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The Secret To Breaking Through What’s Holding You Back

DAN SULLIVAN

All growth happens in stages. And in each stage of growth, people hit a point where they can’t grow any further using their existing set of skills and knowledge. I call this point The Ceiling of Complexity. And it happens time and time again, in every stage of growth.

As you progress in your growth, you gain experience by solving problems and transacting business. However, this experience often comes at a price: complexity. Each problem you solve, each transaction you make, and each hurdle you overcome adds to this complexity to the point where it holds you back from future growth of capability, performance, and achievement. You become overwhelmed by the messes, “stuff,” complications, conflicts, and contradictions that come from doing things a certain way for a long time.

Work smarter, not harder.

For some, this ceiling becomes a permanent fixture. And this is why many people fail to grow beyond a particular stage of development.

But when you’ve hit this ceiling, there’s a smart way to overcome it. It starts with recognising that working harder and longer in the existing stage no longer works. You need a new set of concepts and strategies to achieve a new state of simplicity. By developing a simplified way of thinking, communicating, and performing, you’ll break through the ceiling.

All of this means that you must leave your current state of complexity behind. When you choose your future over your past, you enter a new stage of growth.

The power of goal setting.

Think of your development in terms of goals. Each stage of individual growth comes from having goals—desiring something in life that is new, better, or different. Setting higher and more demanding goals automatically forces us to develop new relationships, structures, and habits. You can then use these as the tools to take you to the next growth stage.

New relationships can provide you with larger opportunities and better results. New organisational structures can give you the support you need to achieve those larger opportunities and results. New habits will allow you to reach higher levels of performance and achievement that enable you to get there.

It’s a fact of life for everyone, everywhere.

The Ceiling of Complexity isn’t unique to entrepreneurs. Individuals, groups, organisations, industries, and even countries all over the world run into the same type of situations. They reach a plateau they must progress beyond. All current stages of growth in all areas of human activity eventually reach a ceiling. But recognising it and knowing what’s needed to take the next step—that’s where true growth and success lie.

Learning how to break through The Ceiling of Complexity is perhaps the most important life skill that anyone can develop. And that’s exactly why I created The Strategic Coach Programme—to arm entrepreneurs with the tools, strategies, and resources they need to break through the ceiling in their own entrepreneurial careers.

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