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Breaking Through Plateaus

Updated: May 6, 2020

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them."

- Bruce Lee

Plateaus can be mind traps. If we are only focused on outcome goals or seeing immediate gains, a plateau in performance can signal alarm bells.

We may respond to these moments emotionally.

Feeling like we are just spinning our wheels.

Or get upset because we are working just as hard as others around us, yet others seem to be on a constant upward trajectory where they are exceeding their personal expectations.

Take note, plateaus are part of the process.

They are reminders to either stay the course because you’ve achieved a milestone and are building up to the next one; or maybe it’s time to change things up. Even a little tweak in your routine can be meaningful.

In relation to plateaus and expectations, I think of a caterpillar. A caterpillar’s goal is to consume enough food and energy so it can change into a butterfly. The cocoon is the plateau and the milestone.

The caterpillar has done the hard work to start the process of change. It’s still working hard inside the cocoon and when it’s time, it becomes the butterfly.

Think of your progress and process as an ever changing caterpillar to butterfly!

In the end, if you’ve hit a plateau, take a moment to reflect. Reflect on all the things you’ve done well to this point.

Even consider taking a day or week off to reboot your system and reflect on these past successes.

And be patient, keep working hard, find your inspiration, and remember it’s all about the munchable chunks and the long term process, not the short term all or nothing mindset.

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