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December 27, 2023

Don't Discount Your Growth

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As we near the end of the year, it’s common to reflect on what we’ve achieved and who we’ve become over the course of these last 12 months. For many, this reflection is bittersweet because there’s a sense of pride for how you showed up but also an undeniable acknowledgment of how some things didn’t change, or didn’t change to the extent that you wanted them to, over the course of the last year.

But as with anything, our reflections exist on a spectrum. It’s not that you grew or you didn’t. Had a successful year or you didn’t. Implemented better habits or didn’t. It’s a matter of how much. And often we discount the amount of growth we experienced, or success we achieved, because we’re seeing the gap between where we are and where we wanted to be versus the gain from where we were to where we are.

Let me share an example that comes to mind for me from this year.

I’m still not where I want to be as it relates to how I want to respond in emergencies. I want to be the type of person that springs into action and is very helpful. In college, a friend of mine in a new comical stunt jumped off my couch and hit his nose on a beam. He went down hard, started bleeding from his face, and I froze. Other guys I was with sprung into action and took care of him, but I froze.

Different story: Only a few weeks ago, I was having a peaceful picnic at a park and all of a sudden there was this vicious barking as one dog started to attack another dog. I hesitated when it happened, but was one of the first to jump up and help separate the dogs and fortunately, there was blood but no serious injuries. In the aftermath I was there to support the woman whose dog was attacked to see how I could help, but in a semi-traumatized state left the park.

I criticized myself a bit because I didn’t respond as quickly as I would’ve liked to, although I did respond, and didn’t think to offer her a wipe to get the blood off her arms.

But look at the growth from that first incident with my friend to how I responded in this dog attack! It’s a great step in the right direction, and I’d miss that if I only saw the gap between where I am from where I wanted to be rather than the gain from where I am to where I was.

If you want to give yourself credit for your growth this year, the first part of the New Year goal setting workshop is to walk through a facilitated year in review exercise. In this workshop you’ll also set your goal for the year and establish a plan to make it infinitely more likely you’ll achieve it. You can access the video session for that immediately by clicking here!

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