1. You’re choosing acceptance instead of growth.
The movement towards self-love and self-acceptance has been a phenomenal thing – we’re all learning to accept ourselves as we are and move forward with confidence and awareness.
But some of us are taking it too far. Instead of pushing ourselves to grow in new ways, we’re affirming ourselves that we don’t need to change at all. And this is a dangerous affirmation. Your life only grows, expands and moves forward if you’re able to recognize where your opportunities for personal development lie. And if you aren’t acting on those opportunities for growth, you’re choosing to remain stagnant and stuck.
2. You’re only associating with likeminded people.
The cool thing about adulthood is that you get to choose your community. You are rarely forced to socialize with people who don’t share your political, spiritual or alternate beliefs. And while this can be fantastically soothing for the ego, it is detrimental to your personal development.
By making a point to socialize with people whose views challenge yours, you’re deliberately forcing yourself to expand your thinking and consider your beliefs from new angles.
When you entrench yourself in a community of likeminded people, you’re keeping yourself comfortable and affirmed but you’re also limiting your opportunities for growth.
3. You’re weighing the risks instead of the rewards.
Too many of our decisions get made by considering the worst-case scenarios instead of the best-case scenarios. While security is certainly something to keep in mind, it shouldn’t be the main guiding principle in your life.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Because your hopes are going to lead you somewhere a whole lot more incredible, if you’ll let them.
4. You’re refusing to give up control.
There is a tiny, type-A control freak that lives inside of all of us – even in the most laid-back of people. We want to be wholly in charge of our destinies, our decisions, our outcomes and our rewards.
And so we close ourselves off from other people. We close ourselves off from external influences. We close ourselves off from living our lives in any way other than the one we have determined is the absolute most optimal fashion.
And we forget to make room for growth. We forget to make room to open ourselves up to external influences, because that would mean giving up control. But it would also mean welcoming in some absolutely beautiful changes.
5. You’re pigeonholing yourself.
The brilliance of growing up is that we establish a sense of confidence and competency along the way. We hone in on the skills that we can profit from and do them to absolute death – showing the world that we are worthy of something.
But we too often forget that we are worthy of so much more than the one or two things that we have chosen. That being the best in our field doesn’t mean we couldn’t thrive in and excel in other areas. That mastering one skill or career choice doesn’t mean our talents are limited to that field.
We forget that we are still capable of growing, expanding and developing ourselves outside of the realms that we’ve entrenched ourselves in. And as such, we limit our opportunities for exploration.
6. You’re pointing fingers instead of solving problems.
It’s easy to blame anyone and anything out there for the problems that we are going through. Our partner left us. Our boss is an asshole. We’re saddled with student loans. We have a family to take care of.
But if we took a brief moment to step outside of the finger-pointing charade, we’d realize that an infinite number of people find themselves in our exact same situation and handle it wildly differently.
More often than not, the problems we’re facing are exaggerated and perpetuated by our attitude toward them. And if we could turn our attention away from our limitations and focus them on the possibilities at hand, we’d find ourselves significantly less entrenched in our problems and significantly more capable of moving beyond them.
7. You’re refusing to trust your own abilities.
It’s easy to listen to what everyone else wants to tell us.
“That job would be foolish. That relationship isn’t worth pursuing. That lifestyle isn’t sustainable, and you should pick the safer route.”
What’s a little trickier is trusting our own intuition. It’s hard to turn down naysayers and choose to be the bold and optimistic, but it’s also the fastest path to personal growth.
When we trust in our own abilities to make the lives that we want happen for ourselves, incredible things start to happen. We are able to transform our own realities in ways that we never thought possible – and in ways that the naysayers will never see happen for themselves.
8. You’re failing to challenge your assumptions.
You aren’t qualified for that job so you don’t apply for it. You don’t know any people at the party so you don’t go to it. You think that the person you like or the opportunity you’d kill for wouldn’t ever give you a second glance and so you write yourself off before ever trying for it in the first place.
The more you refuses to challenge your negative thinking, the more it perpetuates itself. You tell yourself you’re a loser and so you keep losing. You lose by default. You lose by omission.
But it doesn’t take much to break the cycle. Because regardless of which ways you’re keeping yourself stuck, one fact remains: You are the only person who has the power to turn it all around for yourself.
And the only question left is whether or not you’re going to choose to do so.