Youthful and full of energy, she was obviously chomping at the bit to get started by putting the finishing touches on a highly creative business concept.
“What else do you suggest I do to insure my success?” Her demeanor said it all. She was serious, determined and eager for my response!
“Engage in serious determined personal growth. As serious and determined as you are about learning everything there is to know about business and technology!”
My answer did not please her. She expected more business wisdom (as if I have any real business wisdom to impart). Besides personal growth is some nebulous ‘thing’ to be searched for and, and . . . feared!
The above scenario occurred a number of years ago during my years in private practice working with women who said they wanted to grow. Grow as women in business, in relationships and life in general. Many were in broken or nearly broken marriages in which one partner had grown personally while the other had not. Others had broken out of corporate America and now wanted to own a business of their own. They fancied building empires of wealth and happiness leading to a life of eventual ease.
But the woman in the vignette above was different. She had a brilliant idea, had done her research and market analysis.; everything one would expect to do when vetting a potential business concept. She was, in fact, all business. So much so that her personality left much to be desired in terms of warmth, kindness and just plain humanity. Not that she didn’t care; but that she was so well hidden behind walls of protection, it was hard to know her as a person – as a woman! Thus my “advice” to seek personal growth as the next step on the journey to success!
I know I beat the drum of “personal growth” over and over again. But it’s wisdom most folks miss on their journey to destiny. Or they ignore and hope it will go away. Most folks choose not to actively grow personally – as well as professionally, out of fear. Fear that the process will reveal things about themselves they don’t want to know. Yet those who encounter us throughout our lives will recognize our lack thereof and let us know in ways that may not be so pleasant. They’ll walk away vowing to never encounter us again or they’ll eventually tell us the truth of their experience without sugar-coating one syllable!
I fear not to boldly state what ought be obvious – personal growth is the precursor to any life success! If you think you can reach the summit of what you most desire without it as your constant companion – think again. You are sadly mistaken and the outcome may be more regret than you thought possible!
What is meant by personal growth is nothing more than peeling away layers of personal deceit we all gather over a lifetime. From childhood onward, we layer our lives with walls and barriers to protect from that which is too painful to view in the light of day. Or simply because we were taught to hide that which parents, teachers, peers and others have found distasteful – and let us know they found it so!
It does hurt! Or it can hurt if we let it. However, another truth is “no pain – no gain!” Everything in life that is of value, to us and others, comes at some personal pain. However, if we choose to run from that pain; we are likely to encounter the heartache of rejection in other life areas. . . business, professional, spiritual.
As someone others often turn to for wisdom, I will continue to beat the drum for personal growth. Because it’s the foundation of the road leading to our most desired outcomes. And because it’s the subject about which I feel most personal and professional confidence!
Remember the woman previously mentioned in this post? Frankly I gave her an answer she wasn’t expecting – nor that she wanted.
“Ouch, that hurt,” she cried! Her Achilles heel? A desire to find business success from behind a wall of reserve that kept everyone at bay. Buy my product but don’t dare ask to know me!
She left my office a bit downcast and never returned. Rumor has it she has struggled to gain traction for the brilliant business idea and may have relinquished it to return to the corporate world where it’s safe to stay barricaded behind cubicle walls!
The Thursday thought? Don’t scoff at or shy away from engaging in personal growth. Face it fully aware of its potential cost. Then run to embrace it with open arms and eager anticipation of the world of joy that comes following the “ouch” – for joy does come.
Remember the rainbow. There’s a rainbow of delight that comes following every season of raw personal growth that will tickle your soul and add one mile closer to your desired outcome – in every aspect of life!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Eriching Women in Business Worldwide
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