Personal growth does not just happen. Change happens all around us every day. Much of it is negative. If you are going to make sure you are continually growing as an adult, you need to be deliberate about it. Many adults stopped growing years ago. They are now responding. If they were honest on their resume they should say 3 years’ experience 5 times over rather than 15 years’ experience. That’s because after 3 years they relaxed and stopped learning. Now they wonder why others are getting promotions and new businesses are taking their market share. In the last 12 years they have learned very little.
To be successful in a sustainable way, smart people know they have to work hard to choose at least some of the change in their world. To be a leader in today’s business world you cannot be a responder. Responders are shaped by the forces around them. They can feel like a victim or out of control as change overtakes them. Leaders look ahead and see what might be happening in their industry and in other areas of interest in their life. They make sure they are learning what it takes not just to keep up but to lead.
Following a well-crafted and regularly updated personal growth plan enables you to be a leader not just a responder.
Consistent personal growth requires a ‘whole of life’ personal growth plan
Smart people are committed to pursue growth in their industry. They love to be ahead of the curve with new technology and the latest trends. They are committed to the growth journey to be an industry leader or to advance their business success. This will involve reading, courses, degrees, conferences, etc.
Others realise they also need to grow in areas of character and personal discipline. This is the challenge to deal with possible self-sabotage tendencies that undermine performance and relationships. E.g. Learning to deal with anger and frustration when things become pressured; developing resilience to cope with setbacks; or strategies to resourcefully wind down after an adrenaline-charged week with less alcohol, more exercise and earlier nights; or establishing healthy sleep, eating and exercise routines.
The things that undermine business or career success are much more likely to come from neglected issues in your personal life, than from a business-related source. Hence the need for a personal growth plan that embraces the whole of your life.
A commitment to lifelong learning is good for your health
If you pursue personal growth in the things you can control it will make a huge difference to your confidence and your ability to lead through change that can be bewildering and out of your control. It is fascinating how the human brain works. If we are making progress in one area of our lives, e.g. personal fitness, there is a flow on effect into other parts of our lives. We feel better when we are creating positive change that is working for us. We feel more in control.
A mentor will help you implement a personal growth plan
A mentor helps you in 3 ways:
- To identify blind spots,
- To create appropriate plans, and
- With accountability to execute a plan.
We only know what we know. A blind spot is something we cannot see about ourselves. Checking in regularly with a mentor who comes to know you well, is a great way to create and maximise an appropriate personal growth plan for you. A mentor helps you know yourself better. They will help you identify your blind spots and set up personal growth plans to assist you develop the strengths you need to be successful across your life.
A mentor also helps you stay accountable. It is easy when you are busy to avoid those things that are non-essential to the bottom line, especially if they take you out of your comfort zone. Learning new things is always a stretch. It requires healthy self-respect. No-one else will notice if you do or you don’t execute your plan. Just like a personal trainer makes you work harder in the gym than you would on your own, so a mentor keeps you accountable to your personal growth plans.
What things have you done differently this year that are evidence of your commitment to personal growth?