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Taking responsibility for your personal growth

Has anyone ever asked you a personal question on which you answered: “Excuse me, but that is none of your business!” Questions like, ‘why do you speak to your spouse like that?’ OR ‘why didn’t you think things through before you did that?’ are questions we mostly take offense to. We feel that we don’t need to be interrogated or explain our actions to anyone. And yes, it’s true. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone else. But what about to yourself? You see if you would like to improve your life and grow yourself to be a better man or woman, husband or wife, father or mother, employee or employer you need to start interrogating yourself. And be hard on yourself. You’re an individual with LOTS of potential, but you might not even be touching the tip of the iceberg of what you are actually capable of!

So what kind of questions should you ask yourself? In John Maxwell’s book, “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth”, he discusses “The Law of Reflection” in which he suggests that we ask ourselves tough questions on a daily basis to improve our lives. This could be during a quiet time when you’re somewhere on your own for anything between five to twenty minutes or more. Wait! You don’t have time? Could I suggest that “not having time” is just an excuse? Every person on this planet has 24 hours a day. You can use your 24 hours to run around and build an average life OR you can use it to change your life and truly live!

What should you question yourself about then? What should you reflect on?

1. PERSONAL AWARENESS Many times in my life I have been criticized for not listening to someone. This was something, however, that I’ve always denied. Off course I was listening. But the truth is that I’m not a great listener. And until I became brutally aware of my faults and weaknesses, there was nothing I could do to change it, because I was living in denial. Only once I answered that question for myself, I could start making changes in my life when my husband, kids or other people were talking to me. Now I pay full attention when people speak to me. Listening still doesn’t come naturally to me like talking, but because of my awareness, I now work on it constantly.
What are you normally criticized for? Bad habits? Rushing into things? What about being impatient or selfish or negative? I would like to encourage you to put yourself in the hot seat and answer a few tough questions about yourself. It could literally change your life and the lives of everyone around you.
“From quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” - Peter Drucker

2. RELATIONSHIPS Are you intentionally focused on improving your relationship with your spouse or partner, or has it been a while since you thought about the value that you add to their life? Do the people closest to you feel and know that you really value them? How do you show it? Do you maybe need to forgive someone for a wrongdoing? Maybe you’ve been walking around with unforgiveness too long.

These are just a few examples of tough relationship questions you need to start thinking about. But you are the only one intimately involved in your own life and relationships. Ask tough questions that apply to your life. Be honest with yourself. Would it improve your relationships? Without a doubt! But it will be a useless exercise if you try and give excuses for your actions or behaviour.

3. PERSONAL GROWTH We don’t realise it, but unless we keep on growing, we will die – our dreams, goals, careers, marriages, spirits – everything in our lives require us to grow continuously! What does your growth look like? What’s your personal growth plan? Do you have one? What are you doing daily to grow and get better? When last have you had a brand new idea? What books are you reading? What potential learning moments did you experience today and are you going to apply it to your life or are you going to forget about it?

Make personal growth your way of living. Get better daily – for your own sake and for the sake of your loved ones.

“At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud you or prod you.” - Jim Rohn

Debbie De Jager
Certified John Maxwell Coach, Teacher & Speaker

Tel: 079 498 4875

Born to Shine Magazine - Edition 8 (March 2014 - July 2014)