“Go where it hurts!”

“Your biggest pain is your biggest source of growth!”

The longer I do the work I do the more I believe that this isn’t true.

After a lot of thinking I am coming back to two important seemingly simple but – to me – profound statements:

#1 Growth happens at the EDGE of your comfort zone.

Reading this carefully, we’ll notice that it does NOT take place in our panic zone.

To me, growth is all about taking an existing truth my brain is creating about a certain situation and courageously creating an imprint that just beautifully overpaints this truth with another truth that is more useful/ healthier. And for this process to be successful, I felt that these imprints needed to end on feeling of empowerment (or anything else that just feels “good” rather than “bad”).

To me, courage relies on at least some form of “feeling safe”, “feeling like it’s your choice”. And I fail to see how this is supposed to happen in panic zone.

Instead the experience I have with trying to grow from panic zone are pretty painful. They usually ended in enhanced fears and had a “re-“traumatising rather than a “de-“traumatising effect.

#2 You don’t have to overcome your fears. You just have to know what you want.

I recently came up with this quote in Mexico leading a workshop for university students. And it’s building on a very sweet comment from one of our Arc facilitators, Annika, who at the 2017 Lisbon Arc said: “Sometimes you just have to know why you are doing the sh**!”

And to me this is the second ingredient to courage: Understand why it is worth to let go of your current reality, and face the insecurity of believing a different truth although you haven’t tested it yet (read that sentence twice if you need).

#3 Fears can be faced. Boundaries need to be respected.

In practice this means: If you are curious about what’s behind that thing you don’t wanna face, it’s probably a fear.

If you are just scared and can’t say exactly why the heck you’d wanna overcome whatever it is that you are supposed to be facing: it’s probably a boundary. I have had my own experience with overstepping my own boundaries. None of them felt beneficial so far.

Long story short,

yes, we are all responsible for our own experience on this planet.

And yes, we don’t have to crucify ourselves to call us a diligent learner.