3 Ingredients For Personal Growth
If you have ever found yourself in a season of life where you constantly tell yourself, "there has to be more to life than this," that is probably a good indication that you have reached the peak of your self-image and are in need of personal growth.
Life doesn't give you what you want, it gives you who you are
For me, this was the point where I was fed up with life. The thought of continuing down the path I was on for 40-45 years just to retire at 75 with nothing to show was so depressing it made me sick to my stomach. I was constantly trying to rationalize the path I was on. I kept telling myself, "well, when we move back to CO things will get better," but they didn't. When I got my next promotion or raise then things would have to get better, but they didn't. I was making progress yet I was going nowhere. That's when I realized that I had to change in order for my results in life to change. For most of us, we stop learning after we get out of school. You may learn things specific to your work, but you stop developing the values, mindset, and perspective that are core to who we are.
You can't outgrow your self-image and your self-image is a reflection of your thought process. In order to change your thought process, you must be willing to renew your mind and seek personal growth. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but let me help you break it down.
First off you need to come to grips with the fact that you are where you are in life because of the way you think and that is okay. You are not stupid, or uneducated, it's just your starting point. Identify where you want to be. Who do you want to be and how do you want to live. Try to stay away from WHAT and spend the time identifying your WHY. It can evolve but think big enough that you have something to aspire to. Now you can start to develop a personal growth plan around your WHY.
So where do you start? Here are 3 ingredients for creating an effective personal growth plan.
1. Self Image: The way you see yourself determines your actions and attitudes. How have you handled adversity in the past may explain a lot about where your self-image is currently. For me, when I was younger everything came easily to me. I was a great athlete and school was easy. I hated losing and when I went out to the real world and I wasn't able to succeed right away at everything, my self-image took a hit. I wasn't used to overcoming. In order to build up your self-image you need discipline and execution. You need to change your thought process then set small goals that you can execute so you can begin to build yourself back up.
2. Thought Process: How you think is the foundation of your self-image. You need to be speaking, reading, and listening to positive and successful content. Take note of everything going into your ears, eyes, and out of your mouth, because that is the main influence on how you see yourself. Chances are you are feeding yourself mindless entertainment or even harmful negative content.
3. Association: You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Look around you and see who you are spending the most time with. do those people have the things in life you one day would like to have? Chances are they don't. It can be difficult to change our association because we have an emotional attachment and we care (way too much) about what they think of us. What you need to understand is that you don't have to go leave all your friends and family, tell them they are all losers and you hate them, you just need to start finding associations of people that want the same thing you want. Find people who have the life you one day want to have and if they are willing to spend time with you, you need to be willing to tell everyone else that you have plans.
You can have the best plan in the world for personal growth, but if you aren't consistent and persistent in your actions you will fall short every time. This is no different than dieting or exercising. In order to change, you must immerse yourself and stay disciplined. Below are some resources I have found helpful in my personal growth journey.