Growth isn’t linear. One month, you feel on top of the world as you’re ticking all the boxes on your habit tracker, only to plunge into a state of passivity the next.
And that’s perfectly normal! Just like the year changes its seasons, you go through various stages of input and output yourself.
But sometimes, there comes a point where your passivity stage has gone on for way too long. You’ve stopped growing as a person – and you’re not quite sure why.
I’m here to help you find your reason so that you can get out of the rabbit hole and back on track. These are the 9 difficult-to-admit reasons you’ve stopped growing as a person.
1) You’ve lost your sense of purpose
Look, none of us know why we’re here. It’s kind of a joke when you think about it. We were all just planted here, left to our own devices.
It’s up to you to create your own purpose in life.
And it’s up to you to find it again once you’ve lost it.
People change. The dreams you had five years ago might be nothing but a memory, the hopes you held close to your heart crushed to dust.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t rebuild everything again. In fact, ground zero is precisely what you need in order to create something completely new – a fresh life that excites you and invigorates you as you wake up each morning.
A life that fills you with light.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds, is it? Finding a new purpose requires you to do things you’ve never done before. You’ve got to look at life from a new perspective. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone.
Try new hobbies. Sign up for learning platforms to acquire new knowledge and push yourself in new directions. Return to the basics and ask yourself, “What did I love doing as a child?”
Everything you’re looking for is already inside you.
2) You’ve gotten too comfortable
It’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of happiness by material possessions and comfort.
We’ve all fallen prey to it at one point or another – you’ve got your Netflix, your fridge full of food, your comfy bed, and a cat to keep you company.
What else could you possibly need? Why would you push yourself to strive for more when you’ve got everything right at your fingertips?
Of course, there are the days – or weeks or months or years – when work seems to drag on forever, when watching TV only deepens the emptiness inside you, and when you’ve forgotten what fresh air smells like.
But hey, that’s life, right? What can you do?
As it turns out, a lot.
Believe that you can do more. Be more.
But in order to do that, you’ve got to recognize that…
3) You’ve stopped believing in yourself
Somewhere along the way, you put a limit on how much you think you can do. And these limiting beliefs are holding you in place, creating an illusion of rigid walls you can’t move.
Your job right now is to realize there are no walls. You are your own limit. If you change your thinking, you’ll change your life.
I used to believe I was terrible at DIY and sports. Over the years, it kind of became my label – hey, everyone, Denisa can’t jog for the life of her and is too clumsy to sew a single button!
The more I clung to this identity, the harder it became to actually learn those skills.
A few years ago, I told myself, “To hell with it. I’ll give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, at least I’ve had my fun.”
I’m now a regular gym-goer who crochets really cute plushies. All it took was a plot twist in the story I was telling myself about who I was.
Change it. Create new plot lines. Realize that you’re not just the main character, but also the author. You decide what happens next.
4) You sit in the passenger’s seat of your own life
Speaking of authorship, an author must first take responsibility for the narrative in order to write it confidently.
One of the reasons you’ve stopped growing as a person might be that you simply don’t take charge. You’re cruising through life as if you were a passenger looking at an automated steering wheel, wondering where it’ll take you next.
I’ve met dozens of people who dream up wonderful futures for themselves, speaking of this and that idea, pondering what it’d be like to make these abstract concepts a reality.
A rare few actually take active steps to change their lives, though. The rest keeps dreaming and hoping that one day, happiness will just fall into their lap.
But life doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to put the effort in.
It’s time to get up and just do it.
5) You’re terrified of failure
Fear is an amazing emotion. All it does is try to protect you from danger. If there’s a lion chasing you, fear tells you to run as fast as you can.
Unfortunately, its function isn’t as useful in the 21-st century world where walking in nature is a fun weekend activity, not a 24-hour lifestyle.
Fear can hold you back from going after everything you’ve ever dreamed of. It can be debilitating, giving rise to procrastination and anxiety.
What if you fail? What if you give it your best shot and find you’re not up for the challenge?
In times like these, I like to shrug my shoulders and say, “So what?” Every success is preceded by failures after failures. You can’t win if you don’t lose.
When you think about it, each failure is a stepping stone. Feel it, learn from it, and celebrate it.
Every mistake helps you grow.
6) You’ve let your anxiety conquer you
I’ve suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. Just like fear, anxiety can become so overwhelming that just getting through the day is a massive feat.
The thing about anxiety is that it reinforces itself. Every time I shelter myself from the world due to anxiety, I grow more anxious as a result, which makes it even more difficult to get out, which in turn spikes my anxiety.
The only way to end the cycle is to face your fears.
Throughout the years, I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone despite the urge to crawl under my bedsheets so many times that it’s improved by a thousandfold.
These days, I don’t get severely anxious when I meet new people or try new things. When I can feel it coming on, I know how to handle it.
Anxiety does not have to hold you back.
7) You tend to give up too soon
Growth takes time. You won’t get your life together overnight, but if you give it a few months, you’ll see amazing progress looking back.
The problem is that many people give up when things get tough. They get discouraged, let their limiting beliefs win, and settle back into a rhythm of comfort and complaining.
Don’t give up. Trust the process. As Darren Hardy writes in The Compound Effect:
“Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE.”
8) You’ve burned out
You’ve been stuck in the same unfulfilling routine for months on end. You take no time to fully rest, no time to meditate or get out into nature, no time to read the books you truly love.
It’s no wonder you feel like a walking zombie.
When you’re completely burned out, it’s almost impossible to grow because all your energy is spent on getting you through the day.
Listen – you can’t go on like this. This clearly isn’t working.
Look at yourself in the mirror and admit you need a change. Sleep, good food, a self-care routine, a time in the day that’s carved out especially for you – those are necessities, not special occasions.
Nurse yourself back into health.
9) You keep waiting for the right time
…and it never comes.
“I’ll start working out in January.”
“I’ll do that meditation course next spring.”
“I’ll buy myself a journal on Monday. Or Tuesday. Or… uhm, I forgot again. Oh well.”
That won’t do.
Stop waiting. You are the only person standing between you and your dreams. Every single second is an opportunity to change your life.
You don’t need to wait for any special markers. I mean, they’re all made up anyway.
So what if you begin jogging on a random Thursday evening?
You choose your own beginnings. Remember that.
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Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.