I want to share with you an experience and a lesson I learned recently about myself and how I was doing everything in a wrong way:
Last night I was reading "The 7 habits of highly effective people" by Stephen Corby, at this chapter he was explaining about that in order to be an effective person, organisation or an entity, it’s crucial to start from inside-out, rather than fixing or looking for external people, or things which may be affecting us. We must build our character first, and then work on our exteriors.
Working on character is a different matter to personality. As he beautifully explains in his book about character ethics and personality ethics. But before anything let’s first delve into the meaning of these two terms:
Imagine you are trying to achieve a goal in your business. Let’s say it’s a start up and everything is new. Your goal is to get to a point in you business where things are running smoothly, you’re having great revenue and your services or products are popular and in demand.
Close your eyes, and walk yourself through the steps you’re taking at the early stages of your business. What are the necessary steps you are taking?
If you’re thinking about creating an image where others think you are already doing great, and if you are posting pictures and videos on your social media of you smashing it, i.e. cheering glasses of champagne, rushing towards selling whatever you’re offering as soon as possible, and upgrading all your gadgets, computers and tools to a fancier version, then that is called a Personality Ethic.
Soon you will hit the wall, feeling disappointed and failed. Like I did. I was ignorant and was easily deviated by people’s nice and exciting words. I believed that there’d be a way where I can quickly get to the real deal, without falling, getting dirty, and working hard. I followed the herd of sheep who went to these networking events, dressing smart, spending hundreds on drinks and food, thinking this is the way to create contacts, aka networking!
Where as internally, throughout the whole process I did feel awkward about all this. Because this was not my character. I had simply put on a personality mask on my face and pretended to be a business woman.
My character was screaming back to me: Oi! Didn’t you hate pretentious and shallow gatherings? What is this? What are you trying to achieve? Aren’t your values formed based on hard work and real things?
Character ethic means that you do things in your true pace. You take steps after you’ve thought things through. It means you first learn the fundamentals of running a business, run tests, fail, get up, get experience so you can talk about your thing, it mean having patience and not get fooled by the trends and fads and materialistic traits.
Now how did I make the transition from personality ethics to character ethics?
There are many tools we can utilise to work on our personal growth. Below I am going to share 7 ways, which I personally experienced and got results:
Reading books - You can begin with reading the very book I mentioned above : The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People , or The 5 Second Rule , Or Rachel Hills books, or Tony Robbins books, or The Minimalist Entrepreneur, or the Art of Non-Conformity, or The Lies We Tell Ourselves, or Positive Intelligence.
Going to Therapy sessions. Now personally, I suggest CBT therapy (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), but the choice is yours. Maybe it’d be a good idea to learn a bit about the different therapies that are out there and see which one meets your needs best.
Getting a life coach: If you don’t want to spend months and years digging up your past and untie the knots that formed in your childhood so then you could move on towards your future life, you could ask help from a coach. Coaches focus on your current situation and help you work towards your future goal. They are like the back wheels of your bicycle when you were a child and wanted to learn riding a bike. They hold you while you clumsily try to paddle and help you keep balance, sometimes check with you if you’re putting too much weight on either side of your bike to remind you that it will break your balance, and let go of you when you are confident with being in control of your riding a bicycle.
Practicing patience by meditating: Now I know how meditation can instantly make some of you huff and puff, saying you’ve tried it many times but it didn’t do anything. But that’s exactly the crucial point where you shouldn’t have left practicing it. That’s what’s called Character Ethics. To persevere a routine patiently , for it to become a habit. You can’t create a habit without repetition and perseverance.
Taking risks, trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone, fail, learn and repeat: This one my friends, is a hard one. Getting out of our comfort zone is a hard thing. But let me tell you something: Once your are out of your comfort zone, it’ll only take a short while until that “uncomfortable zone” becomes your comfort zone again! And that means the circle of your zone in which you can operate and be effective is bigger.
Ignore the factor of age: If you hold on to the limiting belief of age being a factor in your way towards achieving your goal , then you’ve made life extremely harder for yourself than it could be. Yes, if you are 40-some years old and you suddenly decide to become a ballerina, I wouldn’t tell you it’s impossible! But I’d tell you that’s not a SMART goal. Because one of the criteria of a real goal is for it to be realistic. Realistically at the age of 40 you could 100% go and learn ballet, you could enjoy it and feel fantastic , why not? Hence the age does not matter. But most probably you will not be able to become a professional one as it demands a lot of physical flexibility and scientifically, as we get older, if we don’t grease up our joint regularly, then we become quite stiff in our bones and muscles. So when I say don’t let age get in your way, it means exactly that. You may need to amend your goal a little bit, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy experiencing something that you want.
Surround yourself with people who like the same things as you do: making a community (either digital or in person) or a group of people who focus on personal growth, will help you to get motivated, learn a few things from them and feel good about yourself.
So there we go. Select a few out of these 7 ways to start improving your personal growth. And remember, the more you do this for yourself, the more you feel confident in helping your loved ones, which again makes you feel even better.