Some people resist change, and spend most of their waking hours buttressing their “same old, same old” or the “familiar.” Their focus and energy goes to creating predictability, running their “hamster paths” of life, staying safe, reducing risks, and protecting their comfort zone. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this approach. In fact, it is their presumed stability and security that gives them their satisfaction and comfort in life.
But what happens when you shake up that very foundation, and challenge yourself by allowing—even creating—quite a bit of personal discomfort for the sake of personal growth and change? In prior posts, we talked about how cultivating a growth mindset actually conditions you to take on challenges and learn from them, and can, in fact increase your abilities and achievement. Remember, Dweck’s research showed how having a growth mindset allows you to thrive on challenge and see failure “not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities.”
I often use my trapeze analogy to remind clients that when you reach out for the “other bar” as you are swinging out over the abyss, the open space between MAY be terrifying…but, it also creates the openness and freedom to seize new opportunities, see new vistas, encounter new people, find new perspectives, feel exhilaration…hey, you’re FLYING, right?!
You swing out over the abyss, letting go of the familiar. On the “old” trapeze bar, you are letting go: of things and people you don’t need, hangups and toxicity that no longer serve you well. You mourn, you grieve, you hurt, you cry, you may even strike out. You close doors. You say good-bye. You “unfriend.”
But, wait, you say, when you move, aren't you just you taking your baggage with you—“you can’t outrun yourself,” you may have heard...?
But what if that’s not true? What if a “do over” really can produce a “new and improved” you?
When you head out in a new direction, you can’t help but put one foot in front of the other. You may feel unguided, uncertain, lonely, alone, unsure. But if you keep on walking, keep looking, stay open, seek…you will find.
In this mindset, the hand you choose (or are dealt) is just the starting point for development.