Personal growth: it’s something we should all be striving for; leaving our yesterday behind and enjoying a new-you everyday, fearless of the future.
But are we challenging ourselves enough each day?
Or are we just watching time go by slowly, then suddenly wondering in disbelief where it all went to?
Let's delve into getting this right, as we only have a limited time.
Life is short, so we want to make the most of it, yet it’s a risky world out there and we don’t want to put ourselves into harm’s way or set ourselves up for failure. It’s a tricky balance, but one worth getting right.
Our Reality Is Our Own
Everyone envisions themselves as this forward-thinking, intuitive-feeling, adventure-seeking hero, and yet how true is this compared to our reality?
I’m guilty of this gap myself, and I’m sure many people reading this are now asking themselves the same reflecting question (and if that’s the case, this blog post’s mission is successful already!)
Ask yourself this: In both my career and personal life, do I say yes enough and genuinely open myself up to pushing my boundaries? Or do I play it far too safe?
Only you know for sure! You can’t lie to yourself
We all know ourselves pretty well; we’ve been well-acquainted for quite a long time.
You, and only you can know how ambitious you wish to be, and this is the bedrock where it all starts.
If you feel content with your achievements and your objectives at the moment, then congratulations, you’ve found the correct balance! However, if you’re like most of us and can’t 100% truthfully say that you’re happy with your current goals and successes, regardless of whether they be about finances, career, personal, habits, relationships, and so on, then it’s time to put yourself out there and increase your activity in that space.
Now, I know that this is simple and easy to just say.
After all, we all have situations, responsibilities and dependants that require us to act in a conservative way. But don’t make it a poor excuse either. With the modern age moving by at a million miles an hour and experiences out there a-plenty, there’s absolutely no excuse to be just drifting through life and simultaneously angry at yourself for doing so.
Don’t be that person wondering how someone else does it- be that person that does it!
The list is endless, and unique to you.
Put aside your worn-out excuses and your back-burning tendencies; it’s time to make the most of now.
Start saying YES.
With taking risks and embracing new experiences, you have everything to gain.
The success and self-actualisation of pushing your boundaries is something you will treasure, and will be some of the best gifts you can give yourself. Sometimes, you’ll even be shocked at how much you are capable of; it’s just that you’ve never given yourself a chance to ever try before. Even if your little adventure fails, you’re still in a better place than if you hadn’t have attempted anything at all.
A sad situation is looking back and realising that you missed an opportunity you wish you had of taken earlier. A worse situation is looking back and realising that you’ve missed countless opportunities over and over, and you’re still not doing anything about it to learn for next time.
Stop existing and start living! Opportunities are out there for those who reach. And, most of the time, it’s not even that difficult!
Let Technology Help
The advantage to the speed of life today is that everything is available at our fingertips, most of the time in inexpensive and easy to use forms, making your reluctance to change even less justified.
For example, there are apps that can help you improve your brain training, countless YouTube videos on how to do everything, free podcasts on languages and subjects, online qualifications and the list goes on.
A simple internet search will reveal a lot of these opportunities to take advantage of. So, again, the ball is in your court.
It’s A Balancing Game
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose when you take a gamble.
You risk something to gain something- that’s the nature of life. For example, if you invest a lot of money in a venture, it could turn sour. However, you should learn to never to shy away from a challenge just because it’s scary or difficult.
Practice hedging your risk by weighing up the opportunity costs that you face, should taking a chance go either way. Being realistic is an important way to sooth that overly cautious side of yourself, and get you to see your little wins along that way which will snowball into bigger ones.
If learning a language is your ambition, then that’s a pretty simple equation: you spend a few hours on a week night at a class which costs about $150 for a semester, and download a free app to practise with on the bus. In this case, if you can afford those small costs, then the self satisfaction and fulfilment in learning will far outweigh the costs.
You may even end up meeting new people in the class and it becomes a social event. Now think of the reality of you not pursuing this option: you’re sitting at home in front of the television, wondering why you’ve never picked up Italian or French.
In the more involved risks of, say, starting your own business, again, be realistic.
Plan out your venture and run it by others to ‘acid-test’ it for you. Don’t let anyone (including yourself) talk yourself out of it because it’s simply ‘something other people do.’ Many new businesses fail before you get that real winner, so you have to ask yourself, are you willing to never even try, or are you happy to extend yourself and see what you can do?
Make A Plan To Succeed
The way to justify pushing yourself is to see actual changes. So, give yourself the solid evidence you need!
Start a diary of your progress on your new diet, sign up to a website that tracks your goals and allows you to set targets, or perhaps look back on your situation a year ago at work, and see how different your situation is then to now.
Everyone has the same amount of time in an hour, a day, a week, and each year. What you do with your precious time is up to you, but just promise yourself to never fill it with flimsy excuses, especially when the world has so much more to offer you, if only you’d just take a chance and pushed your comfort zones aside.
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