Updating the Code of Self-Reflection: Embracing Growth and Shattering Limitations

In our journey of personal and professional growth, it is natural to encounter moments of self-doubt and second-guessing. These instances often arise when we challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zones, even if it means making both ourselves and our clients uncomfortable. However, it is important to recognize that by fulfilling our responsibilities and doing what we were hired to do, we have indeed taken the right course of action.

Digging deeper into the issue, we uncover a common phenomenon that transcends professional boundaries – the habit of questioning ourselves. This tendency permeates the lives of individuals I have encountered, be it friends, colleagues, mentors, clients, or family members.

Allow me to share an example that takes us back in time. During my college years in the 1980s, I pursued a computer science major briefly (later shifting to business). In our coding classes, we were taught to include “comments” within our code. These comments served as explanations of our thinking and reasoning behind the code, providing context and aiding in identifying errors. However, since comments did not affect program execution, they were often neglected when updating or modifying the code.

Returning to the present, we find that life itself is an ongoing process of learning, experiencing, and evolving. We embark on new endeavors, encountering both successes and failures along the way. Through these trials, we gain insights into what works and what doesn’t, continually refining our approaches. Much like updating code, we continuously work on our personal programming.

The crucial question then arises: as we update our own programming, do we also update the comments? In other words, do we challenge the outdated beliefs and assumptions that hinder our growth?

Some of these outdated comments may include:

  • “Don’t brag; it’s not polite.”
  • “Don’t interrupt others when they are talking; it’s rude.”
  • “Don’t strive to stand out or demonstrate superiority.”
  • “Remain quiet; you are not that important.”
  • “If nobody has ever said it before, you must be wrong.”
  • “Nobody is interested in your opinion.”
  • “Who do you think you are to claim intelligence or correctness?”
  • “Avoid calling out or putting someone on the spot; it’s impolite.”

Now, this is not to say that we should disregard social norms entirely or consistently boast, interrupt, or impose our opinions where unwelcome. However, it is high time we stop unquestioningly heeding these outdated comments. It is time to rewrite our self-reflection, embracing growth, and shattering the limitations that hold us back.

By updating our comments, we can allow for the possibility of celebrating our accomplishments, respectfully engaging in dialogue, embracing our unique qualities, and offering our insights when appropriate. Through this process, we enable ourselves to unlock our true potential, transcending the constraints of outdated beliefs and charting a path toward personal and professional fulfillment.

So, as you navigate the journey of self-improvement, remember to review and update your comments, for they have the power to shape your perception of yourself and the world around you.