The Wisdom Found in Personal Growth
For many of us, walking into a room of people we don’t know can be exhilarating and filled with opportunity. For many others, this experience creates dread and alarm – flight seems the more honorable option.
I find myself on the fence these days. I used to consider myself an extrovert with an unmatchable zest for life. This, I am finding, is no longer the case. Perhaps it is my age – perhaps it is the gained wisdom that comes with said age. Perhaps, I am evolving. As a firm believer in the evolution of all things, I lean heavily toward this conclusion. Of course, there is growth involved when one changes or evolves – I find that this, too, is part of that branching and rooting of wisdom.
Today, when I enter a room of uncharted territory, I circle around those unknowns, staying close to the perimeter, in case the need for an emergency exit arises. I am drawn to the people I know – the people with whom I have established relationships, the foods and drinks I like – those that will later agree with me, and the type of erudition and entertainment that fulfills and unites, instead of derides and divides.
My head still wants to mix and mingle, but my heart and soul yearn for me to plant myself and further connect with my already-known territory.
I know I must expand my mind and open my heart, in order to continue my personal growth. So the fight rages on inside of me. Not too long ago, I tweeted out, “I believe my extrovert is in retrograde” – this I have confirmed. I am changing. And as with every new change, I am resistant – with feet dragging, and claws grasping the walls.
I will be ok, for I understand my own personal process. I recognize those feelings of loss and fear of regret – but I wonder, do we always have to let go of something old and known to make room for anything new and unknown? I am experimenting with this personal theory that the ghosts of things we have lost and/or purposefully let go remain – their shadows forever lurking – waiting to jump out of the dark and either bite me in the ass or calm me with their familiarity.
As I begin to recognize certain patterns of my personal process, I am able to more quickly adapt and move forward with my personal development, loosening my grasp on the resistance I am so often wont to maintain.
I guess it depends on what kind of muscles I’d like to build – those that develop from resistance or those that develop from pushing, reaching, and stretching.
My process will continue to evolve and I will continue to fight and embrace that evolution. It is a paradox.
The Message of the Paradox
One of my mentors, Dr. Hal Simeroth, shared with me “gap theory “ many year ago – the gap is that space between where we are and where we want to be. He asked me to picture a rubber band stretched between these two points – comprehending the tension on the rubber band, the tug which urges us on to that truly not so distant spot.
When I was able to isolate that vision and then apply to my personal process, I was not only able to look forward to that tug, but also learn to enjoy the tension that changes, while maintaining and retaining what I already know – as well as the talents and skills I already possessed.
Doors opened (and continue to open) and I am able to view this incredible compilation of knowledge, skill, experience, and talent in a completely different way – as the next level, a next step, my next opportunity.
Liabilities into Assets
Fear does not need to stop you in your tracks – it can also motivate forward movement and shift your thinking. The Art of War teaches us to turn our liabilities into assets. First, you must recognize what your liabilities are – where can you improve. And then pick that spot where you want to be, where you are capable of going – your arrival there becomes a newly-acquired asset.
Fear can be your friend. But it may just be in the center of the room.
Welcome back, extrovert, I may need you!
Rayanne Thorn is a regular contributor to intrepidNOW, the mastermind behind #TheGist. She writes about how to combat and leverage fear to your very distinct advantage…
- HR Latte: #WorkHuman – The Shift We Need - March 29, 2016
- HR Latte: Healthcare HR Check-up – Jay Kuhns, pt 3 “Technology Today” - March 28, 2016
- HR Latte Kicks off new Series: #Life with guest Derek Zeller - March 22, 2016