You take the business course so that you can scale your company. But even as you ace every module, you don’t implement any of the material and you stay small.
You read every self-help book about calmly communicating with teenagers. But the minute they roll their eyes, you fly off the handle, and you don’t speak to each other for days.
You sign up for the gym membership and even buy some personal training sessions. But you bail the minute anything interferes or makes it inconvenient, instead of stamping your health as the unskippable priority.
Are there self-doubt boulders in your way? What’s sabotaging your progress beyond the learning?
Recently, I had a revelation. It came to me in rapid download from the universe, and now, I’m sharing it with you.
At first, I was astonished to realize that I’d spent decades erroneously conflating learning with growth. But now I’m celebrating that I know the difference because it has a gargantuan impact on our personal and professional development.
This week, I’ll dissect the differences between learning and growing, and reveal ways to help you determine which mode you’re presently most hungry to pursue.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Needing an island of peace
- Choice vs. outside of your control
- Deciding to acquire a knowledge transfer
- Authentic alignment with who you are
- Why growth is an inside job
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
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- Join the Expats on Fire right here.
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 8:00 am in New York, 2:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 7:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
You know that feeling when you experience something so precious, almost sacred that you actually don’t want to share it because there’s a part of you that’s afraid that it’ll lose its essence when you do?
It’s kind of what’s going on with me. A lot of people have reached out to me, saying how eager they are to learn about what’s been going on inside of Wisdom Fusion, but I’ve been silent. I think it’s because some really big shifts are happening and I don’t dare share anything until I feel like I’ve given it the space it deserves and given myself time to integrate all that’s been going on.
But what I can share, though, is something that happened right before one of our calls. And because it resonates with them after I shared it, it might resonate with you.
So I was preparing for our focus for that week and that was on growth. And it was searching for a quote like I do to sort of kick off our time together. Found the quote, got ready for the call, grabbed a coffee, and right before I went live, it dawned on me, it was like a rapid download from the universe.
I spent 20 years of my life conflating learning with growing.
Conflating learning with growing. Now, the quote was from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” And I realized when I was younger, that learning was comfortable. Even though it was hard, it was still comfortable. And I was choosing what I wanted to learn. And now that I’m older, I realized that the real growth in my life has been learning that I didn’t choose. And maybe I didn’t even want, but it was happening anyway, right?
Like when I became a mother and I finally had to become the type of woman who could ask for help. Or when we were navigating a political crisis in Burkina Faso, I had to deal with a level of uncertainty that I’d never carried before.
Or when I realized what it really means to drop your guard and let people see me all uncomfortable, like hell.
So in today’s episode, I’m going to talk about the difference between learning and growing, and give you some things to think about so you can choose whether you want to learn or grow.
Learning really simply is the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill. And we’ve learned a ton already in our lives, and we’re constantly learning new things. But the special thing about learning, when I really think about it, it’s usually you who controls it. You do.
Who’s the expert? Well, it’s outside of you. It’s an outside job who brings in this knowledge or skill that you don’t have. There’s an assumption of lack. You lack something they have and it’s usually by choice.
Can you stop it? Usually yes, or no. Can you go to German classes or not going to German classes, right?
And the focus is on knowing and doing what you can do. It’s like a process of adding.
Now, I am, for people who know me best, super nerdy, I love learning, I read all the time. I am a learning junkie. So today is not about knocking learning at all. I just want us to parse them out and look at what they are and how they might be showing up differently in our lives. So that’s learning.
But growth, growth is different, right? Growth by definition is an actor process just like learning but it’s a manner of development. So development is from something simple to more complex or from something that is related in form, but moves into another form, right? Like a caterpillar grows into a butterfly.
So that’s growth and usually in our lives, when we’re thinking about it, pragmatically, growth, who controls it? I don’t know about you, but when you’re an adult, usually, it is not within your control, right? If you ever had children, you know how much is outside of your control.
Growth is often not controlled. Like we can control learning, how we can control entering a course or not. Who is the expert? Of course, growth might add a layer of outside knowledge or skill. But growth is really an inside job. That something is changing from the inside out.
And is it by choice?
I guess my answer would be: It depends. Oftentimes we’re put in situations where we are growing and we don’t even have a choice whether we do or not because we are forced to grow, because the outside circumstances have been put upon us in ways where we have to get with it.
Sound familiar with the COVID pandemic? We are growing and changing in ways that we didn’t choose, but we have to adapt to.
Can you stop it? It depends.
It depends on your circumstances. And where’s the focus? Focus with learning is on knowing and doing, but with growth, it’s often on being. It’s around your identity, it’s who you are and who you’re becoming, right?
So it is like integrating the learning on a cellular level, on a soul level.
Where learning is a process of adding often times real growth. In my experience with my clients it is the process of subtracting.
So I’m not going to fight over semantics here on what counts and fits in the category of learning in which one counts and fits in the category of growth. What I’m saying is this is what I see in my experience when I go on this journey with my clients. My clients, whether they like it or not, are growing, they are beyond learning.
And this is why it can be scary like hell because it can be out of your control. It has to be an inside job. You may or may not have a choice in it about who you are, and who you’re becoming. And that process of subtracting, what you’re shedding, what, no longer serves you is very different from that process of choosing to add something.
So, it’s time to get honest with yourself, are you in learning mode or growth mode?
When I think about people who have businesses, are you spending your time taking courses, but not applying that learning in your business by getting over your own anxiety, and actually taking risks?
Personally, are you reading your self-help books, but not doing any exercises? Hey, I did that for many, many years. Or you’re doing them, but you’re not doing them honestly, right? In your relationships, are you seeking out strategies to calm conflict at home and keep peace. But you’re not really doing the work to get your voice heard or your needs met?
If you are a believer in social justice, are you reading books about systemic racism? But you’re not actually doing anything differently in your own life, or your relationships or in your business about it?
Or in your health. Are you taking a new fitness class here and there but only when it’s convenient for your work or your family rather than becoming part of how you maintain your health.
And I don’t, when I share these examples, I am not intending to make it sound like learning is bad and growth is good. They’re different modes. What I’m asking you to consider is, which mode are you in? Are you in learning mode? Or are you in growth mode?
Now learning mode, even though it’s hard, can feel easier because it’s safe. Feels like fewer risks and can be comfortable for others. It’s about this adding of something, but it doesn’t always lead to satisfaction, right? It doesn’t always lead to feeling on purpose because you’re staying in the safe zone and you’re not integrating it in who you are.
And a caveat here, some of you have been going through so much growth and change that you’re exhausted, and you need an island of peace and you know you need to take a pause on growth and just rejuvenate and be in a calm learning mode for a while. And that you absolutely deserve. Because this isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing.
But for those of you who are feeling, I don’t know, happy but unsatisfied or hungry for more purpose and meaning. Pay attention because you might need to shift out of learning mode and get into growth mode.
And one more caveat about learning before we talk a little bit more about growth is I know with my whole body that learning is hard, right? Ask me someone who’s had to learn German and Bärndütsch in Switzerland. And learn the words “the” is neutral feminine masculine in these languages and it changes when it moves and is possessed by someone. And learn things that are so frustratingly hard instead of being with my family, instead of exercising, instead of whatever. I get it. I’m not here to knock learning because it’s one of my favorite things to do.
But I am here to get you to think about whether it’s learning or growth mode that’s going to serve you and your highest intentions right now. Your highest most important goals, your investment of time, energy, attention, and money. And what I’m talking about is for those of you who this really resonates with, dare you to go beyond learning and dive into growth for what is most important to you. So we’re going to go beyond learning how to make a healthy smoothie, and become the woman who takes first-class care of herself, become the person who finishes his projects and then takes a vacation, without his cellphone. Become the woman who grows her business. Become the person who writes the book. Become the individual who doesn’t let self-doubt sabotage her.
Why? Because it is worth it. It is worth moving into the growth mode. Even though it’s harder, even though it feels like you have less control, even though it feels scarier even though it is so much more of an internal process.
Because it’s sustainable. Because it’s transformational.
Because growth is about stripping away what no longer works and it is the most honest and authentic meaning in terms of alignment with who you are. When you show up from a growth perspective, you’re being honest and authentic with yourself and with others about who you are now and who you’re becoming.
So, that’s my invitation to you, to think about what mode are you in: Learning mode or growth mode? Based on your life circumstances, you might be saying, “Oh, learning mode is all I can handle right now.” Or you might have that reality check of, “Actually, Sundae. I’ve been staying safe in learning and it’s time for me to go into growth mode.” You’ll know this if you are so sick of talking about your goals but are not actually making them happen, right? That’s a sign that it’s time to go into growth mode.
If you’re constantly talking about what you would like to do, but are not yet doing it. It’s a sign to go into growth mode. If it’s been something you have been working on for months and months, and months and months, and don’t see any progress in, it’s time to flirt with growth mode.
So think about that for you and your life and I would never say anything of this, one, if I haven’t been there myself and two, if I don’t have your back, right? You know, this about me, probably my core values are connection, playfulness, and growth. Everything I do is about that. So right now, if you’re listening and ready to show up for you and show up for your goals and show up for what’s most important to you, you want to be on fire. So then think about joining me for the next round of Expats on Fire.
We’ve opened the doors. They’re open now for applications. Early bird prices go away August 18th, so check it out. It’s in the show notes. For those of you who don’t know about Expats on Fire, it’s a private online community, where members work together to achieve your individual goals, and it’s amazing to see what can be achieved, despite the disparity of people’s goals.
You get proven strategies from me, boosted by the accountability and collective support of the others in the group and it’s fun, right? A fun interactive six months together. What I’ve heard from my past participants is:
- Within hours, you’ll feel welcomed by a group that’s happy to have you.
- Within days, you’ll notice improvements in a sense of relief, as well as hope.
- Within weeks you’re going to already be closing the gap between “I wish” and your goals being done.
- And within months, you’ll establish meaningful relationships with the others that are there with you by your side.
Some of the results have been incredible. One woman, she had already achieved her complete set of goals by month five and she had to think of a goal month six because she had achieved it faster than she expected. Other people have reported higher confidence in their ability to create something. Reducing the feeling of imposter syndrome. Pride in completing tasks that have been on their mind.
Others were proud of taking risks and starting to celebrate their successes. Others were just so delighted that they had newfound clarity and perspective. And all of this was in the context of support from these amazing women around the world.
All right, everyone. Check it out because it is absolutely the only way you can work with me at this price point. This is under a hundred bucks a month. Do not miss it. I cannot guarantee I will offer this again.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean. Thank you for listening. I’ll leave you with the words from author Gail Sheehy, “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”
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