Growth Isn’t Linear

We all want to improve. Furthermore, we want improvements to come easily. Of course we do, why not? That would make life a lot more enjoyable, right?

The thing is, improvement is far from an easy thing to find for yourself. Growth often takes questioning your views, your opinion, how you’re living your life. It sometimes takes facing things you fear. Growth can require taking on challenges, overcoming obstacles. Conflict is better than stagnation, and I believe it completely.

But one will find growth in other ways, ways they haven’t yet explored, and this I came to realize when I began to push myself too far. I’m a firm believer in moving outside of one’s own comfort zone and that is reflected in my writing. I constantly encourage people to do stuff they’ve never done before. To go the extra mile. I do my best to do the same, to practice what I say.

English: Sparklers with a slow shutter speed.

Maybe if everything in life stopped being rushed, we would be able to read the words in the sky, instead of wondering what those odd squiggles say. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But I realized that in giving everything I had to improving on this and that and everything, I was losing myself and moving closer and closer to snapping, to burning out. Anyone that goes through a similar experience knows quite well the feeling of taking one step forward, and then falling two backwards.

I realize now that I was consumed with always moving forward and getting better, getting my way. It didn’t matter at what, what mattered was that I did. I put all my attention to being the best I could be, and in doing that, I began doing something else – forcing my will on life. When I say that, I mean that I was trying to make everything go my way. Needless to say, frustration is inevitable with that mindset.


No matter how much you may like to think of yourself as a train on a straight path to Heaven, or Enlightenment, you’re not. No path through life is straight. (Photo credit: Martin Deutsch)

Being who I am, I feel like I need to perform at all times. I often give myself no time to relax, no time to enjoy, and in doing so, am able to accomplish less, sometimes nothing. I never let myself slow down and stop doing.

Growth is not solely found in doing, doing, doing. Learning to go with the flow, to be a follower sometimes, to listen and take in and be – that’s growth too. This is why I say that growth isn’t linear, it doesn’t follow a line. There are many things we must learn, and they do not all stack up one on top of each other to be taken apart one by one. When you hit a rut, stop, reconsider, and maybe go a new direction. Sometimes we feel our progress, and life is good. Sometimes, we lose sight of where we are and everything feels dark.

Just remember that growth isn’t linear, just as your life is not just a straight line.



9 thoughts on “Growth Isn’t Linear

  1. That is so true. I have to say that I’m exactly the same. As a younger writer, I feel as if I always have to prove myself, and as if something extraordinary will be the only way to do that. You talk of relaxing, and letting yourself just do nothing, but I constantly feel as though I’m not doing anything. It may be my sedentary lifestyle, or my introvertedness taking hold, but there never seems a moment when I think I should be doing something productive to raise me above the crowds. I’m only satisfied when I’m producing something that I feel is extraordinary, or participating in an occasional bout of socializing. My cousin is someone nearly constantly on my mind, a girl of eighteen now who hasn’t thought of college yet, and has been home schooled since halfway through freshman year. Maybe it’s her presence on my mind, because I constantly fear the future, and what is to come. I don’t particularly fear death, failure, or even poverty. No, what scares me is the fact that I may never even come close to fulfilling any of my goals, whether it be a getting through college, or writing an award winning novel.

  2. Pingback: The Future Can Wait « rhykahsramblings

  3. I’m under the impression that your path can be a straight line. Just in the moment, it feels disjointed and fragmented. Who is to say with distance and time, we couldn’t see that? Isn’t it all about how you look at it? Couldn’t two people see the same journey, the same direction, completely differently? Interesting post.

    • Yeah, I suppose it is a bit about perspective. I think seeing life as a straight line would almost imply several things, such as the influence/dominance of fate, or perhaps the view that we follow the line of time, as time is a line (I don’t see it that way).

  4. With every post you write, I become a bigger fan of yours. 😀
    Your are right.If Life could be a straight line, wouldn’t be there lifes that are the same?!And I’m sure that there is no such thing!Everyones life-line is curved.The opportunities and the relaxation pauses in your life give this line it’s unique curves that no other life has!
    Great writing!

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