Growth Happens Inch by Inch

I’ve realized that here, in this space we’ve created at The Hearty Fig, we tend to 'think big.'

Growth Happens Inch by Inch |

As we each walk the never-ending tightrope of balancing our naturally-big hearts with those big forces we recognize within ourselves (think forces like wisdom, quiet strength, and intuition) – we use this space at Bloomology to unpack and explore big questions.

We deep-dive into big, weighty topics like the paradox of setting boundaries to feel freer, the things that make sense and still aren’t right for us, and the line that separates compromising from compromising ourselves.

Questions like these are what help us grow. They might stir up some uncomfortable feelings or tough questions within ourselves, but we’re here because we know the answers lie in the tension.

We know that sitting with these questions is how we start to find our center and tap into joy – but that doesn’t make it less emotionally exhausting.

I know these topics – and specifically, the posts you find here on those topics – can be a lot to process. Personally, I like to let big ideas mentally percolate for a while before I act on them, and so getting too much information at once tends to throw me into total paralysis. I get it.

Which is exactly why I want to try something new here - because I think the real tragedy is when we become so paralyzed by a goal or an idea that feels big and overwhelming that we forget to move forward at all.

So we’re going to experiment with a new series: Bloom Inch by Inch. Because sometimes to go big – big growth, big shifts, big changes – we have to start small. Really small.

I believe even when a task feels huge or a process feels overwhelming, it’s those tiny steps forward that will get us where we want to go. It’s all about committing to focused forward motion, and sometimes what we really need is a little nudge.

So moving forward, I’ll be breaking up our usual bigger, meatier posts with more lightweight check-ins. My goal is twofold: not only do I want to give you some time and space to percolate on the big ideas we explore here, but I also want to be able to pop in and give you a gentle nudge forward when those ideas start to feel heavy.

Sometimes that might come in the form of bite-sized actions you can take to gain clarity, or slowly start building momentum. Other times, it might simply be a reminder to take a breath, to get out of your head and back down to earth where you can find some quiet clarity.

But it will always come back to the idea of finding our feet on the ground, getting quiet, and taking small, intentional steps forward. Because I believe forward progress is progress – whether it comes inch-by-inch or in big, powerful bursts. It’s the commitment to action that counts.

And on that note – let’s check in!

Last week we took a hard look at what it means to be weighing your options at a crossroads, when one of those options is a known quantity.

We raised the simple question: when it comes to defining the pros and cons of each option, is being a known quantity an automatic ‘pro’?

If you haven’t read the full post, I suggest you start there. That’s where we really dig into the role of fear and self-trust when it comes to decision making, plus how we can benefit from letting go of the pressure to make perfect, pain-proof choices. But if those ideas still feel a little big and unwieldy, I have something else for you to try.

Today, I want to give you one simple exercise that might help you look a little more objectively at your options when you’re at a fork in the road.

Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. (Yes, I really believe putting a physical pen on physical paper can help us engage in the decision making process in a more physical way – but if you’re more comfortable typing this out in a Google doc with two columns, do you!)

From there:

  • Write “Pros” at top of the lefthand column, and “Cons” at the top of the righthand column. 
    Rather than making a straight pro/con list for both options (which, let’s be honest, you’ve done by now - at least in your mind...) we’re just going to focus on the possible path forward that asks you to take a risk or make a (presumably scary) change.
  • Go ahead and list out the 'pro's and the 'con's of this particular option.

  • Look at the pros on the left. Now close your eyes and imagine being in a place where those things are suddenly your reality. Ask yourself: is that where your heart really, truly wants to be? Does that picture in your mind represent the life you want for yourself?

    • If your answer is ‘no’, stop here - you might have your answer!

    • If your answer is ‘yes’, try this next step...

  • Now look at the cons on the right, and ask yourself: which of these could I truly not handle, if it meant getting the things on the left? Is it simply a fear of these challenges that's holding me back?

Only you can know what’s written on your paper, and which answers are sounding off bells in your inner place of intuition. But seeing these things written out and asking yourself some tougher, more pointed questions might be the nudge you need to choose a direction and start moving forward down that road.

And if no clear answer rose to the top this time, don’t sweat it! Sometimes it just takes a little time for our intuition to sort out the details and chime in with a little hint. Be gentle with yourself, and maybe even try the exercise again in a few days when things feel less dizzying.

And the truth is, even if you start down the ‘wrong’ path, you will be ok. You will learn, and course-correct, and ultimately get where you need to be - even if that road is a little curvy for a while.