User story:

Michael Lindhorst
... It’s like I am reading the instruction manual for life, for the first time – at the age of 49!
Beyond Metrics / User Stories / Michael Lindhorst

I got divorced around 12 years ago, and none of the romantic relationships I have had since then has ever been as successful as I hoped. Until now.


My current relationship seems to be bucking this trend. And, for that, I give a lot of the credit to Mygrow. Not all, but a lot.

If you would give me a few minutes of your time, I’d love to explain why I feel so confident to make a statement like that.


My experience on Mygrow has had a really big impact on me, in every part of my life, in all my relationships, personal and professional. But the greatest change I can see is in the relationship I have with ME. I have become more accepting and supportive of myself. I have learned to understand what is happening inside me, and how I see and value myself in the relationships I have. How I respond to others has changed as a result. Because of my own growth, the relationships I have with others are being affected too. The clearest place I can see this is in my relationship with my romantic partner.


Most of my life has been emotionally stunted. I have had some deep internal needs that I haven’t been able to understand and process until Mygrow came along and helped me walk a journey of growth. I have been willing to walk that road, and perhaps that is what has made the difference. But, then again, I have always been interested in personal growth and development and have been on many programmes and courses (both professionally and in a personal capacity) but nothing compares with the impact that Mygrow is having on me.


I’ve always felt like there were more question marks than answers to life. So I was always looking for the answers, but of course, just got more question marks.

But Mygrow has helped me find some of the answers I was looking for, specifically to do with relationships. With everything that Mygrow has exposed me to, and in the way that their programme works, it’s like I am reading the instruction manual for life, for the first time – at the age of 49! Not only am I growing, and making sense of my life and past, but I am thoroughly enjoying the process. It blows my mind how well they tie up the theory and the practical application of it all. They connect psychology, physiology and neurology so well. Helping me make sense of the life story I have lived till now.


The Mygrow content and the exercises I have done on their technology platform make all the knowledge and growth so much more concrete – much more so than any sessions I’ve had in the past with psychologists, or the books I have read about emotional maturity.


I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I am learning and growing and beginning to get to grips with some of the development I have needed to achieve so that I can move forward successfully (as a human, not just as a professional). These are definitely some of the answers I have been hoping for.


But let’s go back and start at the beginning.


I grew up in Germany as an only child, and to make that even harder, I was a “latchkey kid.” I would go to school, then to aftercare, and then I’d let myself into the house at the end of the day. I would only see my parents a few hours later when they both arrived home, later, from work. We didn’t have a lot of time together and whatever moments we did have were not the most emotionally rich experiences. (Germans are not particularly known for our emotional awareness or for a particularly strong ability to express emotion well; being “open” with emotions is very uncommon for us Germans, even at the best of times.) The result was that I grew up with a deep sense of disconnection from people, and an even deeper need for acceptance and affirmation. All my relationships (parenting, romantic, professional) were hopeful in terms of filling that void.


But no matter what acceptance I got, it was never enough. That need was so deep and so primal to my identity, it could never be satisfied. This, as you can imagine, has had a big impact (often detrimental) on all my relationships, but most importantly the romantic ones.


For the earlier part of my life, I have been needy, clingy and sometimes jealous. I have needed more attention than my partners could give me.


In my previous relationships, including my marriage, I used to be triggered quite a lot. I never realised there was a common thread to those experiences. Being able to grow in self-awareness has helped me realise that although the specific triggers might look different, the root cause is the same. There is a common thread. The theme that runs through all of them is “not feeling good enough for you.”


My formative years created that relational void in me and a deep need for acceptance, but also a belief that I wasn’t worth accepting – and all the different triggers seem to go back to that. On top of that, I have always picked romantic partners that were emotionally unavailable, which doesn’t help that need at all. Mygrow has helped me better understand why I have tended towards these kinds of choices.


The tools Mygrow has given have helped me process that identity, and those triggers, and now I mostly behave differently. The ABCDE technique has been very helpful for me. The Signature Strengths exercise was a complete eye-opener. Going through the process, with friends and colleagues, slowly, and rationally (beginning to understand my strengths) has painted a positive picture of myself that I have never seen before

“For the first time in my life, I can look at myself as someone that is objectively valuable to people around me. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin now.”

In the past, if a romantic partner spent too much time with someone else I would be hurt and offended. But that has changed. I have learned to let go of that jealousy and process the ever-present need for affirmation. I can be rational about the trigger (thank you ABCDE technique!). I have changed the way I relate to my girlfriend now. I know we are close, but I am feeling free for us to both have space – for each of us to be independent.

I am ready to start progressing towards interdependence.


I’m not perfect, of course, sometimes I have to take some deep breaths and process triggers with the tools I now have. But just last night was a great example of how my behaviour is different now. My girlfriend and I haven’t seen each other much this week, and she told me she was going to spend the evening with her friend and sister and go for a walk on the beach. I was disappointed, but I was fine. In the past I would have felt like she was rejecting me. I would be consumed with jealousy and my insecurities would come to the surface. I would see it as an act of aggression and I may retaliate in kind: jumping in my car and going out for hours, spending time with my friends and coming home late to get back at her. But instead, last night, I stayed home and was happy that she could spend time with some other people that are important to her and whom she loves.


Another great example is the change I have had towards my partner’s exes. For most of my life, I would get very uncomfortable and jealous if a romantic partner had much contact with her ex. But with my current girlfriend, coincidentally, we found out that one of her exes was a childhood school friend of mine now living in Germany. What are the chances? We actually went there last year to visit him and it was an amazing time of reconnection where I did not feel threatened at all.

I can’t share all the credit with Mygrow, as a lot has to do with picking a more compatible partner and I acknowledge all that she does to make me feel secure in myself and us.


I am not sure if you have read all the way to the end of this story. But if you have, thank you.


The last thing I’d like to say is that the Mygrow tool is not just for people like me, with my specific story. Maybe you don’t resonate with my experience of a deep need for love like I have shared. Maybe your blindspots are your anger or your self-centeredness. Maybe you need to grow in your empathy for others or work on the pervasive negativity and pessimism you express. Whatever your story is – whatever the identities are that have formed from your experience of life – I am sure that the journey Mygrow will take you on will lead you to greater heights of being a more healthy human being. And even if that doesn’t appeal much to you, I promise you it will appeal to those around you. For their sake, if not for your own, Mygrow is worth exploring.


I can’t wait to share my insights and Mygrow, with my kids, who would get such a head start in life, prepared with these nuggets.


I’m grateful to be on the journey towards building a more emotionally intelligent world with Mygrow. 

Inward and upward.


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