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The root of the problem Project 365(2) Day 111

Day 111 by Keith Williamson, on Flickr

I’d recently read april4june6 blog post on December 15 about her “change in perspective”. She had come to a place in her career where people were not taking notice of her. She had become “part of the scenery”. A mentor advised her “to make a difference” so people will notice her in a new way. April4june6 had been put in a box she had out grown, which got me thinking about plants.

When a plant has outgrown its pot the roots are cramped inside and become pot-bound. When this happens, the growth of the plant is inhibited while nutrients and water are not easily taken in due to the confined root system. Only by moving the plant to a bigger pot will the plant be able to continue growing.

These are just some ways you can get boxed in and not allow yourself to grow or become better.

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You can experience this same stunted growth in your life when circumstances have forced you into a box. It could be a boss not promoting, advancement opportunities no longer available, the market in the area has dried up, or you are simply too afraid to move any further. These are just some ways you can get boxed in and not allow yourself to grow or become better.

When this happens a person can only do one thing, move to a bigger pot:

  1. Take stock of what is forbidding growth in your life. Is it the boss, the opportunities, the market, etc. Only by determining what is the underlying cause can things begin to change.
  2. Outline a plan to address the issue. It may mean talking to the boss to find out why promotions are not happening or asking about any opportunities and what you need to put yourself in the running for them. If the market has dried up a change in career or location may be needed; and if fear is holding you back, talking to a counselor may help to overcome its grip.
  3. Once you have a plan, implement that plan. Don’t wait to debate the pro’s and con’s, be like Nike and just do it. You will never grow until you can get out of the box surrounding your life.
  4. Now that you know what exactly is going on it is time to decide what you can do to allow yourself to grow. Maybe a new company is in order because you’ve outgrown the current opportunities at your job; or a new market is needed to find growth. Possibly going back for more education will help make you more marketable. Make a list of advantages and disadvantages, but remember the outcome must be your growth. Don’t hamstring yourself with reasons against stepping out as this can lead directly to procrastination.
  5. Go do it. As with any big moves in life all possibilities should be addressed adequately so any one involved, such as spouse, children, etc., are on with you. Don’t jump with out knowing the depth of the water, however standing on the edge of change and growth will not get anything accomplished.

Just as a plant can become pot-bound and not grow, a person boxed in will also stop growing. A plant can’t change pots by itself and you can’t grow without physically taking the steps to get yourself out of the box and growing again.

What kind of box have you been put into? Tell us in the comments section.