Stalling & Spinning: why you need healing AND growth

No matter what inner work we are doing, we need healing AND growth. Without both we either spin or stall. Here are 2 ways to kickstart your inner work.

We need healing AND growth.

On an inner work journey, whether we are focused on healing or growth, to achieve our aims we need both healing AND growth.

We can’t have one without the other.

If one is absent, we either spin or stall.

Let me explain, but as a reminder:

  • Growth = increasing our capacity to stay with discomfort
  • Healing = tending to unmet needs and unprocessed emotional wounds

To help explain this core principle of healing, let’s use therapy and coaching as an example, but the principle applies to any modality.   

Starting with therapy

In general, therapy focuses on healing. It’s about taking the time to build a relationship in which you feel safe to explore your deeper wounds and hurts and to start to see them with self-compassion.

But at times, a therapist also needs to stretch or challenge you, just a little, and within the safety of the relationship. When they do, you increase your capacity to stay with a little more discomfort which opens up new layers of wounds and emotions that are waiting to be healed.

When a therapist is uncomfortable with the stretch, eventually you’ll start to spin. Going over the same ground again and again, without gaining more depth or insight.

If that feels like you, you might need some growth work.

Now for coaching.

Coaching is mostly focused on growth. On stretching someone to push beyond their limits to achieve their goals and vision. It is less focused on healing and more focused on behaviour change.

But there is a reason someone hasn’t achieved a goal or a vision as yet. And when that sticky or sensitive issue arises, some healing is needed.

If we skip the healing, we unconsciously self-sabotage and the blame ourselves or the coach.

That’s stalling.

If that sounds like you, you might need a little healing to get back on track.

We need healing and growth to walk towards the life we yearn for.

That’s why I like the counter-intuitive approach to coaching. It recognises that we need healing and growth and it focuses on finding the right balance for each situation.

It recognises that sometimes we need more inner emotional connection and release, and sometimes we need more stretch. That no one session or discussion is the same. That we are always changing and adapting to whatever life sends our way.

Whatever your current inner work, if you feel like you’re spinning or stalling consider how to bring more of what you need into the mix.

Reflection Questions

  • What is the intention of your current inner work?
  • Right now, are you more focused on growth or healing?
  • Is your current approach supporting that intention?
  • Do you feel like you are spinning or stalling?
  • If so, what are a few ways you might sprinkle in the healing or growth you need?