07 Feb 9 Essential Questions to Cultivate Change and Facilitate Personal Growth
Warning: If cultivating change and facilitating growth are NOT an essential part of the design for your life then this article may not be for you.
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”—Kahil Gibran
It could be argued that the only real reason for living is to see how much you can learn about yourself. Asking effective, critical self-reflection questions can help to facilitate your development as a human being connected to other human beings. A critical question is one that provides a useful answer. Poor questions create limitations and a shallow illusion of who you really are.
And we’re all purposefully different. You might be great with spreadsheets, but poor at meeting new people. Some of us are very persuasive while others have great creativity. And it’s not about comparing yourself to others. Remember this is critical self-reflection.
Walk yourself through this 9-box question matrix. Enhance your ability to cultivate change and facilitate your personal growth. Grab some paper or your journal to write your responses.
1) What is the most important skill I’m lacking?
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are what we develop, and weaknesses are what we manage. Our weaknesses are often responsible for limiting our personal growth and success. There are advantages to being well-rounded in knowing your strengths and your weaknesses.
2) How do I get in my own way in life?
Do you ever sabotage your own efforts? It’s possible to fear success. After all, gaining something often means giving up something else. It’s not easy to examine this part of ourselves, but the benefit is immense.
3) How would I advise my 18-year old self?
Hindsight is 20/20, but the mistakes you’ve made in the past are probably still occurring. Think about the choices you think you should’ve made as an 18-year-old. They will provide insight into your current situation. This question will also help you decide if you are at peace with your current thoughts and beliefs.
4) What are my greatest strengths?
Make a list of your greatest strengths. How can you apply them to your life? Our weaknesses might hold us back, but our strengths can determine how high we can rise. Weaknesses are like a boat anchor while strengths are like the motor. To make this exercise even more meaningful, take the CliftonStrengths Assessment, a performance-based tool that builds self-awareness and strength..
5) What am I able to control in my life?
Say these words out loud: “Worrying about things that are outside of my control is a waste of time.” Focus on the aspects you’re able to influence. According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of influence is this: a person or thing with the capacity or power to have an effect on someone or something. Apply your thoughts, time, and effort accordingly.
6) What am I willing to take a stand for?
Someone once said if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. How do you want to be thought of at the end of your life? What will your tombstone dash represent? Are you currently living in a manner that supports that vision? Think about who you want to be, which could be quite different from what you want to be.
7) What is the one signinficant thing I’d like to accomplish?
You probably have several options for your life, and it’s not always easy to choose. Think about the one accomplishment that would mean the most to you. Or that one thing that says you have made a difference somewhere in your life. Then make a list of realistic steps you can take to achieve it.
8) What is the single biggest limit I impose upon myself?
It might be the belief that you’re not smart enough to finish college or socially astute enough to attract a wonderful spouse. What am I actively doing right now to crush this self-limiting belief!? By the way, there’s a 99.999% chance you haven’t worked hard enough to accurately determine what your self-limits truly are.
9) What do I do about the challenges I face in life?
Perhaps your parents made a lot of mistakes. Maybe your boss is a jerk. Regardless of the source of your challenges, it’s your responsibility to deal with them. You are accountable. This knowledge is actually great news because now you see that you don’t have to rely on someone else in order to move forward!
Since the beginning, everything God creates is well-planned, intentional, and purposeful. Nothing is accidental, random, or made up as He goes along. There’s so much power in that. And we can be empowered by that in our own daily lives.
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”
— Galatians 6:4-5 NL
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Critical self-reflection questions are such a useful tool. The answers can give you greater insight, clarity, and appreciation for who you are and how you grow. If you’re feeling lost or frustrated, utilize the power of questions to enhance your self-growth journey.