In our world so full of progression and performance, each of us wants to grow. We want to change for the better. But our habits have us in chains. Growth is not as easy as it seems. It is not as simple as going to school when we’re told and repeating what the teacher says.
As we grow, we face new challenges. Stronger defenses. Higher walls. Personal growth is an exponentially necessary human task. But most of us stall more often than we wish. Why? And what can be done to pry ourselves loose?
There are a lot of things that inhibit growth. Most of them have to do with our perspective surrounding who we are and why we exist. As we storm the castle of human development, here are a few defenses we will encounter and, if we want to live fuller lives, will need to learn to overcome.
1) A Lack of Danger
All entities of the human self share one thing in common. They are fighting for safety. The human mind reinforces what it already knows. The body has all kinds of systems in place for protection. The same goes for our emotions, our attitudes, and even our very souls.
Growth is a dangerous prospect. It is not simple addition. It usually costs us something before it gives us anything. And we are hardwired to both pursue danger and avoid it. When growth is inhibited, we are leaning too much on the latter (as most of us are, most of the time). Danger leads us to new frontiers while our safety mechanisms keep us from going off the rails.
Going off the rails is a lack of boundaries and that could easily be added to this list. But more often than not, it is our fear of danger that keeps us from growth. Newness is unknown and terrifying. And we are scared of being afraid. And so we stay the same.
2) A Lack of Consequences
Close on the heels of a lack of danger, the next factor that inhibits growth is a lack of consequences. There is a reality to the way the world works, a truth about it. We do our best to avoid the proper consequences for our actions. We want what we want, even if it is not best for us.
This is a byproduct of the way we were reared. Good intentioned parents often go too far in protecting their children. They teach us a false reality when it comes to what to expect from our actions and how what we do affects others.
Truth is an ally to growth. A necessary one. All of the little games we play to avoid true consequences keep us from learning from mistakes and character development