Growing up is something that we all consider we do without thinking about, probably because physically, at least, we all grow up. Many of us however take significantly longer to grow up emotionally indeed some never get there at all.
We have all told others to grow up at some point whether that was a spouse, our children or a work colleague. How often have we looked at another and thought, “they really need to get their act together!”
As Jenny Brown states in her excellent book, Growing Yourself Up, “…sometimes this position might come from a position of caring, but the problem is that when we are focusing on others this can leave a whopping blind spot when it comes to our own lapses in maturity.”
Brown rightly points out that it is all too easy to believe that if we can get people to change, or if we could avoid difficult people then perhaps we could be free to reach our potential.
Genuine maturity for life, Brown says, starts with learning to observe ourselves in our relationships, and appreciating that problems are not just in the individual but also in the interconnections, the relationship systems, with others.
“The project of growing ourselves, our task of seeking to understand how we may be contributing to our own dissatisfactions in our interactions, is all about personal responsibility in our relationships and not about self-promotion.”
Jenny Brown is the founder and director of the Family Systems Institute in Sydney, Australia, where she has a counseling practice and trains mental health professionals and organisations. Her book is Growing Yourself Up – How to bring your best to all of life’s relationships.
Stuart Freeman is an Executive Recruitment Consultant in the Insurance space, a blogger, an owner of a high-end wine business, and a dad of 3 daughters. He can be contacted directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
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