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  • Jessica Sollows

Laws of Growth

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OUTCAN can be an overwhelming experience for some, having to relocate across the globe and take in an entirely new culture. For many spouses who are OUTCAN and not permitted to work, it is also an incredible opportunity, while your life is at a standstill, for some self-care and to learn more about yourself. It is a great time, while you are afforded the time, to find opportunities for growth. When you return to Canada, you’ll be more motivated and prepared to tackle whichever goals are important to you!  


In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth, John Maxwell goes through what he believes are the most important changes we can make in our lives to reach our potential. While pushing ourselves to be our best usually involves stepping out of our comfort zone, the results that follow can be life-changing! 


Here are 3 laws of growth that we can apply to our everyday living OUTCAN:  


  1. The Law of the Rubber Band  

The rubber band relates to our ability to stretch outside of our comfort zone from time to time. When we do the same things over and over, our learning and growth can be limited. It takes courage to step outside of our comfort zone, and although it may not be advisable to live there full time, it is encouraged to dip our toes in and embrace some new experiences! For those who are living in a country where English or French isn’t the first language, simply living there and accomplishing regular tasks will automatically stretch your rubber band. Over time and with repeated exposure, you will see that it gets easier. Then it’s time to stretch some more! Perhaps you may find it challenging but enjoyable to learn the host nation’s language. This type of stretching will only enrich your experience further.  


  1. The Law of Consistency 

When we desire to make changes in our lives, many of us like to sit around and wait for the good old motivation fairy to come around and strike us with its magic so we can make a move! Unfortunately, motivation doesn’t exactly work that way. Often, we must act first, and motivation follows. Sometimes we are excited to start something new but after a while, it becomes difficult and the motivation fades. Motivation often shows its face once we get into a flow, or when we start to see results through the consistency of our work. Remembering the “why” behind the goal you are working towards can also help you stay motivated. Make yourself a plan and stick to it by committing to being consistent and ideally building it into your routine so it becomes a habit. Once something becomes a habit, you don’t have to rely so much on motivation to get things done! If you’re hoping to learn that new language, perhaps you can set some time aside every day after the kids go to school to work on it, or whenever works for you!  


  1. The Law of Pain  

If you’re a human being on planet Earth, then you have or will encounter some painful and challenging experiences. Some of us have experienced more traumatic things than others, but the fact remains that nobody sails through life without experiencing some form of pain and hardship. Many people avoid taking risks or trying new things for fear of the pain of failure. The way we tackle the obstacles in our lives can significantly impact the quality of our lives. Some of the best learning we can do is through the mistakes we make in life and how we deal with our pain. The challenges that come along with living OUTCAN certainly bring a set amount of pain; the pain of inexperience, the pain of change, the pain of making difficult decisions, and much more. Rather than trying to avoid the pain of difficult emotions, it can be so beneficial to acknowledge that you are indeed going through a challenging time, and then try to work through it. Having a good support system, which can include family, friends, or professionals, can ease the process of going through the transition.   


To read more about the Laws of Growth, check out the book!  


The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - John Maxwell  



Jessica has a bachelor's degree in social work and is passionate about health and wellness. She is currently working as a Community Services Provider with MFS(E). Jessica has been a military spouse for 10 years and this is her second OUTCAN posting.   

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