This post first appeared on Grit & Grace Life.
Toward the end of one of our sessions together, my life coach tasked me with an unusual piece of homework:
“I want you to write your own obituary and read it to me during our next session. What did loved ones say about you? How did you lead your life? Who did you impact? Put it all in there and let yourself go wild with it.”
This particular session centered on my feelings of being stuck regarding a new venture…I was desperate to get back to my “why” and remember what I was initially after. “It’s like my feet are glued to the ground, and everything around me is moving forward. I feel like a passive participant in my own life,” I told her.
The truth is, I’m a self-proclaimed dreamer with countless goals and intentions for my life. Despite my craving for upward movement, growth, and lasting transformation, I’m also well-acquainted with stagnation. But the more I listen to others share their stories, the more I’ve discovered I’m not the only one who experiences the paralyzing fear of being stuck in a rut. Stagnation is normal and happens to all of us at one time or another.
Years ago, I came across a quote: “Change is hard. Stagnation is fatal.” These words, along with those penned by poet Mary Oliver, “[…] Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?,” serve as reminders that growth requires deliberate and intentional effort on our parts.
Stagnation shows up in practically all areas of our lives. Historically, I wasn’t self-aware enough to get below the surface and ask myself the deeper questions vying for exploration. Yet to get to where we want to be, we must become aware of where we are today.
Even with the fair amount of work I’ve done around stagnation, it still appears from time to time. Yet, I’ve come to embrace the reality that real growth is often a slow, grit-filled process, and we often won’t notice we’re moving from point A to B in the moment. Only after time has passed can we look back and see it. So celebrate every small, intentional step you take along the way—it may make great content for your own obituary homework!
“Change is hard. Stagnation is fatal.” These words serve as a bold reminder that growth (or lack thereof) demands work and effort.
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