How satisfied are you with your personal growth? Most of us would say that we aren’t as satisfied as we’d like to be. Have you considered that the lack of growth may be, at least partially, our paradigms or our self-imposed boundaries? These boundaries can be conscious or subconscious. Let’s consider the following example.

A farmer brought an amazing pumpkin to a county fair. It was big and orange but it was strangely the size and shape of a two-gallon jug. After the pumpkin had won a blue ribbon, someone asked the farmer how he had managed to produce such a wonder. He chuckled and said, "Heck! There wasn't anything to it! As soon as the blossom started to grow, I just put it inside a two-gallon container and nature took care of the rest." If you think this is a joke, just check out the square watermelons that can be found in markets later this summer.

Just like the farmer’s pumpkin, the shape of your life is determined by the size and shape of the container in which you hold it. The container the farmer used to grow his pumpkin is similar to the self-imposed paradigms that make up your beliefs about what is possible, your expectations of what will happen, and-most of all-your thoughts about yourself and the world you live in. Your personal growth has boundaries limited by the paradigms of your thoughts and beliefs but they may not be totally yours.

Many of your beliefs about what is possible for you were put there by someone else. That may have happened when you were just starting to blossom, or it can happen if you allow yourself to be adversely influenced by negative people who want to drag you down to their levels. However, what would your life look like if you were able to let yourself grow without the boundaries or paradigms of other people's ideas about, or for, you?

The good news is that, unlike the farmer’s two-gallon pumpkin, you have the choice to change and expand the boundaries of your paradigms. But how can is that possible? Look at your beliefs-where they came from and how they have limited you. Then, make some choices for yourself based on how big you'd like your mind and spirit to grow. You and only you, not others, have the power to expand your personal growth and to become all that you want to be.