Theoretically, emotional growth is about evolving into a sense of ourselves. A simple way to look at it is like physical growth. We know, and can see, ourselves and others growing from a child into an adolescent into an adult and then into age-hood.
Emotional development is similar, yet different.
As humans, we have evolved with some basic needs that require satisfying for optimal emotional fitness. For example, shelter, safety, companionship, intimacy, creativity, etc.
There are various human needs theories proposed but the one most popularised is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954, 1969) devised a model to describe people’s motivation to achieve emotional growth. Essentially, it gives us a pretty good picture as to why sometimes we struggle emotionally, to cope, or to feel good about ourselves.
Emotional growth relies on:
• Becoming more aware and more conscious of who we are in the world.
• The conscious unravelling of self-limiting, self-defeating, and self-sabotaging patterns (Self esteem Stealers) and replacing them with a positive sense of self (Worthy Words) and self affirming beliefs (Constructive Cognitions).
• The effort we put in through self-development, attending workshops, reading books and therapy.