Growth is different for you and me. Before, I used to define growth as continually going to the next level. In the culture today, growing seems to be constantly “doing something” “moving” or doing what most people are doing.  

Accomplishing something could mean hustling. It could mean continually improving yourself, your craft, or your skills.

But does growth also mean putting too much on your plate?

For this post, I am trying to explore more growth on a personal level. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself too:

  • When you step back from other responsibilities of your life, does it mean you’re not growing?
  • Is there a certain measure when it comes to growth, or how do you quantify it?
  • Does growth look the same for everyone?
  • Does growth mean continually hustling every day?
  • Does growth mean taking more responsibilities, and its opposite meaning is not stepping back from anything you have?

When I think about growth, I think of plants. And here are some lessons I think it could teach you and I:

A plant’s leaf needs to be cut/pruned when it’s dead so the plant can continue growing

The leaf’s plant needed to be cut so that the entire plant will not wither. Cutting the leaf also benefits the plant. This makes sure the plant lives and continues to grow. I think growth is also similar to this. When you grow, not all that you have grows with you. Certain areas or parts of your life deteriorates.

For example, friendships. Certain people in our life only play a significant role in a particular season or specific time. And it’s not because they are nasty but could mean you both aren’t fitting anymore; you need to cut it off.

Cutting off can also look like leaving a job. When your job caps you off, or it doesn’t maximize your potential anymore, then maybe it’s time for you to go. You could ask yourself, what purpose does it still serve?

Whatever needs to be cut off in your life that suppresses your growth, take some time to think about it. This decision is not made overnight, and sometimes it could take you a while to figure it out, especially if it hurts.

These questions could help you decide:

  • Have I already maximized my skills and potential to fulfill this role? Is my purpose in coming to this already fulfilled?
  • Do I still contribute to this relationship or friendship or social circle?
  • Is this still aligned with where I want to go?

Plants need these to grow: water, soil, air, light, temperature, and space

Different factors contribute to plant growth. Several aspects also contribute to a person’s growth. There’s not only one factor that could make you grow. You can develop because of your career, your ministry or community, your relationship with God, or because of your faith. You grow as you play specific roles in your life: a mother, a daughter or brother, a sister, a friend.

There are so many ways to grow. I think that was my mistake before. I felt that there’s only one thing that could help me grow. But I was wrong.

Growth is not just in one area. You can slowly grow in one part of your life and be super slowly growing in another one. It depends on your pace and your rhythms. And to think about it, you don’t have to be pressured by people’s definition of growth.

Even if every plant is the same with growth, each type of plant is unique in its way. The factor that affects its growth also varies from time to time. Some plants need more sunlight than others, and some plants need sunlight from time to time. I think it’s the same with us, humans, too. Factors that make us grow are also unique to our character and personality. You can’t compare your growth with others simply because they are not you.

Comparison is not just about comparing your life, but comparison also takes away the beauty of the process if you keep looking at others who have a different pace than you.

Plant growth has a process. It undergoes sprout, seedling, vegetative, budding, flowering, and ripening.

In each step, the plant grows. It’s like growth within the growth. Does that make sense?

There are different phases of growth. Let’s say stage 1, stage 2, stage 3, and the last stage. The growth of the plant undergoes each stage. Each stage or phase takes time. Each day, even if it seems like nothing happens, that day contributes to the plant’s growth.

This means that only the last stages prove the plant’s growth, or in humans, growth is not just proven by the result. When you think about it, growth is not a destination. Growth is a continuous process. There are just stages of growth until you reach the better version of yourself and the person you want to be. And you know there’s growth when you’re courageous even when it’s scary, you’re happy and content even if things aren’t perfect, and you’re learning even when it’s uncomfortable.

As I’ve mentioned, certain areas in your life cap off your growth, maybe because it already serves its end. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue growing. That’s the beauty of life. Growth is both a choice and an everyday chance. You and I can choose to transform. We can select the direction of where we want to go and, in that direction, we begin to grow as we become the version of ourselves that we want to be.

It’s funny that as I write this post, it feels like my perspective is growing too. So I want to go back to the questions I posted above and let me share my thoughts:

Is there a certain measure when it comes to growth, or how do you quantify it?

I don’t think there’s a certain measure for growth, but it definitely has fruits, or there’s undoubtedly an observed change in the person. I can’t say only a millionaire is growing than an average earner person because these 2 people have different personalities, characters, and unique traits.

Sometimes, five steps forward for someone is just one step for another person. But both took a step. Both grew. So that’s what matters. The measurement of growth depends on where you were before and where you are right now, rather than how others define it for you.

Does growth look the same for everyone?

No, not. As I said, we are all different and unique.

Does growth mean continually hustling every day?

Not necessarily. Maybe for someone who’s lazy or has been passive with their life for all their life. But for those who have been continually working, taking a lot of responsibilities, and playing a lot of roles, setting a boundary could be a sign of progress. Sometimes that looks like setting some time to rest.

Does growth mean taking more responsibilities, and the opposite meaning is not stepping back from anything you have?

Growth does not ALWAYS mean taking more responsibilities. Again, that depends on your journey. I believe most people would say that growth looks like you taking “more,” but really? Does it? Isn’t growth something you’ve been so uncomfortable to do or maximizing where you are instead of looking at where you’re not? Growth could mean saying no to other things to focus on your career when you are so used to saying yes to everything and everyone.

I don’t think growth is defined as not stepping back from things you have on your plate. Because many times, things on our plate are things we don’t know how to organize or prioritize.

Each day is an opportunity for growth. It’s a journey where we are given a chance to step out and face our fears. Growth happens

every time you face your fear

every time you expand your knowledge and apply what you learn in life

every day you learn from your mistake

when you become kinder to people around you and yourself

when you change habits that aren’t good for you

These are all signs of growth. Never let anyone make you feel that you need to be somewhere or something before you grow. You can do it now wherever you are.