Today I want to chat about growth and give you a few tips on how you can get there. This stage of life is available for any person but doesn’t happen for everyone. The difference between two people, one who grows and another who does not grow is being intentional about one’s growth process and making it a priority. I want us to look at growth from a personal development point of view. I am not speaking about the external environment but the internal. Growth must start inside of us before we can change the world around us. Life can continue to look the same for many years if we are not willing to desire some change in our lives.
Personal development comes when we decide we want to become better versions of ourselves. Sometimes we can recognize our bad habits, or we may have experienced the consequences of bad decisions. Other times we may simply be unhappy with how we live our lives; all these different things happen for a purpose – and it is usually to propel us into becoming better.
This decision to become better comes at a cost, it takes courage to want to grow or develop oneself. It is often easier said than done and will certainly not happen until we make a firm decision coupled with consistent actions towards developing ourselves. I believe deciding to improve oneself is a game-changer, it bears a lot of good fruit such as self-love, self-confidence, self-discovery, less worry about what others think, etc.
Before you start developing yourself, you must become self-aware. You must know yourself before you can embark on any change. Do a quick self-assessment by asking yourself the following questions:
- Who are you? Describe yourself in three words that summarizes the core of who you are
- What key things do you like/ dislike?
- Where do your strengths lie?
- What are your weaknesses?
The answers to these questions should give you a bit of an idea of who you are, what you are good at, and what you suck at. Once you have jotted these down, have a look at the next category.
Do a self-assessment of these following aspects, simply rate where you are on each of these on a scale of 1-5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent):
- Spiritual, mental, physical, financial, emotional.
These categories will give you an indication of what is lacking or needs improvement. Choose to start working on any of the five categories that scored 2 and below. I would suggest you set up a plan for each of these. Decide what needs to change or be improved, and where you would like to see yourself in those areas. Next, determine what activities you must do to get there and give yourself a time frame of 6 months. If you can, find an accountability partner who can check in with you every month end. Start by listing all the activities planned for the month by category and at the end of each month give that person an account of the activities you have completed. As an example, if you scored 2 on finances, focus on doing something about it in the next 6 months. Let’s say you have a debt of R3000. Develop a plan of how you can sacrifice an additional R250 in your budget to pay off that R3000 over the next 6 months. The key thing is to commit to an amount and share it with your accountability partner. Eventually, it will help with bringing some change in your financial situation. When you become gain some financial freedom you are already improving the life you are living. Do the same with all the other categories that had low scores. At the end of 6 months, assess how far you are with your categories and activities, if you need more time, expand your time-frame, and repeat the steps. If you have managed to accomplish all you needed to do in those 6 months, spoil yourself for your hard work and re-assess what other areas you can start working on in a similar way. Even when we are good at stuff, we can always do better, we can aim for excellence and be intentional about it!
We are responsible for our lives and God has given us the wisdom and grace to do better. With each day, we have an opportunity to improve ourselves and become the best we can be. I encourage you to take this journey of self-development seriously. Partner with God, I find Holy Spirit to be the most practical ever, He can give you wisdom on how to customize your self-development journey. This process can open many doors and will change the way you see yourself. It will help you move from wanting others to do things for you to realizing how much power is already in your hands. May God give you the revelation and strength to do it.
“Change is inevitable, growth is optional”- John C Maxwell
“…so, I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong”. -Zechariah 8: 13.