No I don’t mean are you getting taller? Or wider for that matter? I’m talking about your personal growth.
Do you strive to improve yourself or are you stagnating stuck in one spot?
As I have often mentioned on this blog, one of the best things I have done was to invest in coaching. Coaching triggered a new era of self awareness and growth within myself. That experience more than anything has improved my life both mentally and emotionally.
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
Do you take the time to look inwards?
I once had a friend who told me that he never let himself think about his feelings or what he really wanted in life. He did however constantly think about his career and obsess about how to make money. Personally I think he was afraid he might not like what he uncovered. This head in the sand approach might work for a while. It also might not. You may wake up one day, long into the future and realise you need to take a long hard look at your life and yourself.
Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
Are you aware of your strengths and weaknesses? Are you too hard on yourself and only focus on your weaknesses or do you over play your strengths and pretend your weaknesses do not exist?
Each of us have both. By understanding and accepting both parts of yourself, there is an incredible potential for growth. Sit down and write up a list. Weaknesses on one side, strengths on the other. Which side of your list is easier to write? What areas do you need to work on?
Are you still making the same mistakes?
A great quote by Albert Einstein.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
We all make mistakes. Mistakes can help us grow. Many can also have HUGE ramifications on our lives. The key is to learn from our mistakes and hopefully not continue to make the same ones. What happens however when you keep making the same mistakes over and over again?
Often we can repeat bad habits without realising our debilitating behaviour. Think about what you want most, what is important to you? Is your current behaviour bringing you closer to that priority or driving you further away from what you truly want?
Say for instance your deep desire is to get married and have children. Yet in reality you are still having casual relationships with men who are completely inappropriate and unwilling to commit. Deep down you know they can not give you want you want and yet you repeat your destructive patterns of behaviour.
Look at your behaviour and lifestyle. What habits can you change to get your closer to what you desire?
Are you blaming someone else for your situation?
When things don’t go our way, it can be all too easy to blame someone else. Anyone else for that matter.
My boss holds me back
My parents don’t support me.
My partner does not understand.
Eventually we need to take ownership of the course of our own lives. Blaming someone else does not help us more forward. Take responsibility for yourself.
Do you have goals and dreams?
Do you have goals that you want to achieve or are you just coasting, taken along by the tide of circumstance? Set clear goals and work your way towards achieving them. Dare to dream a little. Actually dare to dream a lot!!!
Work out a step by step plan to get you on the path to that dream.
Are you living your life or someone else’s?
Sometimes we make decisions based on what everyone else is doing or what is expected of us by our family, friends or work colleagues. Don’t be hoodwinked into believing your have to do certain things by a certain age just because that is what other people are doing. It is your life (not theirs). You need to be true to yourself and not simply follow the crowd.
Do you have a job you love or are you simply in a particular career because it is expected? Do you feel pressured to have children because that is what your friends and family are doing?
As you all would know by now I am a traveller. I also tend to travel alone. Understandably my Mum worries about me when I go overseas. When I bought my apartment, Mum was thrilled. One because I had my own home but secondly because she thought that was the end of my travelling adventures. Owning a home, she thought would stop me going overseas. In her eyes it meant that I would finally ‘settle down’ (I can not tell you how much I personally dislike that expression). I was quick to let her know buying a property was not going to stop me from travelling. I made it clear that travelling is part of who I am (and promised to send lots of emails to let her know I was ok when I was off on my next adventure).
Do you enjoy your own company?
Introverts generally enjoy their own company more than extroverts. Regardless of which camp you fall into ultimately there will be times when you will be alone. Just to be clear here, there is a very big difference between being alone and being lonely. It is important to understand the difference.
Does spending time alone leave you breaking into a sweat or do you enjoy having time out to reflect and enjoy your own company? If you chose the first option, perhaps I could suggest a simple exercise. Pick something each week, even for a short period of time to do on your own. Perhaps take a journal with you and record your thoughts. Spend some time getting to know yourself better.
Are you happy?
Do you know the answer to this question? More importantly, do you ever ask yourself this question? Or do you prefer to not give it too much thought. If you are not happy, the chief question would be why not? Sit down and think carefully about what makes you happy. Do some soul searching. The answer might not be what you are expecting.
Do you love yourself? For that matter do you even like yourself?
When I was younger, I had some disatrous relationships with men. Back then, when my partner was treating me inappropriately, I would think to myself, “Why does he treat me like that?’ Now that I am older (and yes hopefully wiser), I can clearly see the answer. Because ‘I let him’.
Back when I was in these bad relationships, I had low self esteem. Not something I am thrilled to admit but there you go. Now I like myself, love myself for that matter and I do not allow people to treat me badly.
Loving yourself has nothing to do with perfection or looking a certain way. Far from it actually. Loving yourself has to do with accepting yourself for who you are right now.
As you will notice in the post, there are a lot of questions. Be bold and brave and ask yourself these questions. Then look deep inside yourself to unravel the answers.