Don't let anger cloud your judgement. Be fascinated by the growth process, not frustrated.

Embrace the Growth Process: Be Fascinated, Not Frustrated

After lockdown part ‘duh’ ended, I was sooo excited to get back on the squash court. 

I love the sport, and since I’m no longer lifting canoes and kayaks on a daily basis, playing squash has become my preferred form of exercise. 

It’s super fun, too!

Wearing a mask on court is less than ideal, sure, but it’s better than nothing – I’m a firm believer of taking what you get. 

However, the return to pre-pandemic form has been slow and painful. 

It may surprise some to learn that when it comes to sports, I can be insanely competitive. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to play just for fun, but let’s be honest, winning is a hell of a lot better than losing. 

And lately, I’ve been coming out on the wrong end of my matches. 

What’s worse, rather than being outclassed, one of the main reasons for my losses is the unforced errors (not taking away from my opponent’s game; he’s playing really well). That’s when frustration kicks in. 😡

It’s one thing to lose to an opponent because they’re more skilled, but when it’s due to my own mistakes and poor preparation, that’s a tough pill to swallow. 

In the past, I might have broken a racquet and shouted angrily in defeat. If not that, I’d definitely let it ruin the rest of my day. 

But I’ve grown a lot since I started focusing on personal growth and my mental health – the pandemic, switching careers, working from home full time, and tragedy in my partner’s family forced me to reorient and recalculate.  

Rather than getting frustrated, beating myself up and wallowing in self-pity, I’ve learned to become fascinated by the process instead.

Photo by Stefano Zocca

The path to progress isn’t linear

The road to self-improvement is different for us all. 

Some walk a clear runway; others bushwack their way forward. Some are given a head start; others are purposely held back.

Whatever route you’re on, the path to personal and professional development is full of ups and downs, backs and forths, and setbacks and failures – but the journey is also packed with wins and milestones.

So allow yourself to embrace the growth process, be patient with yourself, and ride the wave to where it takes you.   

I’m reminded of something I heard while practicing Yoga with Adriene the other day: “Don’t fight it. Use it,” she said. 

It’s sage advice – in yoga and in life. 

To me, it means looking for the lessons in a loss. It’s about:

  • gaining a clearer perspective by setting aside ego and emotion
  • focusing on what you control and letting go of the uncontrollables; and 
  • discovering ways to work within constraints and being inspired by the breakthroughs.

Become fascinated by the adventure of lifelong learning, and challenge yourself to enjoy the losses as much as the wins. 

Don’t compare your journey to another’s – remember, it’s different for us all, and trying to keep up with the Joneses only leads to imposter syndrome

Finally, don’t let the bumps in the road stop you from chasing dreams. Think of them as ramps launching you closer to your goals. You’re going to get bruised and battered, for sure, but life knocks you down anyway. 

Don’t fight it. Use it. 

It’s not about falling. It’s about getting back up

Over. 

And over. 

And over again. 

It’s about embracing the growth process and being fascinated, not frustrated. 

Thanks for reading, folks. 

PS: Without anger clouding my mind, I got a clear view of how to refine my squash game. I put the lessons to use right away – since writing this post, I won my last match. 💪

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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