In my 29 (almost 30) years of life, I have never met someone who didn’t want to become better at something – one facet of their life. These areas include everything from being a better spouse, a more engaged employee, a stronger person of faith, a healthier person, or a better person at a specific task.
Think about your life.
What is an area in which you strive to be better?
Three months into 2017, and many of you have set goals. The objective of any goal is to become better at a specific task, to do more of something and less of another, and as a result to be a better you. Are you still on task for reaching your goals for the year?
Becoming a better you is not something that anyone can do for you. It’s in your own hands, and something you must have control over. There are no circumstances or exceptions preventing you from achieving what it is you’re after, however, there are excuses.
The panacea for making it all happen isn’t in my hands, nor is it written down on a recipe card. The answer to making it happen lies within each of your desires to need to make it happen. Not because you should change or want to change, but again because you need to because you know it will allow you to become better at what you do.
Where Are you Living?
People who are willing to change, and are yearning to grow, are people who want something more. These are the people who understand that complacency breeds mediocrity. And these are the people that choose instead to keep their life under construction – always building and always growing.
In this photo, you will recognize three semi-circles (yes, this is my creative art). Each of the circles represents a stage of life for becoming better at something.
Zone 1 – Comfort: People who choose to live in this stage choose the road that’s already been traveled – the one where the pavement leads directly to a destination. Decisions are easy because, well, the easy choice is the sure-fire, easy way out. The comfort zone allows you to make it through the day being perfectly content with what you are doing – never choosing to do more or less – but always just enough. At the end of the day, it’s easier for these people to stay the course than to be challenged on a different route.
Zone 2 – Growth: As mentioned before, individuals who have a desire to be better at something, know deep down that they are going to have to work hard to reach it (most of the time). In this zone, decisions are often hard, rejection can creep in, and struggles are present. However, it is only through conquering these hardships that you become better at whatever it is you are doing. Do you know what becoming better equals? That’s right, growth.
Zone 3 – Panic: Thinking, speaking, listening, and acting without – often without processing or thinking. People living in the panic zone seem to have no rhyme or reason to their decisions. These people know there is something out there they should be doing, but they don’t know where to even begin, let alone what it is they are supposed to be doing. Although it’s okay (at times) to not be sure what you should be working towards, it doesn’t do anyone justice to move about aimlessly making irrational decisions just to be doing something. Soon enough, the panic will force you into crisis mode.
There it is – comfort, growth, and panic. Which one resonates with your life? How long have you been there? Does it feel good in that zone? Do you think your life would be any different if you were somewhere else?
Are you ready to be a better you?
The Results of Living in the Growth Zone
So, what happens when you find yourself in a place that allows you to grow? By no means does it mean that life will be absolutely perfect. And, it certainly doesn’t place you into utopia. To be quite honest, it will be damn hard. You will experience the full gamut of emotions – frustration, excitement, anger, joy, stress, relief, sadness and exuberance. People will even doubt your capabilities and skills, but that is because these people don’t see the growth that is occurring because they are focused only on outward expectations, and they don’t have the ability to encourage or build into your own development.
These people – the ones that will doubt you – are often the same ones who lack their own self-confidence to enter the growth zone. Deep down, these people probably even admire you for the good that you are doing. The struggle is that people won’t praise you for struggling and and learning through the struggle, and it’s not your job to expect praise from them. Your job is to keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing – knowing that working through struggle will teach you far more than you ever will from the folks that doubt you.
People who live by the status-quo don’t experience the gamut of emotions of people in the growth zone. Why? Because a complacent person lives in the comfort zone which minimizes the range of what you experience, how you feel, and how much you grow.
And, the people who do things irrationally – they are living in panic because at any time the bottom could fall out from underneath, or they might find themselves launched to 10,000 feet without a parachute to soften the landing.
But, the result of living in growth?
You get to do life. You get to do something that builds yourself up so that you can build into others around you. You get to face the day. You get to learn from today’s hardships. And, in those hardships is growth.
Finally, the result of building into others?
You become a better you and make those around you better people. So, go and find an uncomfortable seat – one that has you on the edge and peering out looking for something more.