“Many times when we’re judging others, it’s because we’re seeing in them what we have in ourselves.”
Hands down one of the most requested podcast topics I’ve had is what to do when you feel like you’re outgrowing someone.
I’ve intentionally held off on making this episode until now because to be honest, I didn’t feel ready to teach on this topic yet. I still had some work to do myself.
For years, I felt frustrated when I would grow and others weren’t (especially in my marriage). I had a major chip on my shoulder about others not being as “evolved” as I was.
I knew I didn’t want to feel this way, but my brain held onto the story that it was unfair and that others just weren’t going to give me what I wanted unless they actively sought out personal development work too.
FINALLY in 2020, I saw a different perspective.
My brain was a liar.
I CAN grow a LOT even when others aren’t AND the relationship CAN still work (they can even be exciting and fun) despite others not knowing how to do mindset work.
I’ve cracked the code on this and I’m so excited to finally share my ah-has and learnings with you today.
IN THIS EPISODE, I SPECIFICALLY TEACH:
- Why it’s normal to feel frustration when you grow and others aren’t
- How to overcome those feelings of frustration
- How to know when a relationship ISN’T worth saving
…and so much more
Listen to this episode at the top of this page & get ready for a major mindset shift!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Signs You’ve Outgrown Somone in Your Life
This is the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast with Lindsay Preston Episode 94,
Growing When Others Aren’t.
Welcome to the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast, the show for goal-getting, fearfacing women for kicking ass by creating change. I’m your host, Lindsay Preston. I’m a wife,
mom of two, and a multi-certified life coach to women all over the world. I’ve lived
through enough in life to know that easier doesn’t always equate to better. We can’t fear
the fire, we must learn to become it. On this show, I’ll teach you how to do just that. Join
me as I challenge you to become even more of the strong, resilient, and powerful woman
you were meant to be. Let’s do this.
Hi there, Ms. Unstoppable, it’s 2021. We have made it to the other side of 2020. Whoo-hoo.
Are you excited? I am. I love the start of a new year. Even in the winter when I’m slowing
down a bit and I’m taking things slow and I’m shedding a lot of layers and things that
aren’t serving me, which is not the most fun process let’s be real, I still love January. I love
the energy of setting new goals and starting a new year, just that fresh start, it’s exciting. It
reminds me of my school-age days when you start a new grade. Just so fun, right? I’m glad
Today we’re going to be talking about Growing When Others Aren’t. This is a podcast that I
have been asked to do for a long time, like years. [laughs] It is by far one of my most
requested topics and yet I haven’t done it. Why? Because I feel like I hadn’t mastered the
concept yet. It was really hard for me for a while to grow, and I would get very frustrated
with people who were not growing at the rate that I was growing in my personal life.
I feel like in the past few months, I have finally started to master this. The student is
becoming the teacher, my friends. I have an enlightened approach to this now. I’m not as
human about it. I want to help you kind of take this enlightened approach because, man,
does it feel so much better to look at it in this different way. As I said, it’s a highly
requested topic among my clients because here’s what’s happens.
They grow and they grow a lot in a short amount of time, in just a few weeks or months.
Then they start looking at their life around them, their friends, their family, but most times
the person they’re looking at the most is their significant other, be it a boyfriend, girlfriend,
husband, wife, whatever, and they’re like, “Listen, I’ve been growing so much. I know all
this stuff now about how to, in essence, be bigger than my brain. I know how to overcome
all this mindset stuff, and now I see all your mindset stuff, and you’re not changing it.” It
feels really uncomfortable to them.
For a lot of people, they start questioning the relationship and they start thinking, “Is this
something that I can continue to put up with?” What happens is, those feelings start to
typically go away and the relationship starts to change, and most times a very beautiful
way. Okay? You may be somebody who has not worked with me or a coach or any kind of
development in general and you’re like, “Whoa, that seems really scary. I don’t want to do
personal development if it’s going to change my relationships,” and that’s a legitimate fear.
It was especially one of my big fears when I started all this work was, “Oh my gosh, I feel
like I’m going to leave my family behind and I’m going to outgrow people,” and it comes
up for me even now. In 2020, I had a lot of growth in the way that I was stepping up as a
businesswoman. Part of that was claiming and being more certain in who I am and the
results that I can provide, and it changed my energy in my personal life.
A complaint that I would have often with my life coach was I felt like between my
daughter and my husband, that I was kind of like the Stretch Armstrong doll. Do you
remember what those are? That they would pull me back and forth because both my
husband and my daughter are very certain people. In fact, both of them have considered a
career in law at one point so that gives you an idea, while I have not. I’m not like that at
all. I’m very easy going.
As you’ve probably heard on the podcast, or if you coach with me, I’m not here to put my
truth on you, I’m here to help you find your truth. That, again, makes me very flexible I
guess. Anyways, going back to when I was growing last year, I was changing a lot or so I
felt. I went to my husband and I said, “Listen, I just feel like I’m changing a lot.” At the time
I was growing so much, there was this buzz through my body and in my brain of all the
stuff I was taking in and what I was implementing.
I said, “I’m just really scared that I’m going to outgrow you.” He said, “Well, tell me more.” I
said, “I just feel like I’m becoming more certain and more empowered and that’s going
against a lot of societal norms. I really like where I’m going and that this feels right for me,
but at the same time, there’s that pleaser part of me that is scared that you’re not going to
like the new version of me.”
My husband handled it so well. He’s like, “Oh, babe, I’m here for all of you. I’m here to
continue to fall in love with you. Don’t worry about that, you need to go where you need to
go,” which, again, like A-plus for him, he handled that so well. That’s all I needed to hear
just to feel relaxed, but it’s interesting because it still comes up for me of even though I
know better, I still have these fears of, “Oh my gosh, what if I outgrow the people that I
If you feel that way, just know it’s totally normal and most times, you’re bringing those
people along with you. That’s most times, okay. It doesn’t mean all the time. Your brain
may be thinking, “Oh my gosh, well, maybe I’m one of those, I won’t be able to bring them
along.” I’ll tell you if it is a relationship that you do end up leaving, the way that I quote
my clients or not is that they’re leaving with peace, and they’re leaving with love and it’s
not out of hate and this rushed feeling out of sadness. They’ve processed everything if it is
a relationship they leave. We’ll get to that in a minute.
I just want to calm your fears, because again, a lot of people don’t want to do this
development work because they’re scared they’re going to outgrow the people. Again,
most times, that doesn’t happen. Let’s talk about it. What do you do when you’re growing,
others aren’t and it starts to feel uncomfortable to you?
Well, here’s why it happens. Yes, you’re learning new things and yes, you’re opening your
eyes to new possibilities and it can be frustrating when others haven’t learned those
things and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, person, you’re spinning in the same thing and if you
just use this tool, if you just saw it this way, or that’s your inner mean girl, or whatever, this
would be so much easier for you.”
It’s so funny because I had a client recently who said she went to a yoga event and they
were all going around the room talking about I guess like a struggle or a problem. She said
as each person was talking, she’s like, “Oh, girl, that’s your downer inner mean girl, oh,
that’s your critic inner mean girl,” and she knows all this stuff now. She’s like, man, I just
wanted to like hand out your cards, Lindsay, to all these women because I see how much
you can help them. I’m like, “Go ahead, go for it.”
Going back to it is, again, you start to see things in a different way and it’s just kind of
annoying, if not frustrating when people aren’t seeing that. Just know too that’s part of it
and here’s, again, why it happens. For a long time, you have had a dance with a person. A
dance has meaning like you guys have just had a way that you’ve fallen into the
relationship and you do certain things and they do certain things, you say certain things
and they say certain things, and it just kind of works.
The dance flows, maybe every once in a while one of you will step on another person’s
toes, or one of you will get bored with the song you’re dancing too and you’re like, “Hey,
let’s switch it up,” and the other person may not want to and so cause a little conflict.
What happens is when you’re doing development work, like coaching with me, you do, you
change so much and so your dance changes completely. Instead of you doing say like the
cha-cha with somebody, you start doing the waltz, and they’re like, “Whoa, what’s going on
here?” It’s a shock to their system too.
What happens for a short period of time is you get in this, I don’t know what you want to
call it, this way of being where it feels like the River of Misery is what we talk about. What
happens, I’ll go and use another analogy. I promise this will all make sense in a minute.
What happens is it looks something like this, okay? You’re just living your life on your own
little land having what you think is a fulfilling life for the most part, but then you come
across this forest.
I poke my head out of the forest and I say, “Hey,” whatever your name is, “Come in here
with me. I am going to guide you to an even more fulfilling life. Those goals that you really
want that you’re not getting, I’m going to take you there.” You’re like, “Who is this girl?
[laughs] Where did she come from? My life is pretty good. Why would I want to go in this
forest with you that seems a little bit dark and scary, but yet it does seem appealing at the
same time. Why would I want to do this with you?”
For whatever reason, they decide to go on the forest with me. This is when somebody
signs up for coaching. Those first few weeks of coaching were dark in the forest and it
doesn’t feel comfortable. It’s like, “Whoa, we have gone and we’ve pulled all this stuff from
my past. Again, we’ve shaken up a lot of things.” Then within a few weeks, they start to see
the butterflies and they start to see the rainbow and the trees get prettier as we walk
through the forest.
What happens too for some people is once we get to the better part of the forest, they end
up in this thing called the River of Misery that I mentioned which it’s almost like I’ve
pushed them in this water and they can swim a little bit, but they’re not great swimmers
yet. They know that they can’t go back to the land they used to live on. They know they’re
out of the dark part of the forest, but they’re not quite to the new location yet, this new
island that we’re going to build of their new life.
They’re just feeling like they’re almost drowning a little bit when other people are doing
things that feel really triggering to them. What happens is not only are they outside of that
dance that they’ve been doing with somebody else, but they’re seeing a reflection of their
old self in these people around them.
If you go back and you have listened to my podcast episode about judgment, I’ll put a link
in the show notes. I talk about in that episode is that many times when we’re judging
others, it’s because we’re seeing in them what we have in ourselves. If you’re looking at
your partner and you’re like, “Gosh, she’s so negative.” It’s like, “Well, yes, that’s probably
how you used to be,” or, “Gosh, they just sit around and complain all the time, my friends
do,” or, “All they’re doing is talking about their weight and how they look.” It’s like, “Yes,
that’s probably how you have been.” Right?
It shows you even more where you were, and that’s uncomfortable for people sometimes
to see the full depths of their life before because again, we get stuck in our routine. We get
stuck in our ways and we get comfortable. We think life is pretty good and it probably is,
but then when you open the doors or go through that force and expand that awareness,
you look back and you’re like, “Wow, I actually had way more growth to do than I ever
This happened to me. When I signed up for coaching as a client, I signed up with the idea
of this thought that I’m going to be a life coach. Granted, I wasn’t all-in on that, I was still
working on some other career outlets, but I had the thought of that. I thought, “Okay, if I’m
going to be a life coach, then I have to go through coaching.” My coaching school required
that too. I thought, “Well, I’ll just go through it as a client just so I’ll know what the
experience is like.” There was a part of me that really didn’t think I needed life coaching.
I know it’s crazy to think about because I was post-divorce. There was so much I needed to
go check on and I just had no idea. Anyways, I’m going through the process and I’m very
quickly exposed to, “Wow. I was a lot worse off than I actually thought. I see now why I’ve
had the patterns I had and I thought those patterns were just part of life. I thought maybe
they were somewhat healthy. I thought I could overcome them on my own, but it’s so
much deeper as to why I have those patterns than I ever thought.”
If you’re a client of mine, this is when we’re doing the bullet hole exercise and we’re doing
that inner mean girl interview, that’s when you’re pulling all that awareness. Then we do
that next week of the patterns and you’re pulling all the societal patterns you’ve been
programmed, and that’s when you’re starting to see like, “Wow, okay. Now, I see where I
www.LindsayEPreston.com | © Lindsay E Preston Coaching LLC 6
am,” has a meaning. It has this backstory to it of where it is, and that can be hard for
Anyways, this is where they’re at. This is the River of Misery, where they’re almost to that
new island, but we’re not quite there yet. They’re just seeing all these people around them
and it just feels very triggering to them. Just know, once again, I can’t say this enough, it’s
totally normal. I can’t tell you how many clients come to me and they think like their
marriage is the one that is just worse than everybody else’s or their friendships are the
ones that are just so f’ed up. It’s just not true. [chuckles]
We all typically experience this process through it. That’s why many times I’ll tell people,
“Do not make any relationship choices as you go through this process, especially in regards
to a marriage or getting into a new relationship. Just take these next few weeks and slow it
down, focus in on yourself and then in a few week’s time, things are going to get better.”
When I’m saying a few weeks, I’m saying the first eight weeks of coaching. Really the first
12 weeks, if I was to be completely honest and in my perfect world, don’t make any
Then after that, okay, maybe, you’re ready for that. Ideally, you don’t make any first six
months if we want to go even more perfect, but those first, as I said, two months, three
months, don’t make any choices. I have one client in particular, who’s been going back and
forth about her partnership with her boyfriend. I just keep telling her, “We’re not making
any choices on that right now. You are in the relationship and we’re working on you and
we’ll work on whatever that is later.”
Again, the brain too likes to focus in on other people and other people’s problems to avoid
dealing with your own stuff. Crazy, right? It makes so much sense. I remember when I went
to therapy, this is before, I was in coaching. Every week I would go and I would sit there
and I would talk about my then partner over and over and over and over again. There was
even one session I said, “Don’t you think it’s weird that all I’m doing is talking about him
all the time?”
My therapist totally played into it and said, “Well, he’s the source of your problems. Of
course, we’re talking about him.” It boggles my mind. She even went there because I, as a
coach, would handle that so differently. She was giving all the power to him when it was
all my thoughts that were causing those problems. Anyways, I regress.
Okay, so going back, you’re in this River of Misery, it feels really uncomfortable. That’s part
of the reason why sometimes relationships feel a little bit funky. It feels funky to them too
because you’re not the same person, you’re changing, you’re evolving, you’re growing. It
likely brings up some fears for them of maybe abandonment or whatever triggers they
What happens is in time is that you evolve so much that that stuff isn’t triggering to you
anymore and two, you get to be so strong mentally that you’re there for them, for them to
work through their stuff. They might not even realize they are working through their stuff
with you. Let me give you an example of this. I’ve seen this happen with me and my mom.
As I said, when I started coaching, I was so worried I was going to outgrow my family
because I knew just by doing even a little bit of personal development work, it was going
to be light years ahead of anything my family had ever done because they’re not feeling
people. They are, but they’re just like, “Oh, no, we don’t go there. We don’t do that stuff.”
As I’ve grown with my mom, my mom will naturally come to me and say things to me that
I’m able to hold space for her. She comes to me with certain fears or certain things she’s
worried about. I’ll just very easily hold the space for her where I’m not playing into
whatever she’s fearing or worried about. Instead, I’ll be like, “Mom, I know you feel dah,
dah, dah, but have you considered this perspective, dah, dah, dah, dah?” All of a sudden,
you’ll see a light bulb go off in her and it will calm her. She’ll start to think about things in
slightly a different way.
As time has gone on because now, I’ve been doing this work since 2013, so, gosh, going on
eight years, our relationship has changed, and she has changed without us ever entering a
coaching relationship where I’ve been coaching her just because I’ve gotten to a place
where I can be so strong and I can hold that space for her and just present very casually a
different perspective that maybe she didn’t see. Hope that’s making sense.
I see this with my husband and my daughter because these are the people I’m around the
most. Now, I am around my son a lot, but he’s only two so he’s not really into all the
mindset stuff, he’s just little. With my husband, we had a certain dance for a while, that
dance changed. It felt really uncomfortable to me and any time I do change because I’m
constantly evolving, it’s uncomfortable for a little bit, and then we get into a new dance.
What happens is that he gets stronger, because I get stronger, and he doesn’t even quite
realize it. He’ll just say little things like, “Man, you’re just so much more confident,” or,
“Your emotions have really regulated, you’re not as moody anymore,” or, “I really like how
you do X, Y, Z. You’re really loving and supportive, and you’re not as critical of me.” That’s
how it’ll come out in him. What he doesn’t realize is how much change I have given him
without him even knowing it just from my way of being.
I hope you’re starting to get some tidbits here. I feel like in some of these episodes, that’s
when I go on these little tangents. I hope you’re putting together some ‘aha moments’ for
you. I will tell you, if a client comes to me directly and they say, “I just feel like I’m growing
so much and whatever relationship it is, my marriage, my friends, work, whatever, it just
feels like I’ve outgrown it.”
I will explore that with them and dig deeper to really make sure that their thoughts about
that person is really intentional and the ones they truly want to be thinking. Again, many
times, they’ll unintentionally have thoughts about that person, or that relationship,
whatever you want to call it, and it’s not truly the thoughts they want to think.
I’ll give you an example here of one client, came to me recently and said this exact thing,
it was about her husband. I said, “Okay, tell me the thoughts. When I put him as a
circumstance, what are the thoughts you have about it?” One of the big thoughts she had
was he’s never going to change. Of course, that’s going to create feelings of things like
frustration and sadness, and all the things.
I said, “Okay, is that really what you want to think here that he’s never going to change? Is
that something that’s true? Is it something that’s serving you and the relationship?” She’s
like, “No, that’s not true.” Her brain had gone to black and white thinking of, “Okay, let’s
figure out and find all the ways in which he hasn’t changed and let’s focus in on that
versus seeing it for what it is, is that sometimes he’s changing, and sometimes he’s not.”
That’s true with all of us.
In some ways, we’re evolving and growing. In other ways, we’re just staying the same way
and that’s okay. We’re not meant to grow and change overnight in every single area of life,
that would be exhausting. She said, “I do want to believe that he’s changing.” I said, “Okay,
well, start thinking that. Say something like, ‘I find proof every day that my husband is
changing and growing.'”
From there, she came at it from a different energy of being supportive and loving and
focusing in on the positive. She’s pouring that into him, so then, of course, he’s totally into
that. He loves getting that love and what happens, he wants to go and change more. He
wants to be a better person. Then the relationship improves. In essence, she starts to get
what she wants and it’s done in a way where she’s not nagging and not feeling frustrated.
Instead, it’s, “Hey, how can we evolve and make this something better between us?” Hey,
now I know.
I’m like, really taking those in because this has been a struggle for me, as I said. There
have been so many times that with my husband, I’m like, “I’m growing and you’re not and
this is so frustrating. I’m doing all this work and you have no idea all the work that I have
to do mindset wise, and you don’t do it, and then blah blah blah blah.”
This past year, especially, the past few months, I’ve just really let go of that story. I’m like,
“Lindsay, that is not serving you. It is not serving your marriage. This is just part of your
journey.” If you’re the one that holds more of the mindset work for the both of you, so be
it. He does other things. He is great at holding the space for the financial stuff. That’s not
my zone of genius at all, nor do I have any interest in any of that stuff.
I get all of his work emails, and they’re like, “Oh, go listen to these podcasts and read these
articles about maximizing your finances.” I’m like, “Man, I cannot think of anything more
boring.” [chuckles] For him, that’s the mindset stuff. That’s not his cup of tea. We balance
each other out. Again, I’m teaching my brain, “Here’s what I want to focus on. Here is how I
want to move forward with this.”
Now, let’s do address those relationships that do end because it does happen. This really
goes back to a boundary thing. There’s this assessment I give my clients, a boundary one.
We go through it, and it states very clearly, I think there are 20 different questions on
there. They go in and if they can’t fully say that they’re doing that one thing, then they
need to set a stronger boundary.
I’ll give you an example. One of the boundary items on there is I don’t allow anyone to talk
me out of my own truth. If you’re sitting and you’re reflecting on that, and you’re like,
“Well, I do it here, here and here, but I don’t really do it at work and I don’t really do it with
my parents,” then you can’t check that boundary. There’s still work to do there. That just
brings, again, a whole another level of awareness for the person and for me as their coach
to say, “Here’s where we need to work on it.”
Somebody is coming to me and saying, “Lindsay, I’m growing, the relationship is not.” If we
dig deeper into that, I’ll say, “Okay, what are the boundaries that they’re crossing that you
don’t want them to cross?” Then we’ll get to work on that. If it’s still something in time
where that person is just not hanging on to the boundary, they’re not honoring the
boundary, that’s when we get to a place of, “Okay. Is it time for the relationship to end? Are
you ending that relationship out of peace and love and not out of, “Oh, my gosh, I have to
get out of this so that I can feel better.”
That too is you’re going to still have the same work with the next person, believe it or not.
I realized this with my marriage. When I left my last relationship with my father’s daughter,
it was like, “Oh, he’s a narcissist. He cheated on me, all his problems,” and I looked at some
of my own stuff. It wasn’t until I got really settled into my marriage and saw the same
patterns of behavior started coming up in me and I thought, “Oh, boy, I see now how I was
even more part of the problem in my last relationship and I have some work to do.”
Luckily, I’ve done that work for the most part but it would have been great had I done that
work before. That’s my take on growing when others aren’t. I also really coach my clients
on trusting themselves and trusting their intuition and knowing when it’s time for
something to move on, especially if somebody is in a dating relationship and they’re like, “I
don’t know, Lindsay. Should I stay, should I go?” That’s different than being in a marriage.
That’s different than being in a family because the dating relationship is in essence
supposed to be one where you can come and go.
The same with friendships in some way. You go, and I have my clients make a list of all
their ideal qualities that they want in their partner, and they can do the same if it’s a
friend’s thing. Then they compare and say, “Does this person that I’m currently dating, are
these people that I’m currently friends with, do they have these qualities? If they don’t, am
I okay giving those up?”
For some of them, it’s like, “Yes, those are little things, I need to get over it.” We do the
mindset work to do that. For others, it’s like, “No, I really want these things, and so it’s
showing me that it’s time for the relationship to end.” Then we do the work for them too.
Again, leave that relationship with love and peace and not where they’re trying to escape
something. That’s what I have for you on this topic. I hope you got some nuggets from it.
Feel free to ask me questions on this because, again, I get so many questions on this.
A lot of people want to tell me all the details about the relationship to get my advice if
they should stay or go. It’s really not about my advice. It’s about me coaching you for you
to find your own truth because I could sit here all day and be like, “Oh, yes, girl. You need
to leave him. I wouldn’t be putting up with that kind of crap.” Then what?
Then you’re listening to me and you need to find it in yourself of what your truth is
because not only is it about their relationship and if you should stay or go, it’s about you
growing yourself. You trusting yourself, you growing your own brain, and doing the
mindset work to realize things. It’s a process. It’s taken me many years. I feel like again, in
2020 is when I started to really master this. I can’t tell you how many times I would
Now I’ve built that muscle inside myself to really trust myself and to say, “Okay, do I want
to do this with this person, especially if I’m entering a new relationship.” Last year, I
entered a lot of contracts or relationships. It was like, “Okay, where do I feel here? Do I
want to move forward with this person?” I just started to get really good at trusting my
own intuition because again, if you’re not picking up on what I just said there, it’s not
about the relationships you’re in now, and if to stay or go, it’s about the growth of you
growing that trust, as I said.
Then too you’re going to take that into new relationships, you’re going to meet new
people, you’re going to have that skill of trusting where you need to go, and you’re going
to have likely these lists or these visions or whatever you want to call them of these
people that you want. You’ll be able to go back and say, “Oh, is this who I want or not?”
Tangibly, I have this data here I’ve collected. I’m not going to get swept up by my
emotions as much. I’m going to really sit down and say, “Are these the kind of people that I
All right. That’s all I have for you for this first podcast episode of 2021. We have now gone
to one episode a week every Monday. I will see you back on the show next Monday for
Episode 95. I’ll see you then. Bye.
Hey there, Miss Unstoppable. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. If you enjoyed
it, share it with a friend. Send them a picture of this episode via text, via email, share it on
social media, I’m sure they would be so appreciative to know these strategies and tips on
how to accomplish your dreams. If you are ready to guarantee you’re going to accomplish
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