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Breaking Through Plateaus

Nov 11, 2007
You have worked hard and made a lot of progress, but now you find that you have hit a plateau. So, now what?

First, you should be commended for making it to this level. After all, you started at the bottom and have made great progress. It can be exhilarating to make that ascending advancement and you may get a little heady from moving so fast. But then you relax, thinking that you have everything under control and that you will have no more work to do. It is about this time that your growth and accomplishments seem to stall and you level out. You hit a plateau. So, where to you go from here?

A plateau is a normal, natural occurrence in the course of things. Most people have a tendency to experience a sharp learning curve at the start of any new venture. Before long, though, once you have a solid grasp of some of the more basic concepts, you may wonder how to proceed or what you should do next. You may even feel that you "just can't get the knack of it."

It is important to note that growth comes in stages. Upon conception, cells begin to split and multiply at a rate that is almost beyond comprehension. However, it still takes nine months before those cells are in a human form that can sustain life outside of the womb, another year or so before the baby can walk and talk and a good 20 years before the physical and physiological form finally reaches full maturity. Imagine what would happen is that human form continued to grow and develop at the rate that it did in the beginning. Growth needs to experience ebbs and flows to allow for adjustments.

Dieting is a good example of hitting plateaus. The first few weeks you may lose quite a few pounds an inches. This leads you to expect that your weight loss will continue in the same manner. However, that isn't the way that it works. The longer you diet, the slower your weight loss will become. This is natural and is your body's way of adjusting to a new, healthier lifestyle that will help you maintain the weight that you have lost. Instead of crash dieting, go for a healthy lifestyle change of diet and exercise that will give you lasting benefits.

When you feel that you have stalled in your life or in your career, stop and take a look around you. What more can you do right now to propel yourself into another growth spurt? Take a good look at others who have achieved the things that you wish to achieve, or people who have walked down your path. What did they do? Try to emulate the things that they have done.

You can also use your imagination to break through your plateau. Visualize the things that you wish to accomplish. See yourself reaching your goals and progressing toward the things that you want. Do it as a daily meditation until it actually happens. That is a very effective habit to develop. It will lay the groundwork for you to achieve the things that you wish to achieve. Mindset, clarity, motivation and attitude will help you break through your plateau.

What you need to keep in mind is that you must maintain your focus and do not give up. If you stay the course and keep moving in the direction of your goal, even when you hit a plateau, you will attain what you want to achieve. You plateau will turn, usually when you least expect it, and you will be pleasantly surprised with the new direction that your life takes.

Of course, there will be other plateaus, don't let them come as a surprise to you. With discipline, focus and maybe even a little obsession, you can reach a plateau, break through it and progress to another through which you will break. Always be creative and innovative. Try new things. Don't try to find shortcuts; it is often the barriers and the plateaus that give us our greatest growth. The plateaus, the stalls and ruts, can allow us to grow personally in a manner that otherwise we could not experience or understand. Let your goal be to master the game, not to cheat to win.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of My-Personal-Growth.com, a site that provides information and articles for self improvement and personal growth and development.
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