Individual growth is a critical aspect in everyone’s lives. However, sometimes an individual may hit a growth gap trap, hindering personal development, and limiting potential. People tend to lose themselves in these traps, believing that there is no other option. This is not true; they are simply choosing the easy way out. Growth is messy and not something that can be achieved overnight, it takes effort, intention, and action. Not to mention that mistakes and failures are part and parcel of that. The rocky road is an option, maybe a more rewarding one as well.
It might get a little cheesy, but here is a list of 15 tried and true laws of individual growth:
Sitting around all day waiting for individual growth to magically happen, will not get you anywhere! You have to be intentional – make a plan and follow through. Ask yourself thought provoking questions; Where do you want to go in life? What does individual growth mean to you?
To grow yourself, you need to know yourself. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your goals, strengths and weaknesses, learning styles and personality. This ensures that your desires match your capabilities, setting you up for success. Tip to get to know yourself: try journaling!
Self-image matters. Low self-esteem can really damage one’s personal growth. When you look in the mirror, it is important that you recognise your worth, be proud of what you see. It is counteractive and limiting when you compare yourself to others. Celebrate small wins and learn to stay true to yourself, your values and your goals.
This may seem like the same step as No.3, but it is not. This reflection means learning how to evaluate your experiences. What can you learn from something you have experienced? How can you enrich or add value to your life from this particular experience?
Consistency is key. A common saying that has been used for years and years. There is a reason for that: it ensures results. Keep yourself consistently motivated and disciplined, to become the person you want to be. Do not set unrealistic expectations of yourself, and do not give up too easily, find a balance – be productive, patient, inspired, and just keep going.
Although it can be scary, change is necessary for growth to occur. Being stuck in the same space, same position, with the same providers of knowledge, will only limit your potential to develop. Change your environment and find new growth opportunities. Find the right soil for you to grow in. Expose yourself to different people, new books, different film genres, and you will find that as you accept these different experiences, you are not only opening yourself to external change and inviting other opportunities, but you are also maturing, changing, and growing as an individual.
You need a plan. Winging it may seem like an option, but are you really willing to gamble your life, your happiness, your growth, on something that may or may not work out? Design your life. Create systems, schedules, lists, tables. They do not have to be so rigid to a point where you feel tied down or unhappy, but having some sort of a plan, a design, is always a good idea. Take charge of your life, you are in control.
Why is it that worst experiences always make the best stories? In the midst of things, it may seem like the world is ending, but after, there is a sense of pride, strength and maybe even humour. No pain no gain, right? Sometimes it is better to just embrace the hardships and try to grow from them.
Character drives personal growth. This is a character ladder and not the climb to success. It is nice to accomplish career goals and have a well-known reputation to your name, but sometimes, your character can enhance personal reputations and growth. Serve others, stay humble, be honest with yourself. What is inside matters most.
Growth stops once you stop stretching. You need to move away from your comfort zones and stretch from where you are to where you want to be. Do not settle, but strive. Remember, rubber bands are only useful when they are stretched.
Everyone makes sacrifices. Sometimes to get to where you want to be, you need to give up certain things, whether it be less free time or quitting a stable job to start a business that you are passionate about. It is however important to note that some things are not worth sacrificing for, so make wise decisions and give things up when they serve your bigger purpose and goals and not if they are going to negatively impact you.
Children question everything and that is how they learn. There is something energising about being curious. Not only do you develop this attitude of openness, but you also embrace knowledge and break away from this fearful stereotype of appearing less intelligent than those around you.
Imitate models. If you find books, people, or anything that inspires and motivates you, make them a model and learn from them. Have mentors and people you admire, follow in their footsteps. Create this desire to learn and try to act on what you learn instead of collecting this knowledge.
Your potential is limitless. Test your limits and find ways to expand your thinking and growth. Give yourself a plethora of options in life, do not confine your goals to what you think is expected of you. Have the confidence to dream big if you want to. The only one stopping you is you, so if you think you can do it, you can.
You are not alone in this journey of growth, there is a whole world of people who are trying to grow too. Do what you can to contribute and help others. Put people first, have compassion and sympathy. Do not be selfish and selflessly give more than you receive.
If you got to the end of this long and ‘quote cringy’ article, you are already growing in the right direction. What is your next step?