“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
– Author Unknown
“Now why would you want to do that?” he asked. “Nothing will grow there.”
My father was not in favour of Mom’s idea of moving the family garden plot.
“You’ve had good crops there for years,” he noted. “Why move it now?”
Mom agreed that the old plot had performed admirably for several years but argued that a piece of land, just like a person, needed time to rest and rejuvenate.
Father responded that he knew “full well” what soil needed – being a farmer and all. Besides, he explained, a garden plot was not like an alfalfa field. It required more intense care, and most importantly, it required water – lots of it, and there was no water on the hillside. Best to leave it alone, he advised. He would spread some manure on the plot before winter and then give it a good tilling. She’d be back in “shape” by spring.
Sometimes, with life, when you want to make a change, you’re discouraged by people who claim, “nothing will grow there.” You may have a great entrepreneurial idea that someone scoffs at or maybe the idea of a career change is met with resistance. Suggest to your partner that you’d like to change some of the ground rules and responsibilities in your relationship and you just might to be met with outright opposition.
Over the years, I’ve had many clients share with me stories about push-back when it came to self-esteem building. I had one woman tell me her partner demanded she drop all “this self-esteem nonsense” and go back to being the way she was: passive and non-confrontational. I explained that deep-level changes create stress – not just for the individual going through the transformation, but for those involved with the person.
You see, when you change, everyone else around you must change, too. That is if they want to maintain a relationship with you. When the predictable becomes unpredictable – when old forms of control and manipulation fail to control or manipulate – the noise gets loud. Most people don’t like change. And when change is foisted upon them, they will resist it (sometimes fiercely) to slow it or stop it altogether.
If you’re making positive changes in your life – like growing your self-esteem – and being met with opposition, take that as an indicator that things are changing.
Despite Father’s advice to “let it be,” Mom insisted on the change. Reluctantly, Father worked the plot of land on the hillside, and by the following spring, the soil was perfect for planting. As for the water, Mom and I loaded a 45-gallon barrel onto a stone boat, filled it with water and towed it by a tractor the quarter mile to the hillside. Each row was watered by hand with a pail. By fall, we made many trips with the stone boat back to the house to unload our bountiful harvest. Not only did everything grow in abundance, but the new plot continued to produce well for many years to follow.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist and lecturer, once declared, “No planet, sun or star could hold you if you but knew what you are.” Whether it’s a great idea or the desire for personal change, don’t let anyone discourage you from planting.
Think about what it is that you’d like to grow. Confidence, courage, faith, optimism, patience, compassion – love? Forget the naysayers. Let go of your fear of crop failure. Your heart and mind are fertile soil. With perseverance and careful planning, what you plant will most certainly grow, and I’m willing to wager the results will be amazing.