Growth is a fascinating thing. Take a tree, for instance. The seed falls into the ground and its current form dies to what it is. Over the course of many days, little germinations sprout from it, digging down into the earth and forming roots. Slowly but surely, a shoot turns upward and pushes through the dirt. To an observer, what was a seemingly empty and inactive patch of land on Monday becomes the home of a fresh new bud on Tuesday. Then up and up and up that bud grows in a very short time indeed. Eventually, this growth spurt slows as the little tree sapling establishes itself in the dirt and its roots dig ever deeper. However, this process continues to repeat—the roots dig deeper, the trunk gets thicker. The roots dig deeper, the branches grow outward. The roots dig deeper, the tree climbs higher, and on and on and on it goes until you have yourself a mighty tree.
And so is the nature of personal growth. We root into the dark places, we shoot upward. We root deeper, we grow ever taller. It’s an exquisite pattern of underground development that, if we choose and welcome it, rewards us with new heights, more solid depth, and stronger branches that help us live richer, fuller, more satisfying lives.
Now you might think that viewing personal growth through this kind of a poetic lens might make it seem more romantic than it feels. But, herein lies the crux; growing can be, and often is, painful—or at least, if we’re honest, uncomfortable.
Complacency vs. Daring Greatly
New growth is especially daunting when it feels like unchartered territory. It’s also challenging to even begin a new exploration if we’re complacent in our familiar patterns and routines—especially the ones we think have served us but, again, if we’re honest, certainly don’t propel us into greatness and have us enjoying the ride.
Daring to take risks and diving headlong into the ‘dirt’, as a little seed, dying to the existence we have always known and sprouting in the dark may seem a formidable prospect, especially when ’emergence’ feels like it might be far off into the future. But it really doesn’t have to be difficult and arduous. What if instead of seeing the journey as a long, lonely, dark one, you create the opportunity to dig down with others and share the experience? What if you can choose to find joy in the vulnerability, and instead of seeing it as something to be avoided or something to continue to procrastinate about, you call it—front-loading?
Getting Strategic about Your Own Growth
Front-loading is the strategically smart act of intentionally investing time, effort, and resources into the beginning of an endeavour and watching the fruit of your labours flourish. Investing time, energy, and resources into your personal and professional growth NOW will see you reaping rewards for your efforts in weeks, months, and years to come!
What’s preventing you from challenging your own status quo and looking at your own ‘gaps’—especially in how you communicate? What’s stopping you from taking action now to up your game? Do you really want to remain ‘good enough’ or do you want to be GREAT.