Personal Growth isn’t easy or comfortable. But it’s necessary for ensuring our psychological well-being and fulfilling our potential.
Pain and Pressure
Not too long ago, I was telling a friend how much I had grown over the past 3 years and she wanted to know my secret. So I simply said, “pain and pressure.” I think most of us want to grow personally AND professionally but we wouldn’t dare ask for more pain and pressure to be added to our lives right?
No Growth Pains, No Growth Gains
Think about the times when you’ve grown the most.
What contributed to your growth? Were they easy or comfortable experiences or were they uncomfortable and painful experiences?
Personally, when I faced challenges in the form of dealing with difficult people or circumstances (such as being unemployed, losing my car due to repossession, losing my mom to cancer or working with an emotionally unintelligent client or colleague), I’ve found it was during those times that my faith, perspective, character and mindsets grew the most.
Just as pruning a rose bush or tree produces more fruitfulness because the dead, diseased and dying parts are cut off, we too grow when our Gardener (God) uses challenges, obstacles and pressure to cut off the dead, diseased, dying and unproductive parts of our thinking, character, relating, responding, reacting and believing.
If we want to grow in our character, capacity, mindsets and impact, there are 5 things I think we need to nurture within ourselves:
Our Purpose, Love, Hope, God- perspective, and Power
1. Growing in Your Purpose
Before we can grow in our purpose, we need to know what our purpose is. So, my first question to you is “how aware are you of your divine purpose?” And how much have you aligned it to your career/work, daily activities and relationships? Maybe you’re saying to yourself I don’t know how to discover my purpose. If that’s you, read this for more insight.
Knowing your purpose contributes to both your spiritual AND psychological wellbeing. When you know your purpose (or reason for existing), you can then take the necessary action toward fulfilling it. In short, you’ll know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing with the life you’ve been given!
2. Growing in Your Hope
Did you know that you have a hope quotient (HQ)? Your hope quotient refers to the amount of confident expectation you have in God that your latter days will be better than your former days. According to research, the best predictor of your success and well-being in life is not your intelligence quotient (IQ) or your emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). It’s actually your hope quotient (HQ).
According to HOPE research by Chan Hellman, hope consists of 3 things: your goals, your pathways (actions or strategies for achieving your goals) and your agency or the amount of willpower, motivation, and perseverance you have to pursue your goals–especially if the face of adversity.
Now. If we were to look at hope from a faith-based perspective, hope pertains to the amount of trust and confidence we have in God to fulfill His good plans and promises for us. Hope is the belief that God will cause all things to work together for our good and that better days are planned ahead for us (Rom. 8:28; Jer. 29:11). Hope is being confident that God has ordered your steps and will initiate good things for you that you can’t initiate or do for yourself.
So. I think the key question we need to ask ourselves concerning our HQ is this.
How can I grow in my HQ (or God-confidence) in which I am convinced God is always good, that He has better days planned for me, and that He will cause ALL things to work together for my good— despite my past and despite what I currently see, think or feel?
Hope from this perspective is not about what we can do for ourselves. It’s about what God can AND will do for us because He loves us. It’s my prayer for you “that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
3. Growing in Your Love
When it comes to your love quotient–I’m referring to how much you’re able to engage in a loving relationship with God, yourself and others. This quotient is about growing in your relational wisdom. So, if I may ask. When it comes to loving God, how much are you able to fully trust, obey and imitate Him? (John 14:15; Lk. 10:27)
And when it comes to loving yourself, how much are you able to love, accept, care for and value yourself– unconditionally?
And when it comes to loving others, how much are you able to connect with, encourage, serve, support, and extend compassion, grace, empathy, and forgiveness to those who have hurt, betrayed or even offended you (1 Pt.4:8)?
Lots of ‘food for thought‘ when it comes to our love quotient right? Since God IS LOVE, we can only boost our love quotient by remaining in Him.
4. Growing in Your God-Perspective
Another area I think we can all grow in is our God-perspective. When it comes to your God-perspective, how much are you able to view ALL of life in light of God’s character, works and promises? Key word being ALL.
Having a God-perspective means having the ability to maintain hope despite difficult, challenging, traumatic and painful situations because you’re convinced that NOTHING is too hard or impossible for God (Lk. 1:37)!
Having a God perspective is believing that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above what you could ever ask, think or imagine (Eph. 3:20). It’s being convinced God will supply your every need because He’s your good shepherd and will provide for all you need (Phil 4:19; Ps. 23). And it means knowing everything you face in life serves a divine purpose (despite your understanding or lack thereof) and will be used for your good, growth, and greatness (Rom. 8:28).
Having a God-perspective is being convinced that God’s character AND ways are GOOD AND INTENTIONAL because He delights in every detail of your life (Ps. 37:23). And because of this, you can know with complete confidence that no experience is ever wasted.
A God-perspective is having the ability to see beyond your problems so you can recognize and declare God’s sovereignty, unfailing love, provision, power, and promises over your life.
5. Growing in Your Power
When it comes to your sense of personal power, would you say you feel powerFULL or powerLESS? Your sense of power or agency refers to how much you think you’re able to control or influence your life through your own actions and initiative.
When you consider the source of your power, would you say it comes from your natural gifts, grit or God? We are often so caught up in self-initiative when it comes to making things happen in our lives that we often forget about God-initiative. (Read this post for more thoughts on God-initiative here).
When we believe our power is found in our own efforts, initiative, performance, possessions, positions, and popularity— we can find ourselves gaining the whole world but still losing our souls (Mk.8:36).
Are you able to acknowledge the reality that apart from God’s power working in you, you can do nothing? (Jn. 15:5). You know, what I’ve discovered in my 43 years of life is that
Our power correlates with how much we’re able to depend on God’s power for every thing we need and do.
The more we surrender to God’s will, ways, plans and paths for our lives, the more powerful we become. It is our surrender that positions us to receive God’s power which is always at work in us to do far more than we could ever ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20).
So the short of it is this. Growing in our power means growing in our God-dependence. It seems like such a simple principle yet it’s extremely hard to practice. We must decrease in order for God to increase in us. Our power is not rooted in our striving or our strength. It’s rooted in our surrender (Is. 40:29).
So. Where are you in each of these areas? If you were to rate yourself on each of these personal growth areas using a scale of 1 (being lowest) to 10 (being highest), what score would you give yourself?
Know that no matter your “score”, God wants you to LEVEL UP.
He wants you to not only know— but GROW more into your God-given purpose so you can align to it what you do in daily life. He wants your mind to be FULL of hope so your heart can be full of joy and peace (Rom. 15:13).
God wants you and I to love Him, ourselves and others deeply—with all of our heart, soul, and mind (1 Pt. 4:8; Lk. 10:27). And He wants you to learn how to see ALL of your life experiences from His perspective which is ALWAYS good, pleasing, perfect AND wise.
And you know what? God wants us to seek and depend on Him (not people, not our possessions, not our performance, not our position, not our power and not our popularity) for everything we need (Mt. 6:33). There’s no need for us to be preoccupied with getting.
Instead, we need to just relax and respond to what God is giving us and promises to give us (Mt.6:29-32). And we need to realize that it’s God’s power and presence working in us—giving us the desire AND power to do what pleases Him (Phil. 2:13). So I lovingly ask you.
Which growth areas do you need to work on the most?
What action can you take TODAY to grow more in your purpose, hope, love, God-perspective and divine power?
Who can help you grow in each area and hold you accountable?
I encourage you to nurture each of these areas so you can live an abundant and victorious life, FULL of love, joy peace, hope, strength, purpose, passion, and power!
Every one of us is going to end up somewhere in life.
Don’t you want to end up somewhere on purpose?
Take bold action today in each of these areas so you can grow into who God wants you to become. It’s time to level up so you actualize your God-given potential and fulfill your God-given purpose and destiny!
If you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share with me on this post, I’d love to hear from you! Share them with me HERE so we can start a conversation and learn from each other. Xoxo
Check out these episodes for more encouragement on embracing your authentic self.
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