To recap the first part, I’m talking about people who achieve some sort of personal growth or life change. The problem is that it can take time for that change to filter through all areas of your life. You wind up being put in a box, by yourself or by others, which stunts your continued growth, if you let it.
I’m still working on it myself, so I can’t give you a fool-proof, step-by-step plan to bust out of your box, but I can share what I’ve learned.
If you’ve ever wanted to pick up and take off for some place new and exciting to start over, be very careful. You might just end up in the same old box, just with different surroundings. In other words, if you’re still reserved and inhibited on the inside, then you’ll have the same old trouble with making friends, or building a life.
I’m not saying that a big dramatic step in a new direction can’t ever be the way to break out. It’s just that life often is more gradual, and most often, slower than we’d like.
If your box is being the shy, quiet one, then keep doing what you’ve been doing. You’ve beaten the shyness, now keep building. Step further out of your comfort zone. Don’t let yourself fall back into the old passive spectator in groups. As with anything, the more you practice, the easier it gets.
If your box is being the fifth wheel, always tagging along with couples for social outings, then you know what you have to do. Put yourself out there. I may be showing my age, but I think if you’re going online for opportunity, make it a site with actual profiles, as opposed to an app, where all your hopes and anxieties and internal conflicts are swiped away ruthlessly. Again, just my opinion.
Maybe the box you find yourself in is a little different. Were you the bully in school, but you genuinely changed? Something may have happened in your own life that gave you a change of heart somewhere along the way and you apologized. I’ve had that happen. I was happy to forgive the person. Far be it from me to board up the windows on someone else’s box.
Whatever box you’re busting up, be tenacious. It may feel like no one around is noticing your progress, but they will.