I am always looking to grow as a mom, business owner, in my relationships, and in my ability to walk in peace and not stress. And when I’m not growing I actually get really down. It’s like the creative part of me has been switched off like a light and I feel completely lethargic. But when I’m intentionally pursing growth opportunities, I come alive. Ideas start to flow. Relationships deepen. Business begins to thrive. And I feel a sense of peace and satisfaction in what I’m doing.
But there are certain things for you and I that can actually hinder our growth and leave us feeling frustrated and stuck versus growing towards our full potential.
One of my favorite “mentors,” John Maxwell, is a leadership teacher and guru and has spent more than 40 years devoted to studying people and leadership. He says there is one thing that is true of growth in any capacity…
Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
This is what Maxwell calls, The Law of Environment. I am a part of a mastermind group of ladies that meets together weekly on a coaching call. We have recently been working through John’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. And boy, did the Law of Environment hit home!
John believes that “at some point during every person’s lifetime, there comes a need to change environments in order to grow.” This could be a career, relationship, or location change.
This doesn’t necessarily mean the environment you are in is bad…maybe it’s positive and nurturing. But if you find yourself dissatisfied with where you are at right now and not reaching your full potential, it’s important to realize you have to be in the right environment.
We saw this play out in our lives in something as simple as a 10 minute move out of town. That physical environment shift for us changed the entire dynamic of our year, alleviating a lot of stress and bringing a whole lot of new friends! On Christmas Eve last year we had about 16 kids at our house playing a full match of soccer. That game was the epitome of why we made this move. Our family has grown this year simply by changing our environment.
Nathan and I have also seen this play out recently in one of our businesses. We spent the last 7 years working together from home with a great company. Our experience was very positive and loving and we had great success, met 1000s of wonderful people, and were challenged to grow.
But something interesting happened in the last few years of that journey. There began to be a restless feeling that we couldn’t shake. Creativity was dying. Energy was not there to work our business anymore. And we realized we weren’t growing (nor was our business) and hadn’t been for a while, in spite of continual effort. For the last decade, since going through some bumpy waters of losing our son HOSEA to SIDS early on in our marriage, we learned the value of investing in our personal and spiritual growth and development. As our marriage was threatened and I felt like I was sinking deeper into grief, Nathan and I both committed to intentional growth and taking personal responsibility for the direction our lives take. So during this restless, frustrating season in our business, we did this all the more – more conferences, books, podcasts, CDs, mentors, coaches…but to no avail. Things weren’t shifting for us.
Until around the 7 year mark of building our business we realized John’s Law of Environment was in motion – the environment we were in was not conducive to us reaching our full potential.
To say that was a hard thing to admit, verbalize, and begin to act on is an understatement. It’s almost always easier to just stay where you are than go through the hard work of transitioning, upsetting people you love, learning new skills, and facing your fears. But as I have experienced, you will be dying a slow death inside because you know that you aren’t becoming all that you could be, accomplishing all that you can do, and settling for less than your best.
So although this was one of the hardest decisions we have ever made, primarily because of the people we loved that we knew would be impacted, we chose to grow. We chose the path that would take us to new levels of leadership and skill development that we could not get to where we were.
Have you gone as far as the environment you’re in can take you?
Having made the shift in environments, I can personally attest to how powerfully and directly environment impacts your personal growth and where you will end up. We have grown exponentially personally and professionally in the last 3 months of changing our business environment and the cost of transition has been outweighed by the rewards. Furthermore, God did the impossible with us – what took us 4 years to build in our prior business, took us 30 days to do in our new adventure. He took an awesome foundation of personal and skill development and ignited that with a new environment. Add on top a whole lot of hard work and it’s been a recipe for success.
Stop and reflect today:
- Has your environment taken you as far as you can go?
- Are you content with that?
- What it is costing you to not grow?