When it comes to growth you have to be in the right environment in order to do so. That sounds like a “duh” statement but there are many of us out there whose growth has been stunted because we haven’t taken the necessary steps to be in the right growth environment. The saving grace in this is that we have the ability to change it, if we want to.
I used to think my life was great. I was playing professional baseball and traveling around the country doing so. The dream that I always wanted to live I was living. Then reality set it and that dream came to a crashing halt before I was ready for it to end. I thought I did everything I was supposed to be doing to reach my full potential but in reality I was far from that. I now realize that I never put myself in the right growth environment – an environment that was conducive to growth as a player and a person.
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you realizing that your dream job is coming to an end or are you seeing that your dream job may not be for you after all? Then you need to find the answers to the question, What does my growth environment look like? Some of you may be asking yourself this question right now. It certainly can be a tough question to answer if you’ve never spent much time thinking about it. Well, I hope I can shed some light on this topic that will help you answer that question, or at least help you to start answering that question.
When it was time for me to answer that question I found myself in deep thought about my past environment and what that actually entailed. This is what I found. It was the choices I made or failed to make that resulted in me being in the wrong environment.
I used to think it was the circumstances but as Nido Qubein says “Whether you are a success or failure in life has little to do with your circumstances; it has more to do with your choices”.
First and foremost, I found that I did not surround myself by like-minded people – those people being professional athletes who aspired to play major league baseball. Of course I was surrounded by professionals but not all professionals had the desire and dream to play in the big leagues. They were satisfied being a minor league player and were going to ride it out for as long as it could last. This also stemmed in the off-season when I was back home.
I never believed it when my parents said be careful who you associate with but now that I am older I truly understand why they told me that. The people you associate with will ultimately help determine your future. Just as John Maxwell said “The most significant factor in any person’s environment is the people.”
The second problem I found was I did not invest in myself like I should have. During the season I failed to look at enough film and did not study hitters enough to be fully prepared to succeed. During the off-season, which is a very important time for athletes, as it is the time for us to develop and take our game to the next level, I did a half a** job of investing in myself. Don’t get me wrong I spent an ample amount of hours working on my mechanics and pitches. What I failed at was investing in a personal trainer, a nutritionist, spending time with other pitchers to learn from, and investing in my personally growth outside the game of baseball.
Lastly, the third problem I found with my environment was I became comfortable in my environment. Looking back, after my second year of playing I became very comfortable and was hardly ever pushed out of my comfort zone. Which I will admit, I never pushed myself hard enough out of my comfort zone, because it was comfortable. For example, I came back to my hometown every off-season instead of living elsewhere with other players or I always chose a roommate that I knew instead of choosing someone new who had the same goals and desired I had.
How does this relate to you? Think about your current environment. Have you surrounded yourself by like-minded people – in terms of personal growth? Are you investing in yourself in all areas? Do you consistently push yourself out of your comfort zone? If you cannot answer yes to all three of these questions then I would challenge you and say you have not put yourself in the right growth environment.
Whether an athlete or business professional, the environment you choose to be in will have a direct correlation to your success. Choose wisely and remember, you are always one decision away from creating the right environment.