When you’ve outgrown your ecosystem, you’re usually the last one to know.
You start to feel uninspired by your surroundings and the people in it. You’ve worked on yourself, climbed new mountains and added new skills while the rest of your tribe has stagnated.
You’re conflicted because you genuinely like – or even love – the people around you. But on a deeper level you’re restless and unfulfilled.
This is one of the most common challenges I see in my work with high-performers.
Staying stuck in an ecosystem you’ve outgrown, no matter how familiar and comfortable it feels to you, is like a death sentence for your potential.
Here are 5 ways to tell if you’ve outgrown your ecosystem:
1. What once excited you now bores you.
…but everyone in your ecosystem still only wants to do the stuff that now bores you.
And since your work and/or personal relationships may have been forged around these things that now bore you, you feel like you have to pretend to like it because…what’s your alternative?
You feel stuck.
2. People’s problems seem ridiculously small to you.
The stuff that downright debilitates other people is junior varsity for you.
You can see the cause, effect, and solution of their problems in a nanosecond…even if they’ve been stuck for months, years or even a lifetime.
You’ve outgrown their problems.
You want BIGGER problems.
The quality of your problems determines the quality of your life.
Better yet, the quality of the problems of the people closest to you also determines the quality of your life. Choose wisely.
3. You’ve become a dumping ground for other people’s problems
Because you’ve got your sh*t figured out, everyone wants a piece of what you’ve got. But the problem is, no one wants to work for it the way you did. They want your shortcuts.
So they come to you for “advice” or to “pick your brain,” which mostly means they just want to unload some garbage and soak up your awesomeness so they can go back to living their default life…
…while you now get to carry the crapbag they dumped on you.
4. No one understands your problems.
The people around you make you feel guilty for wanting to dream bigger, move faster, climb higher. “You should be grateful for what you have,” becomes the resounding chorus.
They don’t understand your unrest and desire to keep expanding, for expanding threatens safety. And they value safety above all else.
And your disdain for safety is at an all time high.
5. Lack of “Hell Yeahs!” on your horizon.
If you look out at your future, is there anything on the horizon that evokes a Hell Yeah! feeling of anticipation? Anything that makes you puke in your throat a little?
Or is it just More of the Same?
If your ecosystem is full of vibrant people, meaningful challenges and novel opportunities…then you’ll be beating off Hell Yeahs with a stick.
Well now what?
If you’ve figured out you’ve officially outgrown your ecosystem, congratulations. It means you’ve grown and it’s time to level up. And there’s no time to waste.
In the coming weeks I’ll be writing about ways to make this challenging – and transformational – transition.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear if this caused an Awakening on your end…so share your experiences with me.