Grow into it!

Welcome to another Fresh Start Monday, where we change the narrative… Today we will look at growing into it. Growth speaks to increasing in size, whether it is vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

Growing up in Jamaica in the 1990’s and earlier, many children grew fondly familiar with the term “you’ll grow into it”. Many of us could only dream of going shopping for back to school, for that was the grandest shopping if there was one, followed by Christmas. Our parents, many times mothers, would draw our feet on paper, cut it out and use it to buy our school shoes. They would never buy the right fit; the shoes would always be bigger, as would the dressmakers and tailors make our uniforms bigger and longer. Some parents would make extra insoles for the shoes from cardboard, this was done to make the shoe appear more snuggly fitted than it was in reality. Many children including myself had come to know this as the norm so we didn’t have a problem as antiquated as the story sounds. What our parents taught us, maybe even unintentional was that we should prepare for inevitable growth.

The wisdom employed in the above narrative is so profound, if indeed, they bought shoes that were snugly fitted, then they would have had to buy multiple pairs. Those were times of economic hardships for many, with multiple children in school, so maybe they were not able to afford the spending or the luxury of buying snuggly fitted shoes. Instead, they bought shoes the children would eventually grow in and add their own home-made insoles until the children no longer needed them.

Many times, in dealing with the issues in life, we deal with the here and the now without much thought for the future. These parents were telling their children indirectly that they should always prepare for growth and take up the opportunities available to them with the intent of growing into it.   

In the words of Lemony Snicket “if we wait until we are ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives”. This phrase epitomizes the fact that we simply cannot await perfection or being absolutely ready, we will wait forever. I’m sure we all want to live our lives and not get to the end and look back with regrets. Yes, we may fail but “nothing beats a trial but a failure”. Should we look closely at ‘failure’ we can identify lessons, pointers on what not to do and how we should do whatever it was that we failed at. So, at our next attempt we will be successful, or at the very least do better than we did before.

Growing into it is also suitable for our everyday situation that we face. Imagine starting an exercise regime, we simply cannot do an extreme workout in our first day, we have to start with something simple. We then evolve as we increase the workout until we can manage more, at the same time our endurance and strength increases. Things we can do on day thirty we could never do on day one.

The fear of not getting it right the first time holds many of us back, hence, we refuse to take up opportunities that we will need to grow into. We would prefer to know everything from the onset. But should we do that, there would be no evidence of growth in said opportunity. Imagine getting everything right the first try, how boring that would be! For we would have reached our peak so quickly then plateau. What would we look forward to achieving next should we get ‘it’ so quickly? Will we be motivated to try something new provided that it offers us no challenge?

There are a few things we can do to encourage our ‘growing into it’ approach. Most of which deal largely with us cultivating the growth mind-set, such as actively looking for opportunities for growth, being open-minded and being prepared to learn and grow. And we must act! We can think about the best things in the world but we must act and not delay unnecessarily.

“We grow into who we wish to be, desirous of becoming, for the opportunity must be sought and the role fulfilled.” Clayton Hamilton

May we seize our opportunities by growing into them and change our narrative…

Written by Vanesia Bowden

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