Personal growth is all about taking responsibility and taking action. We recognize there are things we need to do to grow to the level we’d like. But we sometimes fail to see there are also a few things we need to stop doing to make headway.
Stop blaming others for our circumstances.
Some of us grew up in the bad part of town, had an alcoholic parent, or didn’t receive the love and attention every child deserves. We can blame our parents for the lack we feel as a result, but that does nothing to help us overcome the circumstances.
We can blame teachers or other influencers for offensive words spoken over us. But focusing on them and their destructive criticism only encourages those seeds to take root and grow bitter fruit.
Neither outcome is helpful. Sure, life is unfair and adverse situations may be no fault of our own. But if we gravitate to condemnation, we do ourselves a disservice. It’s only after we stop blaming others for the conditions we find ourselves in today that we can focus on improvement.
Stop looking outside ourselves for a hero.
Feeling stuck in an undesirable situation, some of us wish for a knight in shining armor to rescue us from trouble. We hope someone else will speak up for us, move us to the front of the line, or solve all our problems.
Yet, this line of thinking gives our power away and weakens our resolve. It also places a burden on others that isn’t their responsibility to begin with.
Look at the butterfly emerging from the cocoon. It’s the struggle that allows the transformation. If someone interferes and tries to help the creature escape, they prevent it from becoming what it was meant to be.
Instead of looking to politicians, an employer, or a superhuman in a red cape to save us, it’s far better to recognize the hero within.
Stop trying to make everyone else happy.
Trying to please everyone is futile and exhausting. Attempting to make everyone else happy only makes us miserable. It’s the path to insanity.
Sure, we want to be liked, loved, and appreciated. And we want to help. But it is not our responsibility to make everyone happy.
The only person whose happiness we should be concerned with is our own. For that’s the only one we have control over.
I admit that at some point in my life, I’ve struggled to stop doing every one of these things. Number three remains a challenge and is something I’m continually mindful of.
Stopping these actions puts us in firm control of the outcome. It places ownership for our growth back where it belongs, with us.
We don’t wait for better conditions, a rescuer to come along, or for others to appreciate our efforts. We stop doing what doesn’t serve us or anyone else well. And we move forward as a result.
What are some things in your life you need to stop doing to grow to a higher level?