Practice Leads to Growth

Ok so I am the type of person that does not like being in the unknown. I like knowing what I’m doing. I need to feel the comfort of having the answers or understanding the process or knowing the next step. One of the most overwhelming and frustating spaces for me to be in is when I am on a new phase or journey and I’m having to learn new things. I don’t like having to wait until I fully understand something for the situation to start getting easier. But the reality of it all is no matter what’s encountered on a new journey there will be things you just don’t know.

Usually what ever job I have I tend to stay within that position or company until I’m moved. Most jobs I have transitioned from was because of a military move or the birth of a child. There have only been three times I’ve left an organization because a better opprotunity presented itself. Once as a teenager, then twice as a single mom moving from an organization I knew I couldn’t grow in or did not fit the needs of my family at the time. I’m an insanely loyal person so that’s part of the reason I like to stay with the same organization but also I like being in the know. While I do enjoy learning new things, (how else can you be in the know if you don’t know anything? LOL) I do not always like the process of learning what’s necessary for aquiring said knowledge.

Recently at work I have had a lot of things tossed at me. I just reached 6 months with the company and in that time frame I have learned the job I was hired for, crossed trained in another position, taken on the responsibility to print off the newsletter for our department and make sure my co-workers sign off on reading it and now I’m being cross trained in another area. So I’ll have the experience of three different positions, including the one I was hired for. Sounds great right? And don’t get me wrong, it is. I am excited that my boss recognizes something in me and feels like I can handle mastering each of these positions. But let me tell you learning each one has not been a joyous experience at all. Initially the position I was hired for sounded simple enough in the job description, but upon learning more and training for the position I learned that there was a lot to learn. There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of information to remember and often times there are decisions you have to make and hope that it’s going to get the person the help that they are in need of the fastest. I remember during training thinking in my head several times, I don’t know if I can do this. And this was during the moments of observing my co-worker and trainer taking phone calls. When she finally had me sit and start taking calls it helped ease some of the uncertainty I was feeling but it also reminded me that I still had a ways to go. My trainer kept encouraging me and reminding me that it would all come together. She kept telling me not to try to force myself to remember all of this or to put a lot of pressure on myself to have it all memeorized. Bit by bit as I trained I got more comfortable and started feeling encouraged that I could handle this.

Once I completed training and started at the office I was hired to work at all of that encouragment went out the window. My first day on my own was bananas. My first call was nothing like any of the calls I had experienced while training and the whole day was a series of unfortunate events! I was right back in the head space of feeling like I could not do this and wasn’t sure this was for me. Obviously now since it’s six months later, I’ve moved past that. I kept going back everyday and I gave my best every day. When situations arose that I needed help with or direction on I asked my coworkers. Day by day I became more confident. I learned more and I am still learning new things daily. But the more I performed the duties assigned to me the more confident I became. The more my understanding and knowledge grew the easier work and the journey to learning became. Not only that, I had cross trained on another position and had been consistently presented with the opprotunity to become confident in that role as well. But life wouldn’t be life if change or new pieces weren’t added to the journey. My boss had already mentioned that she wanted me to cross train on one more area. I was open to it but the opportunity to train and learn the new position has not been under the best of circumstances. It’s stressful and overwhelming and honestly I don’t even want to do it because I want to go back to what I know. What’s comfortable for me.

How many times do we allow circumstances or situations push us back to where we once were? We allow our minds to convince us that it’s too hard. We feel like we can’t continue moving forward and sometimes we don’t want to. Moving forward and growth require commitment and sometimes it’s painful. But how else will we learn to master anything if we don’t push past the uncomfortable feelings that are holding us hostage? Learning something new and applying yourself to something does not only require you to be open, but it also requires you to be consistent. That means showing up day in and day out even when it’s hard. Even when you don’t want to. I know we’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect” right? I don’t know that I would say practice makes perfect because even when we learn something and learn it well we will occasionally make mistakes. But practice does make room for growth. Continuing to learn new things and committing to the process allows us to push past those feelings of fear or even inadequacy. I recall going through a really difficult stage where my confidence was really low. I felt like I was not effective in my career and personal life. I felt inadequate and my self esteem was low. I didn’t value myself so those feelings of low self worth made me feel that others couldn’t possibly value you me either. But stepping into something new, committing to the different things I was learning, opening myself up to the pressure involved in the learning process and barreling through the thoughts in my head that said “I can’t do this” all helped remind me of how strong I am. But I had to practice those things, meaning I had to continuously go through it to get through it. God presented me with the opprotunitities to practice moving through each stage. So when I started the position I am in now and had to train for it then God opened the door for me to cross train for the second position and now the third was all practice to teach me that I am an overcomer.

Right now the cross training for the third position is hard. It is a lot to learn in a short period of time and it is extremely overwhelming. But because I have had practice I know that I will get it. I know that I can learn to be great in this position too. I’m confident in this because I recall the feelings I have now while learning the first two positions and I am feel great about all that I have learned in those positions. So don’t count yourself out. Don’t discount the process, what you are learning, what you are overcoming, what you are pushing through. Don’t let the overwhelming feelings you may be experiencing convince you that you can’t get through this stage or this moment or this phase. You can. You just have to keep making the choice to push past those thoughts and feelings and commit to where you are right now. God will give you the grace and strength that you need. When being on my own after learning the first part of my job I had to pray and praise my way through. I had to believe that even if my belief in myself wasn’t as strong as I would like, God believed in me because He brought me to this place.

Know that God believes in you and will always give you the chance to learn and grow in the areas where you may feel weakest. Don’t quit on yourself. Don’t shy away from it and definitely remind yourself that it will get better. Sometimes things improve and we don’t even initially realize how far we have come. Continue practicing and this time pay attention to what you’re feeling or experiencing so you can put it in your data base. You’ll need to pull those thoughts and feelings out from time to time to remind you that you can conquer them because you’ve done it before! Practice equals strength, power, growth and confidence. Keep practicing!

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