How can you boost your personal growth so that you live up to your potential? In earlier blog posts I’ve been exploring how we get stuck in the past when we tell repetitive stories that explain who we are. Sometimes we use life experiences to further personal growth, but oftentimes we don’t grow from our experiences. We keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Trust in the Future
Everyone grows along life’s journey, some in ways that are beneficial, others in ways that restrict their potential. The point is to grow and evolve, not to repeat the same stories and diminish our possibilities.
As a coach, I hear a lot of personal stories. And I consider it part of my job to question the assumptions and origins of stories and ideas behind one’s personal identity. The fact is, personal stories serve to protect our egos – it’s human nature. Our stories aren’t about what actually happened, but rather what we told ourselves happened. In Judith Glaser’s book “Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust & Get Extraordinary Results”, the author suggests an exercise to look at the past, find new meaning from significant events, and create successful behaviour patterns.
To review, here is the five step exercise to boost personal growth:
Step 1: Draw a Life Timeline
Step 2: Identify Significant Events or People with Big Impact
Step 3: Find Patterns and Meaning
Step 4: Back to the Future
Step 5: Map Making
Take a look at your past with brutal honesty. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of reframing reality. You can change the stories you tell by viewing them as lessons you learned. Share your new stories with your coach.
With this new awareness, you’ll be able to see future situations with more possibilities, instead of as knee jerk responses based on the past.
When you do this exercise with your coach, you use your past to enhance the future. Personal growth and wisdom come from being able to look at the past and reframe and revise our stories so that we continue to evolve for a changing future. I’d love to hear your ideas on this. You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.