Years ago my father (who has a background as a marriage and family therapist) ran a small get together at our house where he would ask one simple question to everyone in attendance, “What’s your growth edge?” We’d then go around the room and share, one by one, until everyone had spoken.

It seems simple really, but in reality it was a profound question. What he was asking was, “Where are you right this minute, and what direction are you growing in?”

This forced each person to do a serious amount of self analyzation, and the answers were touching, personal, and completely independent of what someone else might be going through in the group. 

I’d forgotten all about this question until a couple days ago when I was grasping at straws in order to find the moment. With everything I’m working on building for the future (mainly my e-book and blog) it’s difficult to remember where I am right now. So when I started thinking about how to get into the moment, I half jokingly said to Dan, “What’s your growth edge?,” as a sort of nostalgic way to bring us into the moment. He laughed, and we begin to talk about where we were and what we were learning about ourselves. 

It had been awhile. It’s easy to talk about what we’re doing, as that comes naturally for us. (In fact, Dan and I are both big talkers, so anything and everything is discussed in our house for the pure amusement of it all.) But to articulate a growth edge is a completely different stream of thought. 

I realized that my main emotional growth edge has to do with facing the little things I like to ignore in favor of big picture thinking.

I’m a conquerer, so I tend to trample and ignore the small stuff that gets in my way while I’m trudging towards the mountain peak, thinking I’ll get to the small stuff when I reach the top.

But what I’m learning about myself, is that as soon as I get to the top of one mountain, I start climbing another, so I’m always ignoring the small stuff. And you know what? That small stuff starts to add up. And it goes from a nagging little voice I can ignore, to a huge mess that affects the whole mission. So if I want to succeed, I have to take care of the little things too.  

This has been humbling. It’s the mountain climber having to stop to clean her shoes. It’s not glamorous or fun, and certainly requires patience, but it is the very thing that will help me to succeed. 

Acknowledging this challenge is causing me to make some serious changes, and to take a different path than I originally planned in my trample mode. But that’s okay. I feel healthier and more equipped this way, and think that it will ultimately get me there in better shape. 

I have to be patient, as there are only so many hours in a day, and when I would have normally been climbing the mountain, I’m now tying knots, carefully rolling up the tent, doing some stretches, checking my gear, and refilling my water bottle, before embarking on the day’s climb. This makes the climb much more enjoyable, but it will take me twice as long to reach the top. Oh yeah, I’m also learning that I’m not that great at patience. :) 

Being able to identify your growth edge is a great way to become more aware of who you are and how you really feel about things right NOW. It’s easy to live an entire life in either the past or the future, but when we come into the moment and face our truth, we are dealing with the reality where the decisions we make count. 

When we are in the moment, we are dealing with the decisions that count. Click To Tweet

So I ask you the question: What’s your growth edge? Can you zoom in and see where you are and what direction you’re growing?


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4 thoughts on “What’s Your Growth Edge?”

  1. I think I spent the majority of my life searching for the big things and wanting to reach that mountain top, but this past year has changed me dramatically and I’m trying to see the small stuff and be OK with that. Great post!

    1. There is a time and place for everything, and zooming in and evaluating the exact moment can sometimes be the most sobering and effective process. Thanks for leaving your thoughts.

  2. I love your writing, it doesn’t seem to matter what topic you’re covering your words always resonate with me. I’ve never heard the term ‘growth edge’ before, and to address it insists on knowing yourself and reflecting on your current state of play. We are all excellent at discussing the things we are doing but it can be intense to look at how we are growing. For me, I’m drowning in the detail & losing sight of the mountain to conquer!

    1. I love the term growth edge and that’s why it was such a gem to rediscover. I knew I had to share it here with everyone.

      So glad you’re loving the blog.

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