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What to Do When You’ve Stopped Growing

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Repent.

I also want to challenge you to repent.

This word repent is not just a religious word. It has roots in faith. It’s a biblical word. But it’s more than just a religious word.

To repent literally means to change the way you think. Most of us think of repentance in a shame-based sense. You’ve done something bad, you feel shame, and you confess, apologize, and make amends. But I believe that the result of repentance is always refreshing.

I always feel fresh after repentance. Guilt is never the end result of repentance. The end result of repentance is always freedom. Whether you’re a Christian or not, if you’re in leadership, there are times when you need to do some repenting.

First of all, repentance in leadership means rebelling against the status quo. For me, I repent in prayer. I talk to God about it. I go to God and say,

God, I have settled for the status quo. I have adopted mediocrity and I’ve been clinging to it. It’s been like a comfort zone for me. I have become addicted to ease and comfort and convenience and I haven’t wanted to step outside of that zone and I repent of that right now. I hereby reject the status quo. I hereby reject fear. I want to overthrow its power. I reject that. I also am going to change the way that I think. I’m going to think differently. I’m going to force myself to get outside the box and I’m going to welcome the kind of refreshing that I desperately need.

Again, I’m not talking about repentance in the context of having committed a grave sin and coming in a sense of shame and confessing that. (If you’ve committed a grave sin, you certainly need to do that, but I’m talking about repentance in the context of changing the trajectory of your leadership by changing your thinking.)

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Listen to Fresh Voices.

You need to listen to some voices outside of your current circle of influencers. I have my favorite podcasts from people in my niche who sharpen me. But I’ve also found great benefit in listening to people outside of my normal circle of influencers.

Just recently I picked up a book called Destiny, by T. D. Jakes. And I’m hooked, because it has challenged me to think, in fresh ways, with fresh terminology, through a different set of eyes about my life.

I’m a church leader, so I need to listen to other church leaders. I need to listen to the sermons of other pastors because that sharpens me and gets me fired up. But I sometimes need to switch gears and listen to someone else. I need to listen to Dean Graziosi, who’s in the real estate and business world, or Ed Mylett who does a tremendous job challenging people to get outside their comfort zone and strive for excellence.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Pour Into Others.

When you feel like you’ve stopped growing, you need to go pour into someone else.

The Dead Sea is dead because water feeds into it but it doesn’t feed out. It’s always receiving and it’s never giving. And because it’s receiving, it fills up with deposits and it doesn’t get rid of anything. The same is true when all we do is receive.

When you feel stuck and you’re willing to go and help somebody else get unstuck, it helps you get unstuck as well.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Try Something New.

Take a risk. Try something – anything new. Try something that is outside of your current repertoire. Try using a tool that you’ve never used before.

I’m not talking about doing things that are unnecessarily risky or unwise. But people often say, “change for the sake of change isn’t any good,” and I disagree. Sometimes change for the sake of change is the best thing for you.

If You Feel Like You’ve Stopped Growing, Expect Greater Results from Yourself.

Ask any athlete or olympian and they will tell you that you must keep pushing towards some next mark. Instead of checking out and avoiding pressure, apply a little pressure to yourself – not in a way that frustrates you with impossible expectations, but in a way that causes you to stretch and give more than you first thought possible.

And know this. If you feel like you’re stuck, you’re not alone. I’m a leader who’s been there many times. And when I’m there and I push on through, when I keep going, when I decide to reject mediocrity and keep pushing for some next level of excellence, I experience breakthrough at some point.

You’ve got to be tenacious. You’ve got to be stubborn. You’ve got to keep going. Because when you stop, you’re going to settle, and you’re not going to get anywhere.

Keep on pressing forward and know that you are not alone.

If you’re leading today, it’s because you’re wired for it. You’re called to it. You influence other people and the world needs you to lead.

The world needs you to grow. Your family needs you to grow. Your friends need you to grow. Your coworkers, the people that you’re leading, need you to grow. You need you to grow.

This article originally appeared here.

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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.