How do you get better at what you do? How do you improve your skill set? How do you gain more depth and wisdom as a person? How do you gain insight? How do you overcome obstacles? How do you work harder?
Answer, you must become an intentional learner.
Personal development or personal growth doesn’t just happen!
Some say all you need to do is just focus on your goals – that doesn’t guarantee personal growth. However, if you focus on personal growth, you will grow and hit your goals!
I know you have dreams, goals, and aspirations, but you must grow as a person in order to achieve them! If you are like most people, you have one or more misconceptions about personal development and reaching your potential.
Let’s take a look at seven barriers of personal development which you must overcome:
THE ASSUMPTION BARRIER – “I assume I will automatically grow.”
When we are children, our bodies grow automatically. A year goes by and we come taller, stronger, smarter, more capable of doing new things, and facing new challenges.
However, personal development and personal growth is not automatic! We have to be an intentional learner.
No one improves by accident. Personal development doesn’t just happen on its own. Once you have completed your formal education, you must take complete ownership of your growth process. Why? Because nobody else will do it for you!
If you want your life to improve – spiritually, socially, mentally, physically, emotionally – you must work to improve yourself! You must be an intentional learner.
THE KNOWLEDGE BARRIER – “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. These lessons are random and difficult.
It’s far better to PLAN your growth intentionally. You decide for yourself 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 for yourself.
Think about what it is you want to do. Whom is it you want to be? Make a list of things that will help you reach that goal and be that person. Is there something on that list you can do now? Do it!
When you start actively working toward your goal, you will find that the door of personal development opens a crack. Through that crack you will begin to see more growth opportunities everywhere. Your world will begin to open up! You will accomplish more! You will learn more! Other opportunities will begin to present themselves!
THE TIMING BARRIER – “It’s not the right time to begin.”
Whether you feel prompted to or not, now is the time to start growing! 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! If you don’t, you may reach some goals, but you will eventually plateau. Once you start growing intentionally, you can keep growing and keep asking, “What’s next!”
THE MISTAKE BARRIER – “I’m afraid of making mistakes.”
Growing can be a messy business! It means admitting you do not have the answers. It requires making mistakes. It can make you look foolish – most people do not enjoy that! But that is the price to pay if you want to improve. If you want to grow as a person, you must get over any fear you may have of making mistakes.
To become intentional about growing, expect to make mistakes every day, and welcome them as a sign that you are moving in the right direction.
THE PERFECTION BARRIER – “I have to find the best way before I start.”
This way of thinking is backwards. You must get started if you want to find the best way.
It’s like being in on a hiking trail in the woods at night. Ideally, you would like to see the trail ahead, but instead you take your flash light and start walking. Now you see the trail progressively. With every step, as you move forward, more and more of the trail is being revealed to you. Therefore, if you want to see more of the way, then get moving – start walking!
THE COMPARISON BARRIER – “Others are better than I am.”
Early in my career, as I was pursuing personal growth and development, I was always behind trying to catch up. I had to get over this huge barrier of comparison! Measuring yourself and comparing yourself with others is not wise.
As you get out of your comfort zone, you will find yourself in the sphere of some very influential and successful leaders. Learn from them. If they are willing to share their ideas and pass their experience and knowledge to you, then humble yourself and learn! You can learn only if others are ahead of you.
Therefore, if you are aware that others are better than you, don’t be discouraged. Be glad others are there to help show you the way!
THE EXPECTATION BARRIER – “I thought it would be easier than this.”
There are not any successful people that think personal growth and development comes quickly; nor do they believe that climbing to the top is easy. It just doesn’t happen. People create their own luck. How? John Maxwell shares this formula:
Preparation (growth) + Attitude + Opportunity + Action (doing something about it) = Luck
It all starts with preparation. Unfortunately, that takes time. But, here is the best news. As Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight!”
If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about personal development. It will change your life!