What Does Personal Growth Look Like?

What Does Personal Growth Look Like?

There’s a reason why I’m a big advocate of personal growth and positive change……I’ve been undergoing my own over the last 3 years! I’ve been, I feel, fairly transparent about that.

The precursor to personal change in your life; when you simply can’t keep lying or pretending to yourself or others anymore. When you grow tired of your own bs.

For me, something that was a “should I?” became an “I must do now”. It was as simple as that.

I suppose, if I make it solely about me (as we always should sometimes), that if I look back and put words to emotions and feelings now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I can see that I’d outgrown something. I’d grown as much as I could in a situation and I couldn’t see circumstances changing enough to see that changing. It wasn’t solely the result of anyone else, otherwise I’d probably have tried to make some changes years ago, more my own inner voice that could no longer be placated.

Everyone has a tipping point-  it’s what you choose to do with it when you get to it. Stay stuck and stick with the status quo or do something about it. Because then you do it. You lose the weight. You leave. You quit the job. You take the leap. You say how you really feel and follow through on something. My reasons for doing; I didn’t want aspects of my life to look and feel the same way it did now into the future; 6 months from now, 1 year from now, 5 years from now. I was genuinely tired of my own stories and their effect on my life and choices.

So I did something about it. I changed me.

3 photos taken over a period of two and a bit years. Early 2015. Mid 2016. June 2017.

Carla Da Costa

And in that time…….

I’ve gone with the flow. Fought the flow. Ignored the flow and fought timing. Gone with the flow again.

I’ve been on dates with gentlemen. I’ve been on dates with potato heads.

It’s not always been perfect (nor have I). Sometimes it’s been messy. But I always tried my best. I always meant well.

I’ve written and designed 3 books.

I left my husband.

Sold a house.

Moved house.

Got a divorce.

Bought a car.

Continued to raise two children.

Bought a dog.

I’ve felt scared and nervous at times to have full autonomy and choice over my own life. Now I’m excited to have my life be at my own choosing, learning to be more confident in my own choices- particularly over the big stuff.

I went to two Tony Robbins events. One in Sydney and the other in Florida. Soon to be a third in Fiji.

I’ve had long kisses. Passing kisses. Stare deep into your eyes kisses. A bogan pash. No kisses. Kisses again.

I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve smiled. I’ve had an awful lot of fun.

I’ve looked at my past and cried with regret. I’ve looked at my past and smiled with gratitude.

I’ve looked to my future and worried. I’ve looked to my future with excitement and possibility.

I’ve had a minor health thing- a blast from the past. Shaken emotionally the minor health thing.

I’ve missed my daughters terribly when they’re with their Dad. I’ve learnt to relish and enjoy the precious time I have to myself again.

I returned to work as a dental hygienist part time and surprised myself with how much I enjoyed doing that.

I’ve rebranded my website. Twice. My brains implodes at the memory of this.

I’ve worked with my own life coaches.

I’ve used reiki.

I’ve used hypnotherapy.

I meditate.

I thought I was ready for a relationship. Wanted to be ready for a relationship. Thought I was ready for a relationship again. Realised that only now am I actually ready for a relationship and the watching of netflix on the couch and the sharing of all your inner stuff freely that comes with that. 

I’ve been disappointed. I’ve been overjoyed.

I’ve felt lost in myself. I feel completely relaxed in myself.

I had a pilates business. I lost a pilates business. But I still have this business.

I’ve not lost any weight (in fact I’ve gained weight!) but I’ve toned up.

I did a couple of things just for me. Have zero regrets about that choice. Wish I’d done it sooner.

I travelled overseas on my own for the first time. Several times. Loved every minute of it and realised, during a moment, that I probably wouldn’t be sitting here, at this bar, having this drink if I hadn’t made some of the hard decisions that I did. Had several epiphanies in that moment.

I’ve felt lost and alone in my new house and avoided being home on my own. Now I love the peace and quiet of having a space to call my own. I love pottering around. 

I’ve danced. I’ve learnt to surf (hopeless but I enjoyed it anyway). I’ve embraced and leant to love the slower pace of yoga.

I’ve done pilates nearly everyday.

I’ve learnt to love running again.

I’ve learnt to accept my own part that I played in circumstances. I’ve learnt to be not too hard on myself about somethings.

I quietly freaked out when I started receiving household bills in the mail with just my name on them- the first time in my adult life. I got over that one!

I’ve been touched and taken aback by the absolute generosity and help of others. Surprised by the lack of support from some.

I’ve felt confusion over what I now want for myself and for my life. I’ve relaxed enough to see that what I want can be simply to have a life that I love showing up in everyday, surrounded by people that I love. I’ve learnt the details work themselves out when I follow who and what leave me feeling good.

And after all of that. Keeping always moving towards where I want to go, even when I haven’t felt my best I can say with hand on heart, I’ve never felt as good, as solid in myself and who I am as I do standing here today. Has it sometimes been confronting, painful, hurtful, upsetting- yes. Has it been worth it…..absolutely!

And the difference I can see between the three photos above, more than I can anything else. Heart closed. Heart opening. Heart open to however life unfolds. A girl who accepted her situation. A woman who was learning what she deserved and wanted. A woman who knows what she deserves and isn’t shy to turn away from what doesn’t feel good.

A girlfriend said to me recently that watching you being you makes me want to be even more of me. I’m far from all together but that compliment is perhaps one of the best, most well-timed things that somebody has ever said to me. In that moment I not only really felt what she said, I saw myself in what she was saying and I want you to be able to see that in yourself too.


What’s holding you back?

If it’s your mind then this book here will help change that.

Your body then this one here will have you moving and feeling amazing in your own skin.

Your spirit then this book here will lift you up.


Please note that hard copy versions of my books are currently only available for purchase in Australia. You can however purchase the printable ebook version instead if you live overseas.


As it should be only a handful of people can read this and know all or most of the details behind. Thank you to those people.

Thank you Hannah jones for capturing me at points in my life as you do.

Tony Robbins for turning my life around on a dial.

Dave Blomsterberg for helping me see that through over a period of nearly 18 months x


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5 Responses to What Does Personal Growth Look Like?

  1. Wow I love this! You are very talented.

    Some of your words feel like they are coming out of my mouth.

    Thank you xx

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Carla Da Costa

Carla Da Costa Life Coach, Certified Law Of Attraction Coach, Author and Speaker