Inch By Inch We Grow

There’s something frustrating about growing. That frustrating thing?

Growth isn’t instantly noticeable.

There’s truth behind that statement. You know it. You feel it. And, if you’re like me, you resent the fact growth takes time.

You will grow inch by inch

Image by Dave Toaster

Yet it’s a fact of life. Rarely will anything of worth happen instantly. Rather, growth takes time.

Give Growth Time

The world is increasingly becoming an impatient place to be.

We get angry when things take longer than we think they should. The quick meal at Burger King is ruined because it took 5 minutes to get your order rather than 2 minutes. The horns start blaring as the car at the stoplight doesn’t proceed the moment the light turned green. The anger starts rising when your new pet doesn’t catch onto the household rules.

All because we’re impatient. We’re expecting something at the drop of a dime.

Our personal growth doesn’t happen like that. Growth takes time.

Growth Takes Application

It’s easy to read the books that have been published on leadership or personal growth or marriage. Consuming the material is EASY! All it takes is a bit of time (Hey, that’s the first thing we need to do with growth, give it time!) to read through the books.

Then comes the hard part. Applying what we’ve read and consumed.

Growth takes application of what we’re learning. We’ve got to begin to implement the strategies the authors have shared with us.

Reading through the book and putting it back on the shelf gives a glimpse at what could be. Reading the book, keeping the book off of the book shelf, going back to key points in the book, and taking action on those sections begins to bring growth.

Growth Takes Repetition

We like to think we get the facts after the first go through. Once we’ve read a book or completed a task, we begin to believe we’ve mastered the growth we need.

Yet it never works that way. We’re not wired to become masters, or even proficient, after our first go-around.

Rather, growth takes the effort of practice and repetition. We’ve got to continue doing what we’ve learned to maintain the level of growth we desire to see.

By going over the steps again and again, we begin to cement the ideas in our minds. We begin to see the desired actions happen almost by themselves.

Repetition brings about consistency.

Growth Requires Consistency

Lastly, growth really requires consistency. Not only does that mean repetition, growth requires us to do something on a regular basis.

I learned this the hard way when I slacked off on my running routine. For 2 years I was consistently running and seeing my minutes per mile decrease.

Then I faced a tragedy and became very inconsistent in my running.

As I’ve now begun to get back on the road and running, I’ve noticed I’m no longer able to run the distances I had previously obtained. Instead of growing, I my running ability decayed to the point it’s almost like I’m starting over.

When we’re consistent, we are able to build upon our previous growth and bring it to a new level.

Remember, Growth Takes Time!

Don’t fret when you feel like you’re not seeing results. They’re there, they’re just small and unnoticeable at this time.

Keep applying what you’re consuming. Keep repeating the new skills you’re learning. Keep being consistent.

When you do these 3 things, you’re creating a recipe for growth.

Question: How do you deal with the slowness of growth? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I couldn’t agree more. Patience, repetition, and consistency are the top three things I read about almost daily. These are definitely areas I am trying to pull back into focus in my life. They are easy to lose sight of with all the hustle and bustle around us these days.

    • Derek, that’s awesome you’re focused on the three areas that promote consistent growth. What’s one thing you’ve learned by focusing on those 3 things every day?

    • Oh yes!! Very well said. (and see Joe?- Derek can say it in less than a page!)

  • Shing Degano

    Love your post today.
    It resonates with me esp. in the physical aspect.
    I was walking with my chocolate Labrador yesterday at the park and I’ve been feeling like I was dragging my left leg. But that doesn’t impede me from slowing down. I made up my mind to continue doing it even if it takes sitting on the bench for breaks and still feel victorious. I’m sure my 9 year-old “Cocoa” appreciates the “needed breaks,” too, since we both can relate to aging beautifully…
    Thanks for reaffirming some real facts of life. (Real growth takes Time)
    Good Friday Blessings to you.

    • That’s the attitude Shing. And that’s awesome you bring your dog out on the walks. I’m sure it’s a great time for the dog as well.

  • Great post Joe! As someone who’s passionate about self-development, your post hit the nail! The fact of the matter is, without effort there is no growth. John Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Let’s keep up growing together!

    • That’s a great quote from John Maxwell. How do you keep this in mind and overcome the desire for instant growth results?

      • Honestly Joe, I am a believe that if you put in the hours and sweat, I’ll see the results. I ask for feedback and thoroughly assess my skill sets on a regular basis.

  • Great post. It reminds of a quote I saw yesterday from my friend Leanne.

    “Deep down change doesn’t happen from one epiphany but from thousands of intentional changes.” – LVP

    • Ohhh… I like that Rick. Thanks for sharing the quote.

  • Great post Joe, It’s so important to remember that growth takes time. It’s why we have to grow and learn on a daily basis.

    • Thanks Dan! How are you growing every day?

      • Your welcome. Primarily by listening to audio books through and reading blogs.

        • That’s a good one Dan. I’ve had a subscription with them off and on and have found some really great books through them. Any recommendations?

          • Fight by Craig Groeshel and The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow are great books.

  • Yay! Hey, I’ll have you know that I was left out of the “patience” gene-give-away. Seriously, no joke. BUT!! I have found something that grows REALLY fast! LOL, and yes, you can watch! Celery. Seriously. Cut the end off your bunch, stick a few toothpicks in it- set it on the rim of a bowl of water and wa-la! Tomorrow morning you’ll see!
    Ok. As for the rest of life (and that includes gardening by the way)… yes, it takes TIME. (sigh) I know (!!) because I am trying to save a business here… and really, have been since we came online. Yes, it is working. And YES- it is incredibly slow… But it is working!
    And hey- I know how you must feel, checking your time at the mile-mark… I am built like a weight lifter. Nice, if you happen to be a man, but I have come to terms with my DNA and just go with it now-days. All I have to do is move- and I tend to get ripped and built (again- if you happen to be a man) HOWEVER. This last year has really made slop out of me. I sit at my desk ALL day working online! I haven’t even seen my horse for over a month! Good grief- there are folks who are going to actually expect me to climb a mountain in less than 3 weeks! (HELP!!)
    Again- it takes time. I’ve said it before (and I really don’t think it is too much to ask for)- all I need is about another 9-10 hours in a day and I would be all set!
    So. Since I have just bared my soul (I know, I know, yet again)- I think some nasty rock and some weights are in order, so see ya! (Go run!!)

  • I struggled with this for a long time but I’m learning!

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