Have you ever felt under-appreciated? Or doubted your ability? Maybe you just find things in yourself lacking or substandard. These feelings are not at all uncommon, and yet they hold us back from our true potential. They convince us not to try, not to believe, and not to listen to our hearts. Well, frankly, enough of that. Put it behind you. It’s time to change your ways. To practice self-growth and become who you mean to be. Self-growth is the practice of having a plan for your life, consciously improving each performance, and courageously facing the future.
The First Step to Self-Growth
Start with ownership. If you’re not living your plan for your life, then you’re likely living someone else’s, and they probably don’t care that much one way or the other, so long as you pay up. This step is simple. Declare “I am the owner of my life. I make the choices about how I want to live, influence what I can’t control, and go around what I can’t influence.” Ownership is the key. Many people accept what happens to them, passively blaming someone else, something else, or the universe. They have given up and choose to complain rather than do something. To their mind, nothing is risked. But nothing gained, either. And worse, the precious, finite gift we all have in this world, our time, has been utterly wasted. Yesterday’s passed. Tomorrow’s ahead. The moment is yours to seize and never let go. Resolve, now, to take ownership.
There. That was easy, right? So far so good. But let’s make it stick.
Become Aware to Make it Stick
We all have habits that we do without thinking. And they get us in trouble. We subconsciously eat when were’ not hungry. We accept setbacks. We tolerate stupidity. We explain away disappointments as our own failures. If we’re going to take ownership, take control of our lives, we need to become conscious of our actions, thoughts, feelings, interactions, and motivations. There are two ways, at least, of becoming conscious and aware. The first, meditate, every day. Learn to quietly observe your thoughts and feelings. Keep track. Make a mark on a calendar every day you get it done.
A second choice is to journal. Write your thoughts, without editing for several pages. Express your dreams. Your frustrations. Then read over your thoughts and pick out key ideas. Write some more about what you’ll do to become who you want to be. Tackle harder and harder challenges so that your writing becomes valuable to you. Mark the journaling on the calendar, too.
A third choice is the one I’ve taken, which is to do both journaling and meditation. Meditation helps me be calm, develops my ability to focus, and to stand back from my thoughts and feelings. And journaling? It helps me explore my deeper thoughts and feelings and to be able to think about them and to choose what I want to do with them.
Do either or both of these first thing in the morning to create a morning routine. Mark the calendar, and after ten days, give yourself a reward. After another thirty days, another reward. And so on. WIth a morning routine, you’ll establish a way of reflecting on your ownership of your life that sets the stage for each day’s performance.
More about performance and the important role it plays in a future post.
To Learn More…
Stay tuned, or get extra help from the book we wrote. We’ll be writing next about creating a life vision, the essential tool for guiding your life.
We have helped thousands of people find their true potential through self-growth, and now Dan Apple, Wade Ellis and I have taken our experiences helping others to unleash their potential and distilled it into the Professional’s Guide to Self-Growth – A step-by-step process for developing your unlimited potential. It’s published and available at professionalsguidetoselfgrowth.com.
In the meantime, stick with the morning routine. Make it stick. By itself, it will help you take control of your life and begin to build your skills for self-reflection.