There are distinct phases of growth that we go through as we develop our skills and our craft. First, we typically imitate others as a way to build our basic platform for expression. This is how we master the basic elements of the craft. Then, we diverge as we begin to find our own voice and apply it in our work. This is when we may begin to experience success in our field, as we make a unique mark and deliver a unique contribution.
But then we hit what I call the “crisis” phase. This is when we sud- denly realize that even though our work is fine, that it’s delivering on expectations, and that everyone around us seems happy with our efforts, we feel stuck. We’re doing the same things we’ve always done, and we’re doing them well, but we no longer feel challenged. We’re stuck.
To move beyond the crisis phase, you must go back to the beginning of the growth curve, choose a new skill to learn, and begin to imitate others again as you learn the skill. You must return to a beginner mindset.
Don’t remain stuck in crisis phase. If you are not growing— developing new skills—your effectiveness will begin to wane.
The skill that you are known for today is unlikely to sustain you tomorrow. You must continue to grow.
What new skill would invigorate you and help you find new depths of engagement and effectiveness in your work?