How to Have the Courage for Personal Growth

Why is a Personal Growth Plan Scary?

Most people don’t have a personal growth plan. They stumble through life, with no sense of purpose—or worse, they settle for what they have and bitch about everyone who makes a different choice, a choice to grow throughout their lifetime.

Why do people settle for the crumbs when they could have a seat at the table?

Some settle because they don’t know how to grow. They want to, but they don’t have the tools to transform their life.

Most people seem to settle for less than their full potential out of fear: fear of failure, fear of success (it’s a real thing!), fear of change, fear of the unknown—these powerful emotions grip us by the throat, squeeze the life out of us until we panic and crawl back into our comfort zone, and then slip back into the shadowy recesses of our mind where the fear lays in wait, coiled like a viper waiting to ambush our next attempt at anything ambitious.

It takes an extraordinary amount of courage to face these fears—and it all starts with facing the reality of your life. You aren’t where you want to be because of the choices you’ve made.

The courage to own your choices and their consequences is the first step to developing a personal growth plan. As long as you hold to the mistaken belief that outside forces control your destiny, that your present condition is the consequence of other people’s behavior, that you are not responsible—these erroneous beliefs are the shackles on your mind that hold you in the fear trap. You will always believe you aren’t good enough, you will always be jealous of those who have more shiny toys, you will always be afraid you’re missing out, and you live a life of fear balanced with regret.

You can choose a different path. You can choose to live a meaningful, well-lived life, full of purpose, joy, and rich in relationships and accomplishments.

That choice starts with recognizing you aren’t who you could be, that you are where you are because of your choices, that you have the power to make different choices, engage in learning new behaviors, learn how to take control of your life, learn how to reflect on your thoughts and expand your awareness of your potential.

That is scary—one rollercoaster after another, constantly looking failure in the eye and asking, “What lesson are you going to teach me today?”

Most people don’t have that kind of courage.

Click here if you think you do, and would like more information about how we can help you.

What are your constraints?

The purpose of the Dillon Group, Inc. is to develop leaders within our companies and brands and develop leadership within our clients and their organizations.
Whether we help our clients develop leaders through training, mentoring, or coaching, or we help their organization develop market leadership, there are fundamental laws that govern leadership. As a long-time student of John Maxwell and others (and a member of The John Maxwell Team), I have studied leadership development for more than 20 years.
The laws of leadership proposed by John Maxwell have held true in my experience and in the experience of millions of people around the world who have directly and indirectly benefited from his insights.
The first law, the Law of the Lid, states that your leadership ability determines your level of effectiveness and whatever you accomplish will be propelled or restricted by your ability to lead others. Your leadership ability is a constraint on your success.
I’ve learned this the hard way, as I have with most of the lessons I’ve learned over the years. Apparently, I don’t learn very well from the experiences of other—I have to experience the lesson myself.
I began by questioning my own leadership abilities. However, I decided I couldn’t rely on my own perception since I am biased—as you likely are biased about your own skill as a leader. I started asking people to give me feedback on my abilities across specific dimensions of leadership. And I didn’t ask just anyone— I asked my boss, the team I led, my colleagues, and my critics. I learned a lot— mostly that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I also learned that feedback can be really harsh and I had to develop thick skin to survive and thrive if I was serious about my own development as a leader.
Since those first painful steps to self-awareness, I have improved. I’m not perfect, but I’m becoming better in those leadership dimensions.
I found that I couldn’t do it alone— I didn’t have the tools to transform. I have used teachers, mentors, and coaches to grow, reducing those constraints imposed by my leadership abilities. I deliberately practiced (and continue to practice) my leadership at every opportunity.
I discovered a curious thing—there appears to be a direct correlation between my leadership ability and the success of the companies I’ve founded and lead. As I became better, we became better!
This illustrates the Law of the Lid: as I grew as a leader, my effectiveness increased and the companies performed better. I’m still growing— every day I learn that I still have a lot more to learn—and I can see the impact that I have on our team and we have on our clients.
So what are the leadership dimensions that are constraints to your effectiveness and success? Character? Charisma? Commitment? Competence? Courage? Discernment? Focus? Generosity? Initiative? Listening? Passion? Positive attitude? Problem solving? Relationships? Responsibility? Security? Self-discipline? Servanthood? Teachability? Vision?
On a scale of 1-10, how good are you?
Now, take a dose of courage and ask your critics.