Overcoming the Barriers to Personal Growth

Our marketing director said I was aggressive and pushy.

It was a big slap in the face – mostly because I knew it was true, but thought I’d hidden it by being ‘nice’.

Once I got over the shock, it became one of the best bits of feedback I’ve ever had, starting a great period of personal growth.

But lots of barriers can get in the way of personal growth. Which is a shame, because all the important developments in our professional lives are built on it. It can be a practical, useful way to achieve what we want. Whether that’s a big promotion, more balance so that tasks and working relationships are easier and not such a slog, or the delivery of a significant project.

Here’s how to overcome the barriers to personal growth:

  • Seek Feedback
    It’s painful, but other people can sometimes see things that we can’t see or won’t acknowledge;
  • Look for Incongruence
    If you feel different on the inside to how you think you ‘ought’ to be on the outside, that’s a clue to what your personal growth might need to focus on;
  • Clear Outcomes
    Personal growth should be a useful, practical thing. What is it that you want to achieve?
  • Experiment
    Growth comes from trying out new ways of being; learning from what works and what doesn’t. Experiment with how you do and say things.

The key to overcoming the barriers to personal growth is to risk being vulnerable in order to discover something helpful.

How about you? What personal growth are you looking for - and what barriers are you finding? Click To Tweet

Learning from Legends: Five Timeless Strategies for Goal Setting and Achievement

Discover goal-setting strategies from Einstein, da Vinci, Gandhi, Jobs, and Kahlo.
Whose footsteps will you follow?

Setting and achieving personal goals is a critical aspect of personal growth. But how do we go about it?

Let’s draw inspiration from some great minds, each of whom offers a unique perspective on setting and achieving personal goals.

1. Albert Einstein – The Power of Curiosity and Persistence

Einstein, a theoretical physicist known for developing the theory of relativity, was not particularly successful in his early schooling. However, his insatiable curiosity and persistence led him to become one of the most influential scientists in history.

His approach to goal setting might involve fostering a deep curiosity about the subject matter and persisting through challenges and failures.

To stand in Einstein’s shoes, cultivate a relentless curiosity and don’t let failure deter you from your path.

2. Leonardo da Vinci – Interdisciplinary Learning and Creativity

Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance, was known for his unquenchable curiosity and feverishly inventive imagination.

His approach to goal setting might involve a commitment to lifelong learning, exploring a wide range of disciplines, and using creativity to solve problems and achieve goals.

To emulate da Vinci, embrace learning across a wide range of subjects and use your creativity to find unique solutions.

3. Mahatma Gandhi – Patience and Non-violence

Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, was a strong advocate for patience, peace, and non-violence.

His approach to setting and achieving goals might involve a commitment to peaceful methods, patience, and the belief that slow and steady progress can lead to significant change.

To walk in Gandhi’s footsteps, practice patience and believe in the power of peaceful persistence.

4. Steve Jobs – Vision and Innovation

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., was known for his visionary approach and his ability to innovate and think outside the box.

His approach to goal setting might involve having a clear, innovative vision of what you want to achieve and the determination to make it a reality, even if it means going against the grain.

To channel Jobs, hold a clear vision of your goals and don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo.

5. Frida Kahlo – Self-expression and Resilience

Frida Kahlo, a renowned Mexican artist, faced numerous health problems throughout her life. Despite her physical condition, she continued to express herself through her art.

Her approach to setting and achieving goals might involve using personal experiences as a source of inspiration, expressing oneself authentically, and demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity.

To embody Kahlo’s spirit, draw strength from your personal experiences and express yourself authentically in your pursuits.

These historical figures each offer a unique perspective on setting and achieving personal goals. Whether it’s Einstein’s curiosity, da Vinci’s interdisciplinary approach, Gandhi’s patience, Jobs’ vision, or Kahlo’s resilience, there’s a strategy here for everyone.

So, which approach resonates with you? Whose shoes will you choose to walk in as you set and achieve your personal goals? Click To Tweet

The journey of personal growth is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the first step today.

My Take on Resilience: Community & Flexibility

Join me as I share my personal insights on resilience – how community and flexibility empower us to bounce back.

A big green tree with branches, in a field against a blue sky and white clouds

How to Use Self-Reflection for Personal Growth These Days

Turn the mirror on yourself for up-to-the-minute growth. Discover the power of self-reflection

Self-reflection is like looking in a mirror, not to scrutinise your appearance, but to understand your inner-self.

Here are three contemporary ways to use self-reflection for personal growth that’s current and relevant:

  • Identify Strengths: Reflect on your achievements and successes. What skills and qualities helped you reach these heights? These strengths are like the big branches of your personal growth tree.
  • Recognise Weaknesses: It’s equally important to acknowledge areas for improvement. Don’t see these as failures, because doing that makes it hard to accept and learn from the experience. Instead, think of them as the roots, nourishing your growth tree so it can become stronger.
  • Set Goals for Improvement: Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, set specific, achievable goals for growth. These are the fruits you aim to harvest from your tree that will keep you up-to-the-minute next time around.

Remember, self-reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth.

Use it wisely, and you’ll see your growth tree flourish now and in future.

What’s one personal growth goal you have for 2023? Share in the comments below while they’re open or @ me on twitter –  and let’s grow together.

The Hierarchy of Soft-Skills

It used to be “technical” skills that were most important. Now though, according to Forbes, soft skills, such as empathy, adaptability, integrity and resilience, have become crucial success factors at work. But did you know that there’s also a hierarchy to soft-skills?

In my view, it goes something like this, starting with self-awareness and self-management:

  1. Understanding about what makes us fulfilled is the gateway skill.
  2. Then comes knowing and influencing the conditions that help us to be motivated.
  3. Followed by managing the fears, doubts and other emotions that can get in the way of being at our best.
  4. Then, because we can never control all of the conditions around us, come soft-skills around being adaptable and responding to change – and being authentic at the same time.

After that, the soft-skills focus shifts to other people:

  1. How well do we understand what makes others tick?
  2. How skilled are we at being authentic and adaptable as we communicate with others?
  3. How good are we at balancing out the needs of the job and the needs of other people to be fulfilled and motivated?
  4. Beyond that, comes inspirational leadership, which I’ll cover in a future post.

What’s your view of the most important soft-skills; and which needs to come first?