Are there tried and true principles that are always certain to help a person grow? John Maxwell says the answer is yes. He has been passionate about personal development for over fifty years, and for the first time, he teaches everything he has gleaned about what it takes to reach our potential in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.
If you have dreams, goals, or aspirations, you need to grow to achieve them. But if you’re like I was –and if you’re like most people –you have one or more mistaken beliefs that create a gap that keeps you from growing and reaching your potential.
Take a look at the following eight misconceptions about growth that may be holding you back from being as intentional as you need to be.
1. The Assumption Gap: ‘I assume that I will automatically grow.’
Musician Bruce Springsteen commented, ‘A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.’ No one improves by accident. Personal growth doesn’t just happen on its own. And once you’re done with your formal education, you must take complete ownership of the growth process, because nobody else will do it for you.
2. The Knowledge Gap: ‘ I don’t know how to grow.’
Many people learn only from the school of hard knocks. Difficult experiences teach them lessons ‘the hard way’, and they change –sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The lessons are random and difficult. It’s much better to plan your growth intentationally. You decide where you need or want to grow, you choose what you will learn, and you follow through with discipline going at the pace you set.
3. The Timing Gap: ‘It’s not the right time to begin.’
Author and professor Leo Buscaglia asserted: ‘Life lived for tomorrow will always be a day away from being realized.’ The reality is that you will never get much done unless you go ahead and do it before you are ready. If you’re not already intentionally growing, you need to get started today.
4. The Mistake Gap: ‘ I’m afraid of making mistakes.’
Growing can be a messy business. It means admitting you don’t have the answers. It requires making mistakes. It can make you look foolish. Most people don’t enjoy that. But that is the price of admission if you want to improve.
5. The Perfection Gap: ‘I have to find the best way before I start.’
Similar to the Mistake Gap is the Perfection Gap, the desire to find the ‘best’ way to get started in a growth plan. Ideally, you’d like to be able to see your whole route before you begin. But you see it progressively. As you move forward, a little more of the road is revealed to you. If you want to see more of the way, then get moving.
6. The Inspiration Gap: ‘I don’t feel like doing it.’
Motivation is not going to strike you like lightening. And motivation is not something that someone else–nurse, doctor, family member–can bestow or force on you. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it.
7. The Comparison Gap: ‘Other are better than I am.’
The first ten years that I was intentionally pursuing personal growth, I was always behind trying to catch up. I had to get over the comparison gap. I had to learn to become comfortable with being out of my comfort zone. It was a difficult transition, but it was well worth it.
8. The Expectation Gap: ‘I thought it would be easier than this.’
I don’t know any successful person who thinks growth comes quickly and climbing to the top is easy. It just doesn’t happen. People create their own luck. How? Here’s the formula:
Preparation (Growth)+ Attitude + Opportunity+ Action (Doing something about it)= Luck.