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3 Critical Steps Toward Personal Growth

You can do so much more than you ever thought possible. 

That tiny person toward the middle of this image is me! Last weekend my friend Kristen and her gorgeous dog Winter invited me to go on a little camping trip. If you know me at all, you know that I do not camp. I don’t like bugs and I’m a little attached to certain modern-day amenities like electricity, air conditioning and showers that don’t require “shower sandals.” BUT she busted out the word “GLAMPING” and I decided I should take the opportunity to cross that off my bucket list sooner than later. While it was one of the hottest weekends everrrrr, we went in with smiles and optimism, and that sweet friend of mine was the absolute QUEEN OF CAMP. I never thought I would have such a marvelous time being so sticky/sweaty, swatting mosquitoes, and sleeping with spiders, with minimal electricity access and zero cell service (yaaassss, go ahead and call me Mariah Carey, because I am full-on diva when it comes to bugs and phones)...but we laughed more than I have in quite some time, and she took what is normally a sad day for me (the third anniversary of my dog Ralf’s passing) and turned it into so much gratitude and for the memories I had of my pup, and gratitude for the friendship and all the goodness I do have in life. 

I have lurked the “Explorer/Adventurer” hashtags on IG in the past and discouragingly thought, “Wow, those people have something special inside them that allows them to embrace wild adventures; they have access to a type of courage I will never know.” I did not believe I would ever enjoy camping, and I didn’t necessarily see myself as the type of person who would climb over heaps of rocks to get up close and personal with one of Tennessee’s finest waterfalls...BUT I DID. And I have these pics to prove it. 

So here’s to good friends who gently and kindly help pull you out of your comfort zones to show you the glorious and wonderful parts of the world that you didn’t know you were dying to see. If you’ve got a friend like that, you have all you need.
Here are three critical things I did to expand my limitations and push past fear:
  1. Just say yes, and then go with the flow! Maybe you think you’ll have an awful time, but you won’t know until you try it. Give yourself a shot at whatever new opportunity presents itself and then just give yourself permission to coast through it. 
  2. Be willing to fail. If we have zero experience at this new endeavor, there’s a decent chance we won’t ace it the first time. Be open to the idea that it might not be full of all the glittery magic sparkles you want, but it’s a step into that gloriousness (which I say is a win no matter what!)
  3. Trust. Trust your gut, your heart, the good friends you surround yourself with and the mentors you try to emulate. You’ve let these people into your life for a reason, they probably know a few things that could help you along your journey. 
Is there anything new you're going to try to accomplish or experience this fall? Tell me in the comments below so I can cheer you on!
*Photographed by Kristen Frasca

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