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5 Main Reasons You Might be Stuck in a Rut

Personal development is important because it shows the value you place on yourself.

What is keeping you from personal growth?

I am going to go out on a limb and assume you’re here because personal growth is important to you. Or maybe I’m wrong and the picture for this article was really alluring and you somehow ended up here. Either way, I can almost guarantee that this subject is relevant to you.

How? You may ask. Well, the fact of the matter is, no matter how determined we are to better ourselves and how focused we are to develop as individuals, we all sometimes feel like we’ve landed in a personal-growth rut.

“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.” ―Denis Waitle

But, don’t fret! I’m going to list five main reasons you might be stuck in this rut and I’ve found that being able to identify these stumbling blocks in my own life has actually, more often than not, removed them in the process.

1. Low self-esteem

Everything seems to be linked to this one cardinal thing and personal growth is no different. It’s pretty simple really if you don’t believe in yourself or don't believe that you can grow or are feeling generally negative about your own abilities to effect the necessary changes in your life, you won’t grow.

Thoughts like: “Oh, what’s the use, I’m going to mess up again like I always do,” is a great big indication of low self-esteem which is keeping you from personal growth. Not just that, this thought is also linked to my next point on this list.

2. Fixed mindset

Maybe this isn’t a well-known term for you, but it’s used almost daily in our household. It comes from the book Mindset by Carol Dweck (if you haven’t read it yet, I would highly recommend it!). You get two kinds of mindsets and you can fall into any of the two categories for any given thing in your life. You get a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.

In a growth mindset, you believe success comes from effort and working through inevitable failures and using these as stepping stones. In a fixed mindset, it's all about the outcome. If you fail, you think all effort was wasted and that you are simply not good or talented enough. In a growth mindset, it's all about the process of learning and developing, so the outcome hardly matters.

A fixed mindset is believing that you are born with a set of traits and talents and those are the ones you have to make do with throughout your life.  A person with a growth mindset believes that just because you weren’t born with a natural knack for something, doesn’t mean you can’t learn the necessary skills to do it just as well, if not better than the next person. In this mindset, anything is possible with the necessary effort applied.

By now it ought to be clear why a fixed-mindset would keep you from personal growth. How do you expect to grow personally if you believe from the outset that it is impossible to change?

“Effort is one of those things that give meaning to life. Effort means that you care about something, that something is important to you and you are willing to work for it.” Carol Dweck

3. Surrounding yourself with negative people

Have you ever heard the saying that you become like those you spend most of your time with? This couldn’t be more accurate. If you spend all your waking hours with people who are negative and who are blaming the world for all their problems, sooner or later you will end up following suit. You know the people I'm talking about, those who continuously talk smack about the government, institutions or even other's around them, never owning up or taking responsibility for their own lives, preferring to rather load their failures on a third party. Negativity and pointing fingers have never gotten anyone to any place worth going.

So, take a closer look at who you are surrounding yourself with. It’s better to spend a little time by yourself than sharing your company with those who will only bring you down in the process.

4. Laziness

Let’s face it, developing yourself takes effort, a lot of effort. It’s easy to find yourself in this space of laziness where it’s just too much effort to focus on self-improvement. However, it must be noted that personal growth is impossible without putting effort into it, if this wasn't so, there wouldn't have been so many articles out there on the subject. 

The good news is that this is entirely in your hands. If you just exercise some self-discipline, you will reap greater benefits than ever imaginable.

5. Not investing in yourself

Buy that book and enrol yourself into that course you’ve been thinking about. Explore new interests, go on trips, get those running or hiking shoes, join classes and workshops. Some of these things might be expensive, but remember that investing in yourself and your development will never go to waste. Check your budget, tighten the belt if need be and commit to the things you really want. Stop putting it off, you are worth it!

Hopefully, this list has helped you identify some hidden deterrents on your path of personal growth. If it has, great! But just remember, the journey of personal development is like keeping a room clean. You can't simply spring clean it once and expect it to always be in that pristine condition. It's something you need to continuously check on by going back every so often to dust, sweep and clean out closets.

So, get thinking, make lists, set goals, make plans, put motivational quotes up on your mirror and go for it!

Katia Theron Author

 Article by
Katia Theron

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