3 Steps To Your Development
Whether we think about it consciously or not, most of us are interested in improving ourselves and growing over time. We typically want to develop professionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, or D. all of the above. Let’s talk through 3 foundational steps that you can take to begin, then build on, any type of personal development.
1. Become more self-aware
To become self-aware is a threefold process; we must be able to identify our strengths, our weaknesses, and our blind spots. For some reason the younger generations are not having difficulty identifying their weaknesses but they are really struggling to identify their strengths. I don’t know what is easier for you but I know that I have become hyper-aware of my weaknesses and sometimes can be so insecure and unsure of my strengths.
To identify our strengths, weakness, and blind spots, we need other people. We need trusted brothers and sisters who love us and want what is best for us, to be in our lives as “truth tellers.” Then we need to listen to them! We need to listen to them when they tell us about something we are unaware of. We need to listen to them when they tell us we have great strengths. And we have to listen to them when they tell us our weaknesses. Parents are a great start (hopefully), as well as pastors, mentors, teachers, and mature friends. These people can help us, if our ears are open, to become more self-aware people. This leads us to our next step.
2. Have a “white belt” mentality
This is one that may confuse you by the wording. Basically what I mean is that if you have a mindset of someone learning and seeking knowledge you won’t walk around like a know-it-all. Even if you are a “black belt” in a certain area, what harm is it going to do you to remain teachable and seek greater understanding? This is one that I catch myself doing wrong all the time. Usually those who are eager to show off their black belts are the ones driven by value issues and insecurities. These types of people are stunting their own development when they do that.
Think about it. Even if you have great knowledge of something, wouldn’t more information, more knowledge, more insight be appealing to you? Wouldn’t it excite you to become an even greater expert? You must have the security to seek collaborative thought. Here is a major life lesson courtesy of Stephen Covey: “effective leaders seek synergy not entropy”. Anytime your mind goes to a state of entropy (a closed system) you are in a major dysfunctional moment. Always fight to have a white belt mentality!
3. Refine the areas of high competency
When we see someone who is just “a natural,” we should recognize that they have intentionally built on the gifts and abilities already in place. To grow in this area, you must input knowledge and understanding, and then exercise doing your skill. If you want to become a great leader, then you must learn what it takes to become a great leader (from great leaders) and then train yourself. This is where you might get frustrated.
When you go to action you may fail over and over and over but you must remain steadfast and keep your eyes fixed on the goal. Visualize, adjust your mindset, and run at it. And continue that process until you start to grow and change and soon you will look back and see that God has taken you much further than you could have ever imagined!
You have probably noticed that each of these steps take great discipline and are easy to talk about but difficult to achieve. You can also see that all three of these steps take other people – some as “truth tellers” and also other “white belts” who are pursuing growth alongside you. To get where you are going, community is essential!
Bless you my brothers and my sisters! I love you!
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