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3 Permission-Less (And Immediately Actionable)Tips To Break All Your Imaginary Rules And Transcend Your Personal Growth ‘Plateau’

Mitchell Wilson


Mitchell Wilson


Jan 1, 2024

3 Permission-Less (And Immediately Actionable)Tips To Break All Your Imaginary Rules And Transcend Your Personal Growth ‘Plateau’

There’s no such thing as a plateau when it comes to personal development.

You are either evolving yourself or slipping back into your old ways - maybe even worse unfamiliar territory. In your mind, it feels like you are either evolving or sitting still on a plateau. That’s because the slipping up happens so subtly it’s hard to notice. Your ego may even be trying to protect you from realizing it. That’s why they say you are your biggest enemy. That’s why they say to get out of your own way.

Because you are in your own way and you will self-sabotage if you don’t counteract the natural entropy with a glimpse of a new perspective and shake things up.

Gut-Check Your Guardrails

Your guardrails are largely hidden from view.

It’s not until you engage in deep reflection or encounter brain-breaking information that you realize where you have been self-limiting. I have found it much easier to gut-check my guardrails either through long periods of intentional silence or consuming condensed nuggets of knowledge from people I’m confident are wiser than I am. 

The magic of being in silence with yourself lies in what happens passively. I like to declare the direction or intention I would like my unconscious mind to work on and then occupy my logical rational mind with a less important problem to think through.

I have also had luck with just letting the mind wander. It’s the hardest way to do nothing but breathe, but you instantly get reminded of the status of your inner landscape. After some time, with either of these approaches, a little clue will float up into your awareness.

At first, you may be inclined to shake it off and ignore it. It may seem irrelevant or preposterous. But do your best to consider where your thoughts and ideas are coming from. Then, when you recognize one from a nontypical source, examine it even more closely.

The most precious ideas won’t be shouted on a billboard, they’ll be whispered in a fortune cookie.

Example of an externally derived gut check: 

I haven’t cared about running for many years, but I recently learned of Nedd Brockman’s story of running across the entire continent of Australia. 

Something like 60kms per day for 40+ days. Insane, right?! That broke my brain. That shifted my view. That exposed the guardrail I had in my head about running - I didn’t know I was making an unconscious excuse not to run. I didn’t know how lazy I was being. 

I became instantly inspired to start running again. But not just here there sometimes maybe. But systematically build up what I am capable of. Nedd redefined what was possible for me. 

And now, I’m less limited. Now, I’m getting miles in weekly and it feels fantastic. Now, my mind can’t say, “Oh, this is too hard, maybe we won’t go as far today, maybe we just skip today’s run”, I have too much evidence to the contrary. I know too much now not to push through. 

I see through more of the weakness now.

Example of an internally derived gut check:

As I mentioned in the last article, I’m working diligently to start this brick-and-mortar business. I’ve been sitting in silence with the funding problem for weeks and weeks now every chance I get. Asking myself, “How can I do this?”, “Can I do this in a slightly different way that requires less money upfront?”, “What am I assuming has to happen that actually doesn’t?”.

And there have been tiny hints arising from these inquiries. About 50% of the startup expense was wrapped around the idea of customers walking in and filling up on their own products. Self-serve, similar in the way that most stores work. 

But, through persistent questioning, the idea came to me that it doesn’t have to work like that. At least not initially. To get this thing started, customers could either order online ahead of time or walk in and place their order, while the team fulfills it for them. This way, most of the customer experience lies just in ordering, free samples, and lounge-type area. 

Whereas in plan A, the entire store had to be customer-facing, now it’s only a small section. The rest gets to be purely functional & efficient. Much more I can illuminate there, but the point is that it took hours of silence and inner inquiry to arrive at this new idea. 

It was an accumulation of subtleties I didn’t see coming.

There’s always another layer beyond your current awareness.

The No Spot & Untapped Upside

Don’t be afraid of the ‘no’ if you already lack the ‘yes’.

If the worst someone can say is 'no' to your question, and you're already living that life without the 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to lose and all to gain by shooting your shot.

Applies to everything.

I have used this strategy countless times on everything from basic daily things to enormous life-changing decisions. You ask someone to borrow a pen, worst-case they say no and that’s no big deal because you already don’t have a pen to use. You’re not out anything. You were already in the No Spot.

The No Spot is what led to us deciding back in 2016 to move across the country to somewhere we had never been, somewhere we didn’t know anyone. We had just graduated college with a newborn and were staying at my mother-in-law’s house. Once we realized that the most realistic worst-case scenario was that we literally end up back in the same bedroom at my mother-in-law’s house - it became an obvious HELL YES decision to go for it. There wasn’t much downside. Yes, we may have lost our savings up to that point, but it’s not like we wouldn’t have arrived back defeated without tons of experiences, stories, memories, etc. At the very least, we would have learned a lot and it wouldn’t have been for nothing. 

Luckily, we went for it and it worked out better than we could have imagined, but we wouldn’t have even tried had it not been for the No Spot.

It’s one of the best tools in my toolkit for life.

Questions That Force You To Think Differently

Did the things I thought would work get me what I wanted?

If not, am I still trying to get those things to work?

Is it a matter of perseverance or consistency or time?

Or may I have the wrong approach and need a new strategy?

If so, which of the things did I do that specifically led me to the desired outcome?

Were there some I could have done without?

What belief or expectation is preventing me from enjoying life as much as I could be?

Can removing this provide me instant access to more joy?

What am I waiting for then?

Is that belief or expectation I’m clinging to really worth not experiencing joy now?

Could it actually be easier than I’m assuming it has to be?

Where am I making things hard unnecessarily?

Where would ease get me if I let it steer for a bit?

What is my most realistic life path forward?

The one based solely on my current momentum and opportunities (or lack thereof) at hand. 

Play that out.

What is my most idealistic life path forward?

The one completely unhinged from limitations and other people’s opinions.

Wave a magic wand and don’t hold back the creativity.

If I were to shoot for somewhere in the middle of the previous two questions, what would that future path look like?

You’ll arrive somewhere interesting with this one.

Build top-tier mental wealth

Let's keep your soul off airplane mode.

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