Between every person and their dream is a gap. CEO of the Mission Exchange, Steve Moore, calls that gap “the capacity challenge.” It’s the space between who you are today and who you need to become in order to lay hold of your dreams. In other words, you must grow your capacity in such a way that your dreams become achievable.
Without personal growth, the gap will never be closed and your dreams will be banished to the wasteland of unfulfilled potential. So how do you grow to your full potential? What does it take to close the gap? While the approaches to personal growth are almost endless, here are four ideas that can make a measurable difference.
1. Conduct a Growth Assessment
Growth can take place spiritually, mentally, relationally, or physically. By assessing each of these life domains, you’ll be able to identify the areas in which you need to grow. Spiritual growth focuses on character formation, spiritual disciplines, and your relationship with God. Mental growth is centered on gifts, abilities, skills, passions, life purpose, emotions, and areas of intellectual development. Relational health is committed to the major relationships in your life such as family, friends, Christ-followers, and seekers. And physical growth focuses on nutrition, exercise, and health issues. By assessing each area, you’ll discover potential growth areas.
2. Clarify Strengths, Weaknesses, and Liabilities to Help you Narrow Your Growth Focus
Meaningful growth requires a meaningful understanding of current reality. While conducting a growth assessment will help you get started, you will need to narrow your growth focus by clarifying your strengths, weaknesses, and liabilities. Strengths are the areas in which God has gifted you. These areas include the spiritual gifts and natural abilities through which you will make your greatest contribution. Weaknesses are areas where God has not gifted you. For me it is things like sports, counseling, and music–just to name a few. However, because these areas are not essential to the fulfillment of my life purpose or to living a God-honoring life, I can essentially ignore them. Other weaknesses cannot be ignored but simply need to be managed to ensure they do not turn into a liability. Liabilities are anything that can sabotage your character, harm your relationships, or prevent you from fulfilling your God-given life purpose. By growing your strengths, managing your weaknesses, and addressing your liabilities, you’ll be able to narrow your growth focus.
3. Craft a Personal Growth Plan
After assessing and narrowing your growth focus, you’ll be ready to craft a growth plan. Your plan should be specific, measurable, and action-oriented. It should include clear and practical steps that will generate meaningful growth toward your growth objectives. Training, resources, coaching, and experiences can be powerful action items in your growth plan. If you or your team need help developing a personal growth plan, download my free ebook, How to Create a Plan for Personal Growth or check out my growth planning coaching.
4. Pursue Accountability
None of us have everything we need to grow to our full potential. While we have great intrinsic motivation to grow in some areas of life, others need external accountability to keep us on track. By engaging accountability partners you’ll be much more successful in growing toward your dreams.
These four steps can help you intentionally close your growth gaps. Which steps do you need to take today?