5 Steps to Professional Growth

Why do I want professional growth, if its called “growing pains for a reason

Are you conscious of your growth? Are you aware of what is uncomfortable stretching for you? What are you learning about you? What have you done to grow lately? Or are you doing your best to stay safe in your comfort zone, fearful of changing?

 

Like newly planted things sprouting in fertile soil, we need attention, nourishment and light to grow personally and professionally. Feed your spirit, nourish your imagination and creativity and give yourself some loving attention. Then watch what happens.

 

Recently I have moved out of my comfort zone — that’s what stretching is. I have taken big steps in my personal and professional life. Many of the fears I had about stretching and growing were unfounded. When stepping out past the fear and objection, I found the steps I needed, growing into who I should be. Perhaps your own objections about growth and stretching are unfounded as well. And maybe once you step out of your comfort zone, you’ll find a life even better than you anticipated.

 

Plus, if we remain static, we would be comfortable — but what might we miss?

 

Five steps to professional growth that you can start today…

1. Have BIG goals

These should be things that motivate you to move. They should be big enough to pull you to them. In business we call it your “why” and your why should be big enough to have you jumping out of bed each morning with the desire to make it happen. For many of us it is the financial freedom our businesses provide. For others it’s the ability to make a positive impact on the world and leave a lasting legacy. And for some it’s the care of our family and our family’s future that moves us. Regardless the why – get crystal clear on yours, set a timeline and write them down – because a goal without a timeline and a commitment is merely wishful thinking.

 

2. Always continue learning

Knowledge inspires those goals. It feeds the why. I know you have colleagues who are successful and likely double that number who struggle. I can just about guarantee those who are successful invest their time in professional growth, learning and further developing their “product” – which in the service industry is their own skills and abilities.

Let’s imagine you have a brick and mortar business that builds widgets, and you use a state of the art widget making machine built the year you started your business. By now you’d likely have invested in repairs, maintenance, perhaps upgrades or even a replacement to stay competitive in the widget making industry. These are your “tools” of the trade and far too many service based business owners fail to see investing in their own development as a necessity.

 

3. Develop a positive attitude

You will fall. It happens. With a positive attitude you can “Fall down seven times, get up eight,” as the Japanese Proverb says. Failure isn’t fatal – until you give up. I’ve often joked that I’m too naive to fail, because I simply don’t believe in it. I believe in feedback. And sure sometimes the feedback is, “Well, shit… that didn’t work”. But my positive attitude allows me to move forward with the feedback that something must be adjusted – something must change to make this work.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we believe if one can, all can. And if I’ve seen the success of even one other individual in the area I’m working on, then I know it’s a potential for me. I just have to find the right strategy and apply it. For professional growth you can take that positive attitude and use it to your advantage.

 

4. Evolve

Change, be flexible. Natural selection culls those organisms that do not adapt to our ever-changing world. We call it evolution, survival of the fittest.

In the presuppositions of NLP we assume the law of requisite variety. Meaning the person with the most flexibility has more options and behavioral choices allowing them to control the system.

In any field, you’ll see the most successful in that field are those who have the most variety in their behavior.  Essentially, any time you limit your behavioral choices you give others a competitive edge. If you’re able to respond to any situation in a variety of ways, you are more likely to experience success. In this case, professional growth.

 

5. Enjoy the Ride

Tomorrow or for that matter the next hour is not promised to you. Enjoy the moment, each and every eternal now. I know I may have gone a bit esoteric for my left brained friends, but follow along for fun.

The bottom line is, if you’re worrying, then you’re living in the infinite potential that is the future – worry, anxiety, stress and fear are all about potential outcomes. The unknown future. Anger, sadness, pain, shame guilt and many other negative emotions you carry have you locked into living in the past.

You see, every experience is a neutral until you place a value on it (good news, you can change those values at any time – did I mention I’m also a Success Coach…)

Where you get in trouble is that you hold on to those negative emotions that served to identify the experience for us. It’s called anchoring.

 

Let me clarify further.

Let’s say you fall in front of a group of people while stepping onto a stage (yeah, this is me) then you might experience embarrassment, frustration at being clumsy and a host of other negative emotions, like shame at it not being the first time this has happened. Behaviorally speaking, the moment the event is over, you should be over it too. Meaning it should not elicit the same emotional response. So, recounting it or reliving it in your mind should simply be a neutral experience. And most often, it’s not. That’s the anchoring. And it happens all the time when there are strong emotions involved, whether we want it to or not. You need to learn a method for releasing the anchor (the negative emotions) while retaining the memory (the learnings) – only then will you be able to experience living in the moment. And that is true freedom.

 

Avoidance is not going to help you here

Because you simply can’t avoid it. I am not who I was yesterday or even last week and neither are you. Whether you like it or not, change is inevitable. Understand that every moment you are alive on this earth you are changing, growing, evolving. Be aware of your changes; direct your growth and be a conscious creator in your business and in your life.

 

 

2 thoughts on “5 Steps to Professional Growth”

  1. This is a great post! Those 5 points are right on the money. I sometimes struggle with #3. When life throws me some curve balls, especially several in a row, I can get stuck in the negatives. This was good for me to read today. Thank you!

    1. Thank you! Don’t focus on perfection, just focus on practice. And sometimes I have to choose the negative for a bit before I can choose to let it go.

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