Hiding is one of the enemies to growth. Hiding comes about as we try to look smarter than we are, be approved by others, and seem like we have things more together than we do. Insecurity is normally one of the key ingredients that drives us into hiding.
When we choose hiding as a protection strategy, we avoid vulnerability, we miss new experiences, and we don’t ask questions that would accelerate our growth.
Hiding looks safer than it really it is. It works for awhile, but eventually we don’t learn from experiences where we would have been uncomfortably stretched. We don’t make the connections or build the network that would have been established. In the end, we aren’t better off for the hiding. We ultimately lower our trajectory of growth by trading a sense of comfort in the immediate for long-term returns on our personal growth and development.
Hiding Can Appear as:
- Not asking questions
- Avoiding a stretching job assignment
- Not advocating for our own growth
- Blending into the background for fear of messing up
- Lowering our risk quotient until its completely manageable
- Failure to strategize personal growth
- Not investing in one’s own growth
- Letting fear have the final word
- Embracing limiting beliefs and statements about self, future, and possibilities
Each one of our lives has purpose and meaning. We have intrinsic value as human beings regardless of our doing. But when we embrace hiding, not only do we create an unhelpful ceiling in our own life and leadership, the world around us misses out on the best version of us.
6 Pathways for Leaving Hiding Behind
- Take on new and different, stretching assignments at work or in volunteer roles
- Invest in own growth through planning and proactively seek out learning opportunities or relationships
- Ask for feedback from helpful sources
- Work on emotional intelligence by recognizing, reflecting upon, and choosing a response to emotions and connected thoughts
- Embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable, knowing those moments are connected to high growth possibilities
- Reframe failure as another step in the process on the way to figuring it out instead of an event that is the final chapter
Living with a growth mindset requires vulnerability, calculated risks, and a curiosity that will lead us to stretch. When we embrace being uncomfortable or not having all the answers, we are choosing to not let insecurity or fear have the final word. In the process, we grow and develop and everyone around us benefits.