Ipek Williamson

Insight Coach

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You can’t force a tree to grow

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I have attended a group coaching session that was organized by one of my fellow coach friends Nicholas Selway the other day. It was eye-opening, to say the least. I was the oldest among many attendees, much younger than me. One of the young ladies said something that stayed with me since that night. She said: “You can’t force a tree to grow.”

First of all the wisdom, she had as a young person surprised me, but more than that, it excited me. I see so many young, bright and open-minded people and feel like our planet’s and society’s future is in much better hands than we think.

It was a good and encouraging feeling I got from that encounter. But I’d like to go back to the concept of forcing a tree to grow because I have a few things to express on that one.

Why can’t we force a tree to grow?

Our experiences as human beings are unique to us. Even though we can guess about or feel for someone else’s troubles, we can never feel exactly what they feel. Even if we believe we can see clearly what’s right for them, we can’t ask them to follow our advice. And we can certainly not accelerate the progress.

Every human being is entitled to experience their growth process. We cannot make it faster by injecting our ideas into their minds. They need to find their way by themselves.

But we can, on the other hand, help them to see what’s going on in their lives that require attention. We can assist them in finding their focus, creating their path and accelerating their journey to their destination.

Maybe we cannot and should not force them to grow faster, but we can certainly create a safe environment for them to grow healthier. People rightfully react when we try to impose our perspective on their reality because everyone reacts when we tell them what to do.

Let’s give them room to shape their lives. Let’s allow them to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. Let them take their own sweet time to grow.

Only then they can speak from experience, and only then they could cultivate wisdom.

Image by Ipek Williamson

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