… commit to your own growth
In a world where you could be anything, what would you like to be?
Hint: think not a job but a state of being.
On our road to more productivity, efficiency and other philosophies of providing/producing, we may have forgotten that we are first and foremost human beings, with wishes, desires, dreams and longings.
So for the purpose of this post, I invite you to sit for a couple of minutes and ask yourself: what do I want from my life? What am I ready to do to get there?
In my relationships, in my life, at work, and elsewhere.
Take the example of your career/job. You work likely for these reasons and more (in no order): 1/ to build your personal wealth and 2/ to learn more skills and feel challenged and achieved and 3/ to make an impact in your life and in others’.
These 3 elements have one point in common: they all three contribute to your personal growth. But here is the thing: life happens, mishaps and career accidents too – but your desire to grow and evolve doesn’t need to stop – unless you link it to something outside your control: It’s a lifelong commitment and investment in yourself that will always pay off.
Here are 4 ways that can help you walk back to your path when you start feeling the stagnation.
Growth accelerator 1: Embracing the discomfort of the ‘growing pains’
Not the first time you are hearing it: growth starts at the end of your comfort zone – and I get it if you’re rolling your eyes, we live in a world of fast and furious, and dedicating additional time/energy/attention to experimenting is a luxury that very few have.
I understand – and I am going to ask you to think about this: was there a time in your life when the idea of doing something new was more painful than actually doing it? How did it feel for you once on the other side?
I am not advocating throwing yourself into anything just for the sake of ‘feeling’ that you are working yourself out of that comfort zone – life did it, does it and will do it again.
My invitation is for you to notice those places where the ‘fear’ of the discomfort is taking over the potential to do something that will help you feel liberated – because 1/ that ‘fear’ doesn’t own you anymore and 2/ you have freed more mental space for more interesting things in your life.
Growth accelerator 2: Learning the art of taking in feedback
Because depending on how you can take feedback in, it can be an annoyance (I didn’t ask you for your %&@$ opinion) or advice for free.
What makes the difference? Your ability to accept that feedback is not a reflection of your value as a human, but of a behavior or of an output that you have produced, and someone, coming from an external point of view, is telling you that you can do better – you then decide what to do with it.
This also means not taking stuff at face value: question, ask for clarification and for new ideas. In another word, receiving feedback could also be seen as an opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue and to commit to yourself to do what works for you – from a place of maturity and proactivity; even when it feels like it has been imposed on you.
Growth accelerator 3: Creating structure and boundaries
My favorite growth accelerator, and the one I find to be one of the most difficult to implement, because it requires a dance between discipline, flexibility, adapting and refusing complacency yet staying compassionate towards self and others.
A lot to think about at the same time – yet it can be much more simple than what we think.
Let’s reverse engineer it: no structure – not on the to-do list, not in the calendar, no deadline – and it will not get done.
No boundaries, and it is a yes and no to everything and anyone; except for what is important.
You see how no structure + no boundaries can make you lose time, energy, attention and can ultimately make you feel depleted and stagnating.
Find the ‘structure’ that works for you, and leave space for the unexpected.
As for boundaries, having a code of integrity can help you lay ‘your rules of your land’ and keep the rest as a ‘it depends on who/what/why/where/why and how’.
Growth accelerator 4: Reaffirming your personal code of integrity
This should be your starting point – defining what your non-negotiables are, what is acceptable or not for you, what you are ready to do and where your buck stops.
The world we operate in is not of all or nothing, black or white – it’s actually quite confusing. But we are also asked to take a stand for what is important for us, decide how far we are ready to go and why – so we can hold ourselves accountable, take responsibility and learn from our mistakes.
Your personal code of integrity is the ultimate boundary and your individual rule of conduct. Only you know what it looks like, how it changes and why.
Ultimately, as the saying goes, it’s about progress not perfection – and reframed, it’s about how you want to be, do and feel, despite and in response to what is happening on the outside.
Deciding that you want to be a better person every day – that’s a choice only you can make.