To stay in one place your entire life is to defy the point of living, but that doesn’t mean we don’t stop growing sometimes. Although the reason for this may vary, the reality is you can’t just succumb to it—you have to fight it. Here are some signs you’re in a life rut.
You judge harshly and unnecessarily. We all judge, but there’s a major difference between judging your friend for thinking she can pull off banana clips in her hair and judging someone for things much deeper like race, gender, or sexual identity. A person who has stopped growing only sees the outside of people and judges immediately, usually based on negative and biased stereotypes. It doesn’t show just a lack of growth but pure ignorance too.
You tend to do things on repeat. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping to get different results. Wakeup call time! Doing things on repeat will never result in a different outcome. To constantly do the same thing over and over again hoping things will suddenly work out is like chasing fool’s gold—it’s never going to turn into real gold. It doesn’t matter what you do.
You never learn from your mistakes. No matter what constitutes as a “big” mistake for you, if you continue to make that same mistake then wonder WTF is going on, you only have yourself to blame. We make mistakes so we can learn from them; not so we can make them again and again.
You avoid responsibilities. No one wants to adult. Adulting isn’t just hard, it’s exhausting! It means getting to place on time, paying your bills, opening a savings count, being empathetic, and taking responsibility for your actions. Naturally, no one wants to do any of that, but in order to grow as a person, you have to do all it. You can’t just run around will-nilly, avoiding every responsibility you have. Eventually, you won’t just end up screwing yourself over but screwing over your friends too—and no, they’re not going to bail you out of your mess.
You think only your opinion matters. Although opinions can be wrong, to believe that yours is the only one that matters isn’t just devoid of any sense of growth but super childish too. Even if you loathe someone else’s opinion or firmly believe it’s wrong, you don’t get to pretend that only yours is the one that carries any weight. To do so makes you look like, well, an idiot.
You base decisions on emotions. It may be very important to allow yourself to be emotional and express emotions, but the person who has grown and evolved is the one who thinks with their head. If everyone reacted with their emotions before their brains, the world would never be where it is today. We’d still be in the Palaeolithic Era, running around naked and killing animals with spears for food. Instinct and brain power is what got us here today, not emotions.
You feel like your friends are evolving without you. Ever stop, look around, and realize everyone you know is a grown-up? When that happens—if that happens—you need to take a long hard look at your life and examine exactly at what point your friends kept moving forward and you either took a detour or ran into a tree. While it’s not too late to get back on track, you need to figure out where things went awry for you.
You never take risks. You have to take risks and jump out of your comfort zone from time to time or you’ll never grow or mature. That’s just a fact. While it can be scary to take risks, it’s that burst of adrenaline and fear of the unknown that gives us experience and wisdom essential to evolving as people. And should you fall flat on your face with your risks? Then that’s your chance to learn from your mistakes!
You ignore the journey and focus on the finish line. The finish line may be important, but what’s even more important is the journey along the way. It’s in relishing in the journey that you get to not just see and hear life but be part of it and taste it. You can’t grow as a person if you don’t let yourself be part of life. When you skip the whole living life thing, it doesn’t matter if you reach the finish line because you will have missed the point.
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