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Senior Correspondent

Breakthrough moments rise up and grip you by the throat. Resist them, and you’re stuck. Navigate them, and you’ll achieve new levels of success. 

Many leaders resist the very thing that most lifts their leadership. 

The leadership journey includes extended periods of gradual growth punctuated by moments of terrifying, turbulent change – breakthroughs. Sadly, we’re prone to fight off the beast rather than embrace it. 

Breakthroughs are stifled when you … 

1. Run from hard truths – the ones you know, but don’t want to hear. 
2. Refuse to admit you’re wrong.
3. Surround yourself with weak “yes” men.
4. Repeat standard behaviors.
5. Leverage proven skills.
6. Cling to comfort.
7. Stick with familiarity.
8. Resist responsibility.
9. Focus more on others than yourself.
10. Express tenacity to the point of stubbornness – refusing to change.

Breakthrough moments are more likely to occur when …

1. Strategic distress, in the form of new challenges, stretches confidence.
2. Frustrations outweigh satisfactions.
3. Untested skills are tested.
4. Unexpected failures challenge standard operating procedures.
5. Sudden crisis confronts the status quo.
6. New opportunities rise up.
7. Fresh eyes observe stale attitudes and behaviors.
8. Someone courageously points out the “elephant” in your life.
9. Someone believes in you more than you believe in yourself. Self-limiting beliefs hold people back.
10. Someone presses you more than you press yourself.

Other suggestions on achieving breakthroughs? I received the following on Leadership Freak Coffee Shop’s Facebook page.

1. Listen when someone tells you the truth about your weakness.
2. Place your fears in God’s hands.
3. Be aware.
4. Remain open to new possibilities.
5. Abdicate – give in to being trapped.
6. Release control.
7. Take time out.

Personal breakthroughs are about you. Others can help, but no one makes you break through. Skills-based breakthroughs happen when you’re taught, but only you can step into the unknown of a personal breakthrough moment.

How have you navigated your breakthrough moments?

How can we help others navigate their breakthroughs?

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