“Growth is messy and painful.” ~ William Tincup
Every day I focus on trying to do things the right way, for the right reason. The goal is to succeed each and every time on projects, in handling issues, or creating new and innovative ideas. I get frustrated when I hear about people who want to celebrate losing; people who believe that mistakes are not only worth sharing but should be shouted from the rooftop. Last week I learned that while I may never want to publicly celebrate mistakes, I certainly don’t give myself time, nor permission, to make them. That is a shame because without failing big sometimes, people never learn and grow.
I spent some time with a friend last week and he said something that stuck with me. He said that growing is messy and painful. What does that mean? Well, whenever things are going well, you’re not being stretched. It feels great in the moment to be in control and have things fall into place. In fact, it’s that state that most people strive for. The problem is that no one ever learns from doing everything well. We learn when we go through struggle, practice and yes, mistakes.
- Don’t play it safe all the time- Next time you’re in a situation where you know you disagree with the way the status quo is heading, speak up. Disagree. Make it known that you have an opinion that is not the “norm”.
- Step up to lead something you don’t know much about- Some of my best learning came when I took a chance and led projects that I had never led before. It feels scary and at times, like your hair is on fire, but what a great way to push yourself!
- Attend meetings outside your area of expertise- This is a great way to get creative juices flowing. When you hear how a department in another part of your company approaches situations and challenges, you’ll find ways to take that learning back to your own department. It will be messy because it won’t fit precisely, but it will push you (and your team) to think differently.
- Get honest- Find a handful of people you can trust to be completely candid with you. First, this will feel risky because you are sharing parts of you with them that you usually keep private (your fears, your losses, etc.). The growth comes from the candor with which they share how you can improve. It may hurt. It may seem harsh. In the end, you’ll come out ahead.
What techniques do you use to grow and develop? Share them in the comments.