What to Do When You’ve Stopped Growing

stopped growing

Ever feel like you’re stuck? Like you’ve stopped growing? Like your organization, or your personal leadership, has hit a wall and you just can’t seem to get past it?

You’re not alone! If you try to lead at all, you are definitely going to go through seasons where you feel like you’ve plateaued. Where you don’t know what to do next. Where you hit a creative roadblock and you can’t seem to motivate yourself or others.

What do you do when you feel like you’ve stopped growing?

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Refuse to Make Excuses.

When you’re stuck, the last thing you need is excuses.

Alan Redpath said, “An excuse is just a lie stuffed in the skin of a reason.”

When you’re blaming something or someone else for a lack of initiative or motivation, you remain stuck because you can’t fix the people or the circumstances you’re blaming.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Remember the Basics.

Sometimes you have to go back to the basic principles of leadership, such as…

You’re either growing, or your dying.

We are meant to grow. Healthy things grow. We’re born into this world, growing, and if we don’t grow as babies, someone takes us to the doctor to find out what’s holding us back.

Your physical growth might peak in your late teens, but mentally and spiritually, you can go right on growing throughout your adulthood. I’m now 41 and I feel that I learn new lessons daily.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, You Can Always Improve.

We are created to achieve. We’re designed to keep on growing and improving. And when we’re not improving, we feel unfulfilled. It’s a matter of finding the areas in which you need growth and concentrating on those needs.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership.

When your team or organization isn’t growing, you have to face the possibility that perhaps it’s your lack of growth that is holding things back. When you’re not growing, the people around you won’t grow either.

There’s no room for complaining about the organization or the rest of the team. You must remember the age-old principle that everything rises and falls on leadership.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, You Are the Lid.

You are the lid on your own growth. You are the lid on the people that you lead. If you’re leading at a level eight out of ten and feel pretty good about it, you need to remember that someone underneath you is leading at a seven, and they want to grow to an eight or a nine, but you’re holding them back because you’re the lid.

When you settle you become a lid for the rest of the organization.

I’m not writing this from a posture of superiority. I’m sharing as one who struggles. I’ve had to face these things repeatedly.

Let me make a quick caveat before we get into the things that I think you should doto get unstuck. It’s possible that you’re burning out, or that you’re exhausted, or that you’re struggling with an emotional health issue. There are times to rest and rejuvenate and refresh, away from leadership. I took a sabbatical last year – an entire month away from my church. It was a very healthy season.

But, if you’re not ready to take a sabbatical and you’re convinced what you’re facing is not merely a matter of a lack of rest and rhythm, then let’s dig into what you can do to go from where you are to the next level in leadership.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Do a Thorough Self-Evaluation.

Get tough on yourself. I struggle with this because I love to celebrate successes. I love to focus on what I’ve done well.

  • How are you doing with people?
  • How are you doing with your time?
  • How are you doing in terms of growing your knowledge?
  • How are you doing in terms of managing

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Get Brutally Honest Feedback.

You must have people in your life that can and will speak honestly to you. In the week before writing this, I’ve had at least four significant conversations with people who were willing to share something with me that wasn’t very positive.

If you’re not open to that kind of conversation, you’re already finished growing. You must be open to feedback from people who are looking at you and your leadership from a different perspective. This feedback can come from friends, colleagues, coaches, or mentors, but it needs to come from somewhere.

By the way, this is why I’m such a big believer in leadership coaching. It’s why I coach others. If you want feedback, support, encouragement, and a challenge from me, reach out about my coaching services

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Brandon Cox
Brandon Cox is Lead Pastor of Grace Hills Church, a new church plant in northwest Arkansas. He also serves as Editor and Community Facilitator for Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox and was formerly a Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In his spare time, he offers consultation to church leaders about communication, branding, and social media. He and his wife, Angie, live with their two awesome kids in Bentonville, Arkansas.