People are constantly growing and evolving.
Even if you fight change tooth and nail, it’ll still come knocking at the door someday, whether you want it or not.
But despite our natural tendency to adapt and grow, we do float through periods where that growth is slower.
Not complete stagnation, but rather cycles where we slow down and enjoy the fruit of our labors.
However, spending too much time in these comfortable seasons can also be detrimental.
Relax too much and get too comfortable, and you prevent your ability to grow and evolve and do instead get stuck – be it in bad habits, unfavorable behaviors, or less than favorable thinking patterns.
So ready to get out of that rut?
Here are the 6 signs that you’ve stopped growing as a person and it’s time to shake things up a little:
1) Everything is getting pretty repetitive
Eat sleep repeat.
Your days blur as you eat the very same breakfast, yawn on the same daily commute, and return home sleepy-eyed to tie up the day before rolling into bed and restarting the process.
When was the last time you did something as small as reading a new book?
Growth isn’t only accessed through venturing out into the world and traveling to new countries or trying out avant garde new experiences that terrify you.
Little things like driving a new route home or trying out a new restaurant can be the tiny flames that grow into great roaring fires of change (the sort of change we do actually want.)
But if your days are looking as bland and monotonous as a soggy, day-old bowl of oatmeal, chances are you’re in dire need of some spice in your life.
2) You’re quick to judge (and not in a good way)
Whether it’s eyeing up your friend’s new hairdo or commenting on something that is not your business in the slightest, being swift to judge anything is a sign of an internal outdated belief system.
Not only does swift condemnation show arrogance and a lack of kindness.
It absolutely demonstrates the fact that you’re likely stuck deep in some stereotypes or biases that you’ll have to work hard to move beyond.
3) You think you’re always right
Hopefully you are a learner.
You educate yourself on subjects before you speak, and listen with interest when someone brings up a topic on which you know little.
But one great big red flag when it comes to having reached a standstill in life is if you think you’re absolutely right, no matter what.
Forget other people’s opinions or being informed of other perspectives.
Hell, half the time you know you’re wrong but your ego can’t take the hit so you go down fighting.
If you’re so unable to admit when you’re wrong or think yourself the next coming of Einstein, have a think about what are likely some sour, egotistical beliefs which are going to need a revamp.
4) Your friends seem to be moving on without you
When Friday rolls around, you text your friends with eager glee, envisioning you all chugging bottles of vodka and dancing the night away.
“Sorry man, gotta be up for the farmer’s market tomorrow”
“It’s a no from me buddy, don’t fancy the hangover if I’m honest”
“You know I haven’t set foot in a club in eternity! Why would I go out today?”
By no means is this a call to cease partying and having fun, but if you feel like your friends are growing up, entering long-term relationships, getting promotions, and learning meaty new concepts whilst you stare forlornly after them…
It’s probably a sign that you need to pick yourself up and start growing up a little too.
5) You let your thoughts make decisions for you
Now, I’m not saying that you should never follow your heart.
Quite the opposite.
Love at first sight, listening to your gut, and following your dreams based on what your heart tells you are all wonderful ways to approach decision-making and forging your own path in life.
But reacting to situations based on heightened emotions such as sudden surges of anger is a sure sign that you have some emotional learning to do.
If you find yourself losing your temper quickly or jumping to conclusions based on what that little voice in your head says, chances are you haven’t done enough growing.
This is a pretty clear-cut indicator that emotionally, you have a good amount of work to do when it comes to your self-regulation.
And that’s okay – plenty of people still work tirelessly to learn self-soothing or anxiety calming methods, or even how to manage anger.
But that growth requires active acceptance and awareness, which may well be the first step you need to take.
6) You politely decline anything risky
And no, this isn’t a cue to say yes someone shady-looking offers you a candy.
Or something even more dubious.
But if you turn up your nose at anything that involves even the slightest risk, you’re both preventing growth and showing that you’re in a stage of life where you need to grow.
Returning to the first point, if you’re living in your version of your comfort zone, everything is likely nice and warm and fuzzy.
Someone offers you the adventure of a lifetime, but you shake your head and retreat back inside to your hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Think Pixar’s ‘Up’ which we all so love.
Obviously, it took Carl a good while to work up the courage to grumble his way out of his comfort zone and travel to Paradise Falls.
And whilst he might have taken his comfort zone with him (his floating house), he did end up growing and realizing that material possessions (and houses) are less important than real connections with other people.
The takeaway that risks may be scary, but also often bring with them big rewards.
If reading the above has made you feel a little harangued and called out, it’s likely a good thing.
No, it probably doesn’t feel like a good thing.
You might be feeling a bit stingy and upset, but honestly, accepting the areas where you currently lack a little and working to change is more than anyone could ask for.