What are you going through right now that triggers worry, fear, anxiety, and doubt in your ability to get through it?
Is it something that is outside of your control or influence? Do you have control over it, but you just don’t know what to do? No matter what your set of circumstances are right now, IT WILL PASS and YOU WILL PASS.
How do I know this? Because EVERY TEST IS TEMPORARY, and change is an inevitable part of life. No matter how hard we try to keep things the same, they change. The certainty of change in life works to our advantage in the midst of a test. Before I go any further with this conversation, let me give you my definition of a “test.”
A test is a set of life circumstances that challenge you mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, or relationally.
The test moves you outside of your comfort zone, and forces you to extend yourself beyond known capabilities, to solve, move through, or manage the situation. The test isn’t meant to devastate you. It will actually elevate you to new and innovative levels of being, if you open yourself up to the possibility.
How on earth is a test or challenging set of life circumstances, here to help and not hurt us?
Well, in the midst of any test we often don’t see the growth that is taking place, until we are on the other side of completion. The potential benefits may be hidden behind the grind of overcoming, but during the process, there is growth.
Imagine your greatest struggle right now. What is it about the struggle that is frustrating or most difficult? Whether you like it or not, that is where the greatest growth potential lives. It’s in the hard places that our creativity, problem-solving, and personal development, is fertilized most. Not in the easy places.
Let me give you an example…
Remember a class that required very little effort on your part and you got an easy “A.” How much do you suspect you learned and grew in that class? Not much, because you didn’t have to extend yourself past what you already knew or could easily learn and apply.
Now think back to a class that was advanced and required additional research, more assignments, extra study time, a study group, one-on-one guidance from your teacher, and extra brain power to complete successfully. No matter the grade you earned, you likely learned more about the topic and yourself during a class like that. You struggled, but you strengthened your abilities because of the challenge.
Your growth during the challenges of life is greater, because it requires more of you.
Even if you decided to give up and quit a class that was too hard, you learned something about yourself in that decision. The learning isn’t only in the succeeding. Growth often shows up most in the areas that we fail forward and learn. The truth is, most of us fail more than we succeed, but we learn and in the motion of getting back up, we grow. That forward movement is called progress.
Whatever test you are going through right now, just know that the completion of that test will come.
Change will come. Growth will come. A stronger you, will come. You will have the opportunity to receive advanced levels of growth during the process. So don’t run from the test. Lean into it and discover all that you have to learn from it. Don’t forget, some of the lessons learned, won’t be realized until you are on the other side of the test.
Right now, you may feel like the test is overwhelming your abilities, but hold on, because there is growth in that place.
Your emotions are fertile ground for growing through the challenges. Use your feelings of overwhelm as a sign to grow your support system, reach out for help, take better care of your mind, body, and emotions.
The tests of life and your response to them, are fertile ground for growth, but YOU must be willing to water it with your work. That work includes awareness of yourself and the challenges, identifying what you need, gathering resources and support as you learn, prepare, plan, strategize, and complete.
No test reveals its benefits unless you are an active participant in the process of its completion.
As you consider the test that you are in, moving through, or coming out of, also take note of your participation status. The more active you are, the more fertile your growth experience will be.