3 Ways to Promote Positive Growth

I have a fabulous lemon tree. The lemons used to grow with large, thick peels. They looked the right colour but were not really edible. So my husband and I had a look at what we needed to do to help them grow better.

Sometimes we have a season in life where we’re struggling and we’re not seeing the fruit of our labour. Our instinct is to seek blame, “The kiwi vine was blocking my sun”. Or to try harder by pumping energy into redundant parts of our life.

As it turns out, to promote positive growth, we needed to chop back about a third of the tree and spread some fertiliser around her base. The following year, the tree looked lush. It had so much fresh growth and heaps of new lemon bulbs. Within a few months, these grew to be large, juicy lemons with the perfect peel. I used them for fish and chips and raspberry and lemon wholemeal muffins and lemon chicken. They were so good.

Sometimes, the key lies in letting go. Cutting back some of our redundant parts and sending our energy where it matters most.

Handlettering by drawn with Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen Black in S. Edited with Enlight Photo Editor.

Pruning makes sense for a lemon tree but how do we apply it in our lives?

Spark Joy

In her book and Netflix tv show, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo demonstrates how to fill your home with joy. Her technique involves reviewing your possessions (clothes, books, kitchen, miscellaneous) and going through each one to see if it sparks joy.  If it doesn’t spark joy, you prune it; release it to make room for new joy or to focus on the things you have that already light you up.

More is not always more. Sometimes more carries a huge cost to our attention and energy.

Remove tolerations

In his book 50 Ways To Get a Job, Dev Aujla shares a technique called “getting rid of tolerations”. This involves reviewing your life and making a list of all the things you tolerate – the broken zipper on your back-pack, the chipped nail polish on your fingers, the mismatched, hand-me-down coffee mugs in your kitchen, that pile of junk on the bench. Then you assign a budget – $20, $50 whatever you can afford – and schedule some time to fix them. Replace your back-pack, buy new mugs and nail polish remover, declutter your bench.

Removing these tolerations from your life releases your energy to focus on more important things like chasing your dreams, cultivating your relationships and building more happiness.


Remember how we gave the lemon tree some fertiliser? It’s important to do both. If you’re releasing elements from your life, you need to ensure you’re refuelling too. Eat good food, drink plenty of water and take care of yourself to support this burst of fresh energy that’s coming your way.

When we create space, top-up our good intake and direct our energy to the most important aspects of our lives, we start to see results. Letting things go can be challenging at first, but this gets easier with practice. Trust the process will bring you fresh opportunity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pruning is healthy and promotes growth
  • Review possessions using the KonMarie method to spark more joy in your life
  • Remove tolerations using Dev Aujla’s method to enhance focus on the most important aspects of your life
  • Refuel with good food and water to support the burst of energy coming your way

Published by hanfitz.creates

I'm Hannah, a business coach for creative professionals. The world needs creativity and innovation: this is how we progress as humans. But, the creative journey is paved with challenges: we're told the story of the starving artist since we're children, our brain is hard wired to resist anything new (like creative ideas), we doubt our ability and worthiness to succeed and we crush our ingenuity with judgement and comparison. Yet, we know our purpose is to create. I help visual artists, designers and illustrators bridge this gap with my uniquely curated knowledge and experience of graphic design, finance, human behaviour and neuroscience. You have invested time and resources into their technical skill; now, it's time to invest in your mindset and strategy. After working with me, you can confidently communicate the value of your work, attract clients and charge what you're worth through multiple income streams. This frees up more time and energy to do what you're best at: create.

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