We have young children at home and they have started getting one of the side effects of getting older. Quite frequently, especially with multiple children at the appropriate age, we hear something along the lines of, “I have leg pain.”
Their bodies, as they grow and adapt to increased age, experience pain. It hurts, sometimes badly. Our oldest has been in tears before because of the pain.
Growing up is painful, but it’s also necessary.
Even as adults we can experience the pain of growth:
There are many ways that we are confronted with the chance to grow, and it’s often painful. I’ve been there. Years ago I spent time in counseling working through personal issues. There were many times I would talk to my wife beforehand, almost in tears at how scared I was to have to go tell someone areas of pain and brokenness.
I look back now, and it was, yes, perhaps one of the most painful experiences of my life. I also see it now as one of the best. I’m forever indebted to my counselor and the issues he helped me work through.
Growing up was, and will probably continue to be painful. But I also see it now as inherently necessary.
In fact, I would go even further and say that if we don’t experience pain, we don’t grow.
The idea behind coaching, and all forms of leadership development, is not pain for pain’s sake. It’s about experiencing the right kind of pain so that we can also experience tremendous growth. In that way, it’s a little like the growing pain our children are feeling: unsettling, uncomfortable, but worth it in the end to reach our final destination.
For our children, the final destination is to be a fully mature adult.
As leaders, it is to be more fully developed and better able to serve those around us. And we are confronted with opportunities to grow everyday: as parents, even still as children, as employees, friends, and in our leadership capabilities.
Growing can hurt, but it is always worth it. Invest in your own growth and it will prove to be the best investment you’ve ever made.