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The Four Things We Need To Grow (part 3 of 4)

This is the third of a four part series. Click here to read the rest of the series.

We all have things we want in life, but oftentimes our approach to achieve those things is all wrong. When setting and pursuing goals It is easy to focus too much on the "what" and not enough on the "who." Goals can't come without growth and in this four part series we've been exploring the four things every human being needs to grow.

Week one told us that we can't grow unless we get in the game. Starting is the first step to anyone's growth. In week two we learned that above anything else, community matters. Craig Groeschel says it this way: "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."

To find the third thing every human needs to grow, we must shift our gaze inwards.

My teammates and I had just gotten back from six weeks of independent travel on the road. We are eight months into a our year of serving as National FFA Officers and the six of us boys had gotten pretty close. We were eager to hang out and share our stories from the road, but first we had to complete our 360 Feedback assessments.

Being honest, I'm dreading it. I don't have any real issues with any of my teammates so I don't really see the point of giving them feedback, especially in such an extensive fashion. 20 minutes of questions for each teammate seems a little overkill. Sure, there are some things each of them do that bother me, but nothing worth bringing up. I'm sure that if I do anything that bothers them, they'd have told me already. Right?

We complete the surveys, and after our coach compiles the results he calls us in one by one for a consultation. I'm nervous. For me, what we have is good enough. I KNOW feedback is supposed to improve things, but if I am comfortable with how things are, why not just stay that way?

As we go through the anonymous feedback submitted by my five teammates, I relax a little. Most of it is positive until we hit a certain point. I tense up, clenching my teeth and holding my breath.

"Jason seems to always be in a hurry, like he doesn't want to spend time with us."

"Jason has a hard time staying present. I feel like he's bored around me." "Whenever we are at dinner, Jason is always the first person to stand up from the table, even if I'm not done eating yet."

I immediately begin to argue, to justify my actions, but our coach holds his hand up. "Are they right?"

"I mean, yes. I do stand up first from dinner, but I never even considered that would interpret it that way. I am just ready to go do the next thing with them."

"That's the beauty of awareness. Now that you know, you can change it."

The third thing every human being needs to grow is self-awareness. Here is the ironic part: 99% of the time self-awareness will not come from yourself. It requires the humility to seek out feedback and the dedication to implement it.

If we want to grow, we must first be aware of which parts of us need growth the most. It is possible to grow without being self-aware. However, those not experiencing growth in their lives definitely lack self-awareness.

While there are still many things I can improve upon as a human being, ensuring people I eat with feel valued by my behavior is not one of them, and that is all thanks to self-awareness.


While over 90% of people believe they are self-aware, one study found that only 10% truly are.


Ask a close friend if there is anything you do that bothers them, but they haven't told you.

(Only if you're brave enough to hear the truth)


What is one area of your personality you're eager to learn more about?


"You have to know yourself, to grow yourself." - John C. Maxwell

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