Are You Molding or Growing?

There is a difference between molding and growing. Can you recognize it?

When I say “molding,” I mean changing ourselves to become what we think someone else wants us to be, or trying to fit into a mold of what we perceive is the “right way” to do it.

Whereas, when we grow, we’re following what’s right for us. We become the writer, healer, business owner, lover or family member that we were meant to be.

I like to think of this kind of growing as a flower blooming. All roses have a certain number of petals and a certain shape, but the exact color and the exact formation of each individual is an expression of that unique rose.

What is Your Intention?

When we mold ourselves, we’re changing who we are to fit a pattern we see on the outside. Growing, on the other hand, can happen very subtly. It’s all about our intentions.

The way we choose to focus and spend our time each day has us grow in particular ways. All our little decisions along the way help us to grow. The big ones help, too, but they aren’t as frequent.

And sometimes we don’t even realize how big a decision was until we look back on it.

Seek Expansion.

When I grow, I know I’m expanding from the inside. When I’m faced with a choice, I’ll check in with my intuition and explore which choice feels the most expansive.

Saying “no” can be an expansion or it can be a contraction depending on the situation and what feels right.

If someone wants to hire us to do a job, an expansive “no” is when we realize that this contract isn’t right. We might understand that the experience won’t serve either party, so we choose not to put time and energy into that project. We’re telling the Universe, “I’m ready for a more ideal fit.”

A contracting “no” happens when we turn down an opportunity because we’re afraid or think we’re not good enough to do it.

One of my clients realized that she was saying a contracting no by procrastinating doing the things that could really increase her business in ways she wanted it to grow.  She would say no almost before the opportunities fully presented themselves.

Clearing her fears around growing her business “too fast” – including the fear that she would lose some relationships if she got “too successful” – allowed her to pursue the opportunities and make the calls.

Have You Been Pruned Lately?

I often share this analogy with my clients, who come to me because they want freedom in areas where they are stuck.

When you prune a tree, even though you’re cutting back branches, you’re actually serving the tree by allowing it to grow stronger and more fruitful.

There are many fruit trees that must be pruned in order to generate fuller, juicier fruit. Apple and pear trees in particular will offer less fruit when pruned, but it is much more plump and delicious because the tree can focus its energy on the fewer pieces of fruit.

You can also think of this as light. Is your light focused and laser-like, or is it diffuse and scattered? Which one will serve you best?

I love this thought because there’s nothing wrong with having a diffuse light, and there’s nothing wrong with have a laser-like light. It’s just what’s right for you in your life at this time.

This week, as you go about your work and play, notice when you have decisions to make. Check in with yourself each time: does this feel like it expands me or contracts me? Am I genuinely growing, or am I pushing myself to fit into someone else’s mold?

Do you notice an area of your life where you are molding rather than growing? I’d love to hear about your journey. Leave a comment in the area below to chime in.

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