When you were young you likely experienced growing pains. We all do. These brief periods of discomfort were necessary if we wanted to grow, and typically we accepted them without a second thought. I think this is where the phrase “no pain, no gain” actually originated. With age however, growing pains stop. Or do they?
Growth as an adult is about experiencing discomfort in different ways. Recall the phrase “That which got you here won’t get you there.” Intrinsically adapting this phrase to understand it’s true meaning is key to both personal or professional growth. Look at where you are in life today. If you want to go somewhere else, a new job, a new spouse, a new car. All of these things require you change your engrained habits and actions.
How can you do this? Well here are a couple of things for you to think about. Consider how these impact you today.
If you aren’t uncomfortable, then you won’t grow. Monotony is the arch nemesis of growth. If you aren’t doing things each day that make you the slightest bit uncomfortable, then you are most certainly not going to grow either personally or professionally. You have to continuously place yourself in uncomfortable positions if you are to grow, become comfortable with the uncomfortable. I don’t mean practicing yoga, but having those difficult discussions; making difficult calls; speaking your mind; telling people what’s on your mind. All of these things are uncomfortable for most, but help to develop both skill (in how to handle the situations and resulting feedback) and confidence. Skill and confidence are two of the fundamental building blocks to growth.
Stuck in a rut? Call a friend. My mentor Dr. Alan Weiss has told me on more than one occasion, if you want to succeed in some area that is new to you, find someone who has seemingly conquered the area already and reach out to them. When I first launched my business several years ago, most thought I was crazy. Quite a full time job and launch a business from scratch. Insanity came to mind for most. My starting point however was to find out who was successful in the areas I wanted to be successful in, then reach out to them and find ways to interact. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it? See my first point.
I presume if you have made it this far, personal or professional growth is important to you. The very next step then, as you close this blog is to take action! What are your top three areas of growth? What is the next action you can take in each area to move forward? It is not enough to think about growth, you have to be prepared to take action.
How uncomfortable are you anyway?
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.