How far can you grow? I am not thinking physically. I am thinking about your personal development. What are you doing towards your personal growth?
When we first attempt something, it often feels hard. An example of this is learning to drive. If you have learnt to drive, you will understand that at the beginning you can feel slightly overwhelmed by all the things you need to remember to do. But most drivers will tell you that it very quickly becomes second nature. A similar example is learning to ride a bike. I remember running alongside my children holding on to the back of the bike as they learned to get their balance. After a few scraped knees and letting go without them knowing they eventually got the hang of it. As a result they grew.
These things teach us something. First of all, the older I get the more I realise that it is up to me to intentionally focus on a what I call a growth mindset. That the way I think about learning new things is directly related to whether I make progress or not. As Mark Twain remarked:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbour. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
The process of learning something new and attempting something new, like a new job or starting a new business, is hard work. In the process we will reiterate and try different things all towards mastering what we have begun. We need to embrace the hard work. When we look around at the success of others, we often do not see the journey it took them to get where they are. It can feel quite discouraging. But we need to back ourselves and believe that things are possible. That way of looking at the world requires a growth mindset.
Neuroscientists used to think that the brain was in a fixed state by a certain age. However, this has largely been debunked with the work of people like Dr Caroline Leaf. Our minds are limited not through the physicality of the brain but by our own self-limiting beliefs.
The truth is, you can’t grow beyond the way that you look at yourself. To go further you must go at something with the belief that you can succeed. It is your journey that will change you and enable you to grow. As I coach leaders and small business owners, the limits that appear in them are often self-inflicted. The coaching process is powerful because it explores these beliefs, and, through discovery, these perceptions change. It enables the person being coached to a move in their thinking from obstacle to stepping-stone.
What self-limiting beliefs do you have? Are they affecting how you want to grow this year?
The circumstances we face right now are an opportunity to attempt something new. The world is changing fast. The pandemic has meant those that would resist taking up technology like Zoom have, out of necessity, moved towards it. Learning or being curious about the world we live in enables us to remain healthy in our minds, something we all need right now.
Dr Caroline Leaf shared the following in a blog from August last year:
“…building the brain through deep thinking and learning is one of the best ways to improve our mental health… One of the surest ways to feel depressed or at a loss is to be stagnant, to stop learning and growing.”
Learning and growing is hard work but the benefits are clear. It is only our own self-limiting beliefs that stop us growing. I am convinced that there is no stage of life in which we cannot learn something new. Learning is life enhancing.
Get in touch if you want to find out how your own self-limiting beliefs may be preventing you from achieving what you were made for.
What new things will you attempt that will keep you growing and feed your curiosity?