8 Reasons why you don’t keep growing and developing with confidence
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One year after I arrived to England, I had a look at the previous question. I had always wanted to learn and grow but had never looked deep into how I could make it intentionally happen. I realised I have always been running away from what I didn’t want without a clear idea of what I wanted life to look like or how I could get there. That is how I got lost.
Now, I work hard every day to make sure I give myself time to check if I am on track. I also allow myself to get lost when I need to. Having a plan doesn’t mean you cannot play or go with the flow. This is actually something that we need to remind and train ourselves to do in our demanding, modern and competitive world. To stop thinking and just be.
I like to know where to go back to when I start to feel that need for achievement or feel somewhat lost. I go back to my plan.
So, do you think you need a development plan?
My intention is not to stress you out but to help you to have something you can count on when things get tricky. When life happens, I would like you to have something to remind you of where you were heading towards and avoid the first mistake.
The 8 mistakes you might be making
I first read about these traps in John C. Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, and I certainly saw myself reflected in some of the gaps he mentions.
Can you relate to any of these?
The Assumption Gap
Assuming that you will automatically grow as you get older can hinder your development.
Yes, experiences and challenges in life will seed wisdom if you learn from them, but if you believe that you will improve by simply living, you may be falling into the first trap.
You could be letting others dictate whether you grow or you get stuck being the same person you were yesterday. I don’t know about you, but I like to be intentional about my growth. I like to know that I am doing what I can to learn from everyday experiences, even though that can take some time.
It is worth looking back and realising you know who you are and what your strengths and weakness are. This type of non-accidental learning requires discipline; it is not unexpected. You can confront and handle new challenges incorporating the key learning points about yourself and your responses to your circumstances. Furthermore, this can support you in decreasing levels of stress and anxiety when significant changes happen in your life.
2. The Knowledge Gap
You might not know how to create a development plan, and this is totally fine. As a member of the Awakening Community, I will provide you with a downloadable piece that you can use to get started in creating your own development plan.
What it is important to remember here is that you must do it in a way that feels right for you. You can choose what areas of your life you would like to develop and how you would like to do so. At your own pace and with the right amount of ingredients you choose to use such as discipline, consistency and attitude, you can boost your learning and your confidence while developing your well-being as you set goals in the areas you feel the need to experience growth in.
3. The Timing Gap
Thinking it is not the right timing for you to get out there, to make that leap, to push that button that will make you visible and vulnerable, to share your thoughts, to send that piece of writing to an editor or to give that talk, will simply hold you back exactly where you are.
Trying to have your thoughts in place before you make that decision or take that step or waiting for things to be perfect, to have all the knowledge you can consume to start taking action, is a huge trap.
There is no better way to grow that learning than from experience, from doing, from sharing your ideas. Plus, any critics that you may receive, the people you may push away, those who have reacted in a non-constructive way to your creativity or honesty are not the ones to be by your side.
You choose whether that criticism holds you back or pushes you towards that version of you that you want to become.
Don’t let perfectionism or lack of self-belief stop you from growing. You are capable of learning, and that is one of your greatest strengths.
4. The Mistake Gap
Beliefs about mistakes are rooted underneath your fears about making them.
What are your beliefs about making mistakes? Do you think if you make a mistake you are not deserving of (insert word here), or that you will lose the opportunity of (insert sentence here) forever?
I used to think that making mistakes would ruin all the work I had done, no wonder I was so afraid to try those things that felt uncertain to me, that I would not have control over or that I would not have tried before.
If you want to grow, you will need to step out of your comfort zone and start taking risks.
Have a look at those beliefs and start thinking about their truthfulness. Are you willing to let those fears stop you?
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”
5. The Perfection Gap
I have been mentioning this one all along, probably because it is the one that has stayed with me for a while.
That need to be the best, to achieve the outstanding result or nothing, anything less than that would not be enough.
I had battled with this for years and when my mentor asked me, “what about making an impact that is good enough to help others start changing?” My perspective changed. Suddenly, I didn’t need to strive for perfection. Good enough was okay to start with, and from there, I would find the way to make it better. So I wouldn’t be held back by this huge unnecessary expectation I had put on my shoulders.
6. The Inspiration Gap
One of the mistakes you can make is to wait for motivation to kick in to start with what you have planned. Inspiration doesn’t normally come first. Actually, it can often be found after you have put into practice some of your ideas.
I have to add that, knowing WHY you want to do what you have stated on your plan, is one of the big factors that will help you to start taking action as well as determination when things get a bit challenging.
The sooner you know that it is unlikely that you will “feel like it” to get started doing something, the better. So you can stop waiting for it and provoke the inspiration instead.
You will find and generate thousands of excuses disguised as reasons not to do it. It is so easy to fall into this trap. Don’t wait to feel motivated, start planning what you want to do, how you are going to develop and take action when you have committed to do so.
7. The Comparison Gap
Another of my beautiful mistakes in life.
We tend to compare ourselves with others all the time in so many different ways without realising there is nothing to compare.
As a unique human who has been through your own unique life experiences, the worst mistake you can make is to compare your life, your business, the stage you are at in your career or your relationships with those of others.
Furthermore, as J. Maxwell states, if you want to grow in a particular area, you can only learn from those who are ahead of you.
But comparing yourself as an individual with others can be detrimental to your success. Learn the skills you need from those who are already there to keep developing, but keep being different just by being authentically yourself and feeling okay with it.
8. The Expectation Gap
Growing and developing is not easy – it is messy, it is scary, it can be somewhat stressful, but it is what helps you avoid living an unlived life. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that it is not hard.
It requires preparation, changing your attitude or mindset, looking for opportunities and taking action. It demands a bit of time, reflection, planning, recognising fears and learning to deal with them.
Choosing to change and design a life you feel at harmony and fulfilled with is not effortless. But it is more than worth it.
Start creating your development plan
Start being intentional by asking yourself where you would like to be in the future?
How would you like your future to look like? In 6-months’ time/one-year’s time/five-year’s time?
I know that thinking so far ahead into the future can create some anxiety, but there is no need for you to get overwhelmed by the process. Take it at your own pace. You can read more about how to start changing with no added stress here.
Once you have a clear picture of how you want your life to look like, start planning how to get there, what you need to achieve to be where you want to be in the next 6 months.
The best way to do so is to have a mentor or coach to guide you through the process. If this is something that you haven’t chosen as a priority try to hold yourself accountable by sharing some of your goals with those you trust and ask them to check in with you to see where you are at, our community is a place to support you with this.
When you sign up for the Awakenings Community Newsletter, as a gift, you will get access to your Intentional Growth Gide. Design a plan to keep growing and start making it intentional from Today.