A friend of mine was pregnant and there seemed to a lot of snarky negativity infiltrating her life – from friends, family, work, school people… So I wrote these words on a post-it and stuck it to the side of her cubicle “Positive vibes ONLY… I’m growing a person”. I’m pretty sure that more than decade later this post-it still hangs on her wall.

If you’re constantly taking on the doom and gloom/ sky is falling attitude of those around you, that same negativity will infiltrate everything you’re focused on. While you can’t dictate how others think, act or project, you are entirely in control of what happens between your own ears. And just as the negativity of a cranky co-worker or friend can permeate any situation, so too can your positivity, joy or optimism. You get to be in charge here! You get to say POSITIVE VIBES ONLY!

When you’re in the process of creation – whether it’s a baby inside of you, the manifestation of a family, a business or project – the energy that you absorb turns into the energy that creates this new “thing”. When I worked in the corporate world I’d often sit at my desk sending emails and I’d think of things that made me smile a big genuine smile while I sent correspondence. My logic behind this was that if I was thinking happy thoughts and feeling positive vibes, they’d be projected out through the words I typed. In any case, it seemed like a better use of time and energy than sitting at my desk being miserable about, well, the fact that I was sitting at a desk.

Energy is a powerful thing. You feel it with every fiber of your being, and so do the people around you.

Having been pregnant with and birthed three babies, I’ve seen the look of excitement and anticipation on people’s faces as they await the unknown of what this new little person will have to offer the world. As their mother, it was fully expected that I’d be fiercely protective of these new beings – that I’d take care of, acknowledge and honor them, that I’d make sure their needs were met. In this context, the new is exciting and those around us are eager to embrace it.

What if the person you’re growing is YOU?

So what happens if the person you’re growing isn’t a baby… what if it’s YOU? A new version of yourself. A more authentic, more focused and deliberate, yet slightly less expected or appreciated version of you… don’t you deserve the same care and love that is often poured upon a pregnant lady?? Do we show the same anticipation, excitement and support? Are you, as the creator of this new person as protective and proud?

In addition to having grown people inside of my body, I’ve also spent a lot of years in a process of personal and professional growth. In the absence of outward physical transformation, there is a silent process of cultivating and creating what this new person within me will become. The thing is, when you already have defining characteristics and a life built around them, the new and unexpected is scary. The anticipation of what’s to come is met with with anxiety instead of excitement… both from inside your head and the world around you.

It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Growth and change can be exciting and exhilarating, and also completely terrifying…. not just for you, but for the people around you. You won’t just be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, but also those around you.

What if the things you change, while entirely necessary for you to become your best self, don’t align with the life you’ve previously lived or the relationships and ideals that you’ve previously held. What if defining parts of your identity suddenly shift?

If everything about your life is terrible – like really awful and miserable with nothing redeeming – then the idea of turning it all upside down and creating something new isn’t a decision so much as it is necessary and probably pretty easy to wrap your head around. More often than not, that won’t be the case. It’s much more likely that the good and the bad, the productive and the detrimental are far more intertwined. This means that when you move away from the bad, you’re often leaving behind some of the good too…

Change is hard. Growing as a person is hard. It requires work that isn’t taught and skills that aren’t often valued. Do it anyway. Be kind to the people around you, be kind to yourself, follow your instincts.

If there’s something that takes up space in your mind, something you’ve thought about over and over and over… the what ifs, the could I questions, the pondering and contemplating… If ideas and thoughts plant themselves in your mind and your heart and aren’t easily shooed away, they’re probably there for a reason. Waiting for you to acknowledge them, waiting for you to be willing to put in the work, waiting for you to step out of your preconceived notions about who you are and what you do. Waiting for you to shock yourself and the world around you as you move forward. I’ve done this. And it’s a strange feeling. I did this most recently when I started this blog… Change and growth, for me, follows and interesting pattern – recognizing that something should be different or that there’s something I want to do, then playing out all kinds of scenarios and possibilities… wrapping my head around all the options of what might be. Then trying it out, dipping my toe in the water, getting comfortable with the idea, building confidence in this new space… and then saying it! Say it out loud, say it unapologetically, say it like you mean it! This blog was YEARS in the making. I was 5 years old when I first told my grandfather that I wanted to be a writer. 33 years of pondering and building my confidence and I have public pieces of work to attribute to me, the writer.

Nearly two years ago I embarked on a different kind of journey that followed a similar pattern. It has brought me to a place where I can say, without hesitation, without doubt, that I don’t drink (alcohol, that is – I drink TONS of coffee and La Croix)… This makes nearly all scenarios in life very, very different than I (or anyone who’s known me for the past 20 years) would ever have imagined. I am certain I’m where I’m supposed to be, and grateful for the positive vibes I’ve bestowed up on myself as I’ve grown. More to come on this topic next week 😉

Now go and make your own post-its and put them EVERYWHERE!