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Growth Is Just A Series Of Locked Doors

Written by: Natalie Johnston, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Natalie Johnston

Life contains endless possibilities, although each of life's doors presents unique challenges and rewards. Discover the connection between growth, learning, and the choices we make. Learn the key to unlocking your potential, embracing challenges, and why fear is a sign of progress.

Photo of a blue open door

In life, growth is inevitable.

You may have heard the saying time waits for no man and it's true. if you look back at your life so far, how quickly has it gone? How many distinct chapters or changes have you experienced? And what lessons have you learned along the way?

When you reflect on how far you’ve come, how much you’ve learned, all the actions you’ve taken, and the decisions you’ve made to be sat in this very moment, it will likely boggle your mind thinking about it.

We don’t always recognise our growth, or if we do, we don't take the time to celebrate how far we’ve come. We’re always moving forward, even if we don't take the time to see or celebrate it.

Growth is a bit like going on a health kick. Although you may not see the difference each day, your friend who hasn't seen you in 3 months notices the difference!

Growth compounds over time. It's the small things. It’s how we treat others, it's how we speak to ourselves, it's the decisions we make, the actions we take, the knowledge we learn, and the skills we build. All these seemingly insignificant thoughts, actions, and decisions have led you to the present moment. Sitting here. Reading this.

Now, as you reflect you may realise those moments weren't insignificant. How could they have been? Else, you wouldn't be sitting in this very spot today. The fact that you are here today, living, breathing, and waking each day with new knowledge and experience, is nothing short of a miracle.

Upon reflection, if you don’t like where you're sitting today, the good news is that through a combination of your seemingly small actions and decisions, you have the power to change your trajectory. Now that's exciting! Or maybe, you see it as scary?

I believe that we all have free will. I also believe that anything is possible and that there are no limits to our individual and collective growth. Our dreams, our aspirations, and our destiny are all within our reach. However, they’re locked behind several metaphorical doors. So while infinite paths and possibilities are open to us, it's down to us and our free will (our actions/decisions) as to whether we step into a new room.

Let's imagine that everything you ever wanted, desired, or dreamed of stood behind a series of locked doors.

You don’t know how many doors you need to move through, but what you do know is the only way to get the keys for the next door is to first go through the door in front of you, complete a task, challenge, or mission, before finding the next room key, and so on. Similar to a video game, where you complete the first level before the next one unlocks.

Now for the rules!

You don’t and won’t know what's in each room until you get in there. You don’t know what the challenge or task will be, where the key is, or how long it will take you to find it. But what you do know is, that each task will get progressively more challenging as you move through the doors. However, in each room, you will always be given all the clues, resources, and tools you need to succeed and find the next key (a bit like an escape room). A huge bonus is the more challenging the task, the greater the reward or prize you’ll earn in the next room.

There are no shortcuts. You can’t jump from door 1 to door 100 without going through doors 2 99 first. You need to go through each door consecutively otherwise you won't find the next key. But more importantly, you won’t have the knowledge, skills, or superpowers you need to succeed upon entering door 100. Still with me?

If I told you this was life, what would you do?

Now perhaps like growth, opening that first door feels scary to you. After all, you don’t know what lies behind it. You don’t know what you’ll have to do to find the key and you don’t know how long you’ll be in there. However, take a moment to remember all the doors and rooms you’ve had to move through to get here today reading this.

The more doors you open, the more keys you find, the more prizes you collect, and the more confident you become. You’ll start opening the doors more quickly, tackling new challenges with ease, despite the unknown as you'll recognise you always get the information, tools, and resources you need.

There is a lesson in every life experience, and just like finding the keys and opening doors, the quicker we learn the lesson, the quicker we grow or move into the next room. However, just like life, learning the lessons isn’t easy or painless, it's often challenging, and the biggest challenges can become our greatest learnings.

Nobody says growth is easy, but it is always worth it.

If infinite growth is available to us all, why don’t we all access it? And why do we sometimes feel stuck?

Well, let's go back to the metaphorical doors and rooms for a minute. Remember, behind each door, the challenges get harder, but the prizes also get bigger and better. Some people may decide that they’re happy staying in their current room, it's comfortable, they have received all they desire and they deem the challenges are no longer worth the reward. That's great, if you feel true happiness and contentment from the room you’re in then you’re a winner! However, if you feel stuck, it’s likely because you are in room 3 when you’re meant to get to door 20. You haven't found the key and you're getting frustrated. “There is a problem with the lock.” “The challenge isn’t achievable or realistic” or “The key is too difficult to find.” You start blaming external factors.

But remember the rules of the game, you will always be given the clues, tools, and resources you need to unlock the next door. These clues are given to you through your body. Your body is always communicating with you, telling you where to look next. The reason you’re stuck behind door 3 when you’re meant to reach door 20 is either that you’re not taking the time to look and listen for the clues, the clues/nudges you’re getting scare you, or you are hearing and picking up on the clues but you aren't acting upon them.

This is when we get feelings of frustration, annoyance, or anger. Normally this is a signal to look within ourselves however we usually project these feelings externally, either to individuals or environments. It feels easier for us that way, rather than taking the responsibility and looking within. Remember you are always in the driving seat and you always have a choice. If you’ve ever felt any of these feelings, you will know they feel uncomfortable, debilitating, unbearable, and make life seem hard.

Trust me, there is a difference between hard and challenging.

Hard feels like running into a brick wall again and again. Ouch! Whereas challenging is like learning to climb over a wall. It is tough learning the skills and climbing up but you feel accomplished when you get to the top.

Wouldn't growth be a lot easier if we just embraced the challenge, listened to our bodies, picked up the signals and clues, and didn’t waste our time stuck in one room or running into the brick wall?

The next time you feel prolonged feelings of frustration, annoyance, or anger, remember that your body is trying to tell you something. Take the time to listen, enquire, and find out what it's telling you. What is frustrating you? Where does your anger stem from? What is holding you back?

Your fear is the only thing that will stop you from reaching your dreams, goals, destiny, and that locked door that you’re meant to open. When you feel fear about stepping into the next room, take it as an indication that you are on the right path. You’re in a new room. You’re taking on a new task or challenge. There is a new reward waiting for you on the other side. Acknowledge the fear, but don't let it consume you.

I started this article by saying in life, growth is inevitable, and fear is too! If we aren't afraid, we aren't doing anything new and we aren't growing. Growth and fear go hand in hand. Use it to your advantage. Use your fear as an indication that you’re on the right path. Growth and fear are like the angel and devil on your shoulder. Remember you always have free will (your decisions/actions), so which one you feed is up to you.

You always have a choice. Choose wisely.

Follow TTM Coaching on Instagram, Linkedin, and TikTok, or visit our website. Or you can find me, Natalie on Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.

Natalie Johnston Brainz Magazine

Natalie Johnston, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Natalie Johnston is Founder of TTM Coaching. Natalie is an accredited coach, BA graduate, speaker and experienced marketeer. She has spent her working career in Scotland, North America, and London. TTM Coaching was born from her belief that we can all become the best version of ourselves and when we do the work on the inside, the impact is felt on the outside, creating the ‘ripple effect’ of positive change. Fuelled by her desire to ensure the workplace, of which we rely on to meet so many of our physical and psychological human needs, is a place where individuals can grow and thrive. Natalie dedicates her time to working with individuals and organisations to unlock their full potential.



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