Finding the Point in Your Life Where You Accept Change

What’s your limit? When do you know you’ve ‘had enough’ of whatever is bothering you? Whether it’s pressure at work, escalating taxes, or dysfunction in a personal relationship, what is it that finally makes you change your life?

An odd question? Perhaps. But one worth considering if you’re serious about finding success and happiness.

Some context: In my leadership development work, I meet a lot of people who are successful. Many of these people want to be even more successful and we work together to create strategies for their growth and advancement. At some point, we reach what seems like an inevitable plateau. Forward progress stops and frustration begins to creep in. Compromises get made; rationalization takes place. Personal integrity gets challenged.

This is fantastic! This is precisely the point at which people can choose growth or stagnation. A choice to grow often results in extraordinary learning—a clearing out of old thought habits and a turning away from behavior patterns that no longer work. The relief and joy that accompany this work are heartwarming.

A choice to stay safe often results in the “quiet desperation” that Henry David Thoreau wrote about in his classic book “Walden.” This choice usually comes from an overemphasis on what others think, want, or need at the expense of one’s own sense of integrity.

Personal integrity is, like many human characteristics, multi-faceted. It is made up of the way you see the world, the beliefs you hold dear, and the way you respond to life’s unfolding. It is a product of education and experience. The more you learn and grow, the clearer and more reliable it becomes as a source of wisdom and guidance.

Personal integrity is what allows you to draw boundaries, to know your limits and respect them. This knowledge also makes you sensitive to and respectful of the boundaries of others.

Personal integrity is a source of strength and courage to call upon when you wish to push beyond old limits. It’s what fortifies many leaders during difficult times and what individuals draw upon when they are ready to make significant life changes.

Personal integrity is not the same as self-righteousness. Self-righteous people are often fearful. They don’t trust their strength and they have trouble drawing boundaries. As a result, they often feel threatened and they typically respond with rigidity and condemnation. Sharp words and exaggerated stories are hallmarks of the self-righteous.

What are your limits? What do you do when you encounter them? Do you greet life’s events with curiosity and courage or do you tend to protect and defend yourself? Learning about yourself is critical to success in any endeavor. Take time to reflect on the things you do and the reasons why you do them. Notice the things that trigger your reactions. Use this information to live more consciously and purposefully—with personal integrity.

Categories: General Advice

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.