack open under the intense heat. With the clearing of the once dense canopy, these new seedlings are able to receive critical sunlight so they can flourish and come alive.
Just like a seed needs a force to break open and grow, so too do we need challenging events, even crises, that serve as catalysts to break us open and prepare us for new growth. This understanding can shed empowering light on our heartbreaks and give us the perspective to endure the growing pains. So when you find yourself broken open, my counsel from personal experience is this: Be patient with yourself, let the growth process happen, and embrace the journey.
C.S. Lewis gave a profound explanation of this transformational process when he wrote, “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building up a palace.”
The rewards for taking this journey—in discovering your voice of vocation, in realizing your gift to the world, in allowing your true self to emerge—is a life full of freedom, inner peace, and deep satisfaction.
(excerpt from Thriving in Turbulent Times)
John's passion is in helping people get unstuck so they can experience their true potential. Before starting his own practice he spent 14 years coaching, consulting, and presenting to Fortune 500 companies, teams, and individuals on how to breakthrough their barriers and magnify their talents.