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The Power of Compounding Part Two

When writing the last blog about the law of compounding, I realized that there is more to say than can be contained in one post, so this is a continuation of that idea. Which means this blog post itself is a product of compounding! If you haven’t read the previous post, you can go back to read it here.

I was talking with some peers in a group I’m in about why we were all members. There were so many reasons, but the word “connection” kept coming up—I’m not sure how many times it was mentioned because I quit counting at forty. This is a great example of the law of compounding. Connection is the result of the compounding effect of how we treat others.

Something we can do that is really healthy, is to go back and look at the things we believe, the seeds we’ve allowed to grow. Because those beliefs influence how we respond to the world around us. If our responses are based on a negative seed of hurt, it will continue to compound hurt. If a response is based on a positive seed, it’s going to continue to compound as well.

When I was writing Refined by Failure, I started working with my mental coach, Twila. She used EMDR therapy to help me go back and find places where a seed of hurt led to a way to cope with that hurt—coping is not directly acknowledging that hurt. Coping is learning to walk with a crutch, and being comfortable with the crutch, instead of being healed. That crutch always slows us down and keeps us from being who we are created to be. Being aware of your seeds of hurt is the first step to killing them.


The opposite of vulnerability is shame, because vulnerability is honesty, and shame wants to hide.


That process of healing provided me with freedom in that area of my life. For example, I was freed from being a control freak and a know-it-all. Believe me, having to control and know everything is exhausting. It also caused negative seeds to take root in my relationships. That’s now something I can share with others; because I’ve been released from that, I can perpetuate the learning and encouragement that comes from being vulnerable and sharing my experiences with others. They may have the same seeds in their own lives, and knowing that they’re not alone gives them courage to face it.

Being vulnerable helps you be a guide to others facing the same issues. When we’re vulnerable with each other, it compounds trust. The opposite of vulnerability is shame, because vulnerability is honesty, and shame wants to hide. Shame accelerates the compounding of negative beliefs and seeds of hurt and loneliness.

Remember the garden analogy in the last post? Shame is a fertilizer for the seeds of negative beliefs and hurts. It all goes back to the famous Henry Ford quote: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right.” Whatever we consume or take in is compounded when it comes out of us. It starts growing. If we leave those seeds untended, it reduces the amount of good fruit because it steals the nutrients. But that works the other way around as well, your good fruit, when nurtured, robs nutrients from the weeds.

Many times in our lives, we’re tending to weeds that we don’t even know are weeds. You have to have a guide, like Twila is for me, whose role is to help you become aware. You should be prepared for how it will feel to become aware, sometimes it feels like ignorance really is bliss, but it isn’t. When you become aware of something that you were doing that was harming yourself or others, you experience regret, which is wishing that you would have done something sooner to change the consequences (or reduce compounding effects).

Transforming that regret into action (which is planting the seed), is the first step to harnessing the power of compounding.

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