If you’ve stopped growing as a person, say goodbye to these 14 behaviors

by Isabel Cabrera | February 13, 2024, 12:59 am

Every single one of us is designed to expand and grow—to experience life fully, to learn, and to evolve.

So if you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, do yourself a favor and slowly crawl out of it.

It might seem scary and daunting, but you simply cannot remain stuck.

Where to begin?

Start by spotting the behaviors that have been keeping you from growing…and then get rid of them one by one.

1. Being scared of mistakes

Many of us are scared to get out of our comfort zone because we’re terrified to do something we might later regret.

We think, “Well…it’s better to be stuck than to end in a worse situation” or “I’d rather stick to what I already know.”

But the thing is, the only way to grow is to try things. And when we try things, we’re bound to create mistakes (at least, at first).

The people who live a rich life don’t see setbacks and mistakes as a sign of failure, but as a necessary step to grow.

Don’t forget: we regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do. 

So yes, go ahead. Try things. And if you mess up, well…you can get up and try again.

2. Sticking with what “works”

Let’s say you’ve found a good way to cook your eggs, and so you cook your eggs the same every single day.

Or let’s say you have a job that pays okay, so you plan to stay there even if it bores the hell out of you.

While there’s nothing wrong with being committed to something—in fact, this is an admirable trait —there’s something wrong when it’s mainly motivated by fear.

Sticking to something just because it works will prevent you from experiencing life to the full. Now, I’m not saying you should date around even if you’re in a relationship. 

I’m saying you should try to learn another instrument if you’re already bored with guitar, or try another exercise routine if you’re feeling unmotivated with the usual.

3. Spending so much time on distractions

If you want to grow, then do things that will make you grow instead of spending time on distractions.

List down your distractions in a day and monitor how many hours you spend on each. 

Instead of scrolling Instagram and composing witty remarks on Twitter, learn a skill or plan the life that you truly want…and work on them instead.

Every minute counts, especially if you feel like you’re not growing. So spend your time wisely.

4. Giving importance to other people’s opinions

We stop growing if we’re always too afraid of what people are going to say about us.

If you want to go backpacking yet you’re scared that your mother-in-law or grumpy sister will think you’re being irresponsible, then it will stop you from embarking on a great adventure.

If you want to grow, you have to get rid of people-pleasing. Replace it with “I don’t give a f*ck”attitude instead.

Your life is your life. Care more about yourself than what others think of you.

5. Believing you only have one calling

We’d like to believe that once we figure out what we want to be and want to do, that it’s set in stone.

But we can do so many things in this lifetime. Just take a look at Anthony Bourdain, for example. He’s a chef that turned into a writer then a tv host and filmmaker. 

Don’t be locked in one passion or calling. 

You can be an engineer and also a gardener. You can be a mother and also a carpenter.

We can always stop pursuing something to pursue something else. In fact, one calling can even feed the other. That’s the way to grow.

6. Remaining loyal to your “personality”

While some personality traits are stable, others tend to change in the course of a lifetime.

I was a very obedient child, but now I’m a rebellious adult.

If you’ve always been shy and soft-spoken, it doesn’t mean that’s who you’re going to be all your life. 

I’m sure you’ve met many people who’ve changed to the point that they’re unrecognizable. 

So refrain from saying “that’s not who I am” or “I’m not like that!”. You can totally transform yourself any way you want. And you can start it right now.

7. Staying in dead-end relationships

Patience and never giving up are great virtues to have…unless, of course, if they’re making your life miserable.

They say that our choice of partner will have a great impact on our happiness, and this applies to other relationships in your life as well (your parents, your friends). 

If you feel you’re not growing, maybe take a hard look at your relationships. If you’ve been struggling for a while despite your efforts, maybe it’s a good idea to let some people go.

It will be difficult to grow if you’re being held back by your relationships.

Of course, don’t just cut off people fast. You have to look at the ones that have been rotten for a while despite your best efforts to make things better.

8. Forcing yourself to be content

If you’re to be honest with yourself, you’re actually not happy with the way things are with your life.

You want to grow and have an interesting life. However, you don’t want to admit that out loud because it sounds ungrateful or foolish or “too ambitious”.

So you stop and even castigate yourself for not being happy. 

If it’s been going on for a while, you have to honor your true self. Instead of gaslighting yourself, acknowledge your real feelings so you can make some changes.

9. Relying on others for your happiness

Sometimes, when we’re stagnating in life, we expect others to fix the situation for us.

I’m guilty of this. When I feel like nothing’s happening with my life, I want my partner to rescue me from my misery. I want my partner to plan trips and introduce me to hobbies and buy concert tickets. 

If you can relate, you have to stop expecting from others.

Hold yourself accountable for your own happiness. No one can do it for you, not even the most loving and capable people in your life.

Once you realize this—that no one else can help you—you’ll be more proactive in finding ways to grow.

10. Hoping that things will just magically get better

Those who are naturally calm are guilty of this.

Even though they know they’re not growing, they won’t make a big deal out of it. 

They’d shrug and say “Well, what can I do?”. Instead of thinking of ways to get out of the rut, they’ll just rely on time and the Universe to make things better. 

While staying calm is great, being passive is a recipe for a life full of regrets.

Things will eventually get better, but not without clear intention and action.

12. Not being open-minded enough

It’s not unusual that as we get older, we get a little judgmental and inflexible. It’s not because we’re awful people, it’s actually rooted in fear.

Do you notice yourself rejecting certain ideas, people, and things even if you haven’t tried or experienced them first hand? 

Well, it’s probably because you’re scared of making bad choices. This is a sign you’re starting to get a little close-minded. 

Do open up and try things that you normally wouldn’t. Maybe you’ll like them!

This is one great way to keep growing. 

13. Being boxed in your roles

If you’re a mother, do you try to stay in your motherhood box? Do you act, dress, and talk like how a “good mother” should be?

Whatever roles you may have, you try to stay consistent because you’re scared of veering away from the norms. 

You’re scared that doing so would make you a bad parent, a bad friend, a bad partner, or a bad employee.

Step out your boxes. You’re more than the roles you fulfill.

14. Thinking that it’s too late

If you feel like it’s too late, you wouldn’t even dare to try the things that can make you truly grow.

Things like moving to a new place or finding a partner or starting a new career…they all just seem so impossible to do.

You’d say “Well, I should have started it when I was younger. Now, it’s too late for me.”

That’s simply not true. 

Anyone—and I mean even 100-year-olds—can still make big leaps…well, as long as they don’t think it’s too late, of course.

Last words

If you can relate to almost all of the things mentioned here, then what’s really holding you back is yourself.

It’s time to un-stuck yourself by changing your way of seeing yourself and the world.

Just make small changes day by day and pretty soon, you’ll notice your life expanding and growing like never before.

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