Cultivate What Matters Core Truths: It's Okay to Grow Slow

Cultivate What Matters Core Truths: It's Okay to Grow Slow

by: Emily Thomas

One of our favorite recent additions to the PowerSheets® goal planner is the core truths sprinkled throughout. These core truths—15 guiding phrases to ground your goal setting—summarize our "what-matters-most" approach to achieving more of what matters to you in a life-giving and joyful way.

Because it's one thing to have heard a truth like "any day can be a fresh start" or "naming what matters changes everything" and another to actually remember and believe it—and it's only when we move to this next level that our actions will follow. When life throws us a curveball or goal setting gets discouraging, we need to be reminded of what's true.

Enter: the core truths! As you work through the pages of your PowerSheets, you'll be reminded of what you love about this community and its approach to goal setting with every turn of the page. You'll be reminded of what's true.

Of course, we only had so much room in the PowerSheets—and so here on the blog, we're giving each core truth its moment to shine. One at a time, we'll unpack what each core truth means, how it applies to goal setting, and how you can make the most of it.

Up next: it's okay to grow slow.

PowerSheets quote tab

Why do we need this core truth?

We need this core truth because it is so different than what the world tells us. SO DIFFERENT. Soooooooo different! (Should we say it again? So! Different!)

Right now, the microphone appears to be in the hand of those who are loud and opinionated, who move fast, those who achieve eye-popping overnight success and can teach you to do the same in three easy steps.

But building a meaningful life does not often follow a simple three-step process. It's not linear, and it's not overnight.

We need the reminder that our pursuits are worthy even if it takes a long time to see fruit.

We need the reminder to stick it out when we know we're moving in the right direction, even if the progress is agonizingly slow (and especially on the days when it's hard to tell if we've made any progress at all). 

We need the reminder that slow growth is still growth, is steady growth, is sustainable growth.

Why do we love this core truth?

Some of the best things in life grow slowly: babies, trees, relationships, character virtues, skills. Why?

Slow growth helps us push past fear.

We're often not prepared for fast growth or overnight successand sometimes, we're so scared of quick success that it keeps us from planting our good seeds. The idea of success, more than failure, keeps us from starting something the world needs. What if this works? What will be expected of me? How will my life change? What if I can't keep up?

But when you embrace slow growth, you give yourself time to grow into the person you need to be for the next stage, the next role, the next responsibility or relationship. Success and even weighty responsibilities don't seem quite so intimidating if you've adjusted to them gradually.

Slow growth lays a solid foundation.

When you go slow, you have time to test. You can tinker. You can tweak.  You can try it out one way and then backtrack when it doesn't work. You can try it on a small scale and then see if it still holds on a larger scale. You can ask for feedback and fold it in. You can add support where it's needed, in people or practices.

And then, when you step onto a larger stage or serve a larger audience, you'll feel more ready. You'll be more ready. 

Slow growth is more sustainable.

A solid foundation can support even a weighty structure. As your goal, or your role, or your life gets more complicated, a solid foundation will support you to keep making forward progress. When you face challenges or setbacks, your foundation will hold.

Intentional effort over the long term, whether in business, parenting, marriage, or ministry, will almost always have more impact than even an impressive flash in the pan. 

How can we live this out?

Three simple ideas for embracing "it's okay to grow slow" in your goal setting.

1. Remind yourself how slow growth has added up in the past.

In your life and in your goals, where has it paid off to embrace slow growth? What fruit have you seen from small steps, taken consistently, over time? What progress felt slow at the time, but has now blossomed?

Reminding yourself of your own success stories will make it more likely you'll stick with slow growth in today's projects.

2. Give yourself examples.

Consider who you're letting into your heart and mind, because we often become like those we surround ourselves with. Whether online or in person, if you see others celebrating the beauty of slow growth, you'll be more likely to do the same. If you see only the flashy wins being celebrated, that's likely what you'll reach for, too.

3. Slow your pace beyond what feels comfortable.

For most of us, for most goals, the point is not necessarily to arrive as fast as possible. Instead, it's to get to the finish line in a way that is sustainable, and allows us to be a whole person who works, rest, and delights in the people and things around us along the way.

If this is different than your usual mode of operation, pull back farther than you think is necessary. Plan three action steps in a month instead of five. Set a time horizon of one year instead of six months. Challenge yourself to set a pace that feels almost unreasonably slow, and see how it feels. You can always build from there!

We'd love to hear: where have you seen slow growth pay off? Please share in the comments!

Reflection Reaps Rewards
Legacies Grow from One Small Seed
Goals Grow When We Pursue Progress, Not Perfection
To Everything There is a Season
We Can't Do It All and Do It All Well, But We Can Choose to Cultivate What Matters

Leave a comment

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

Cultivate What Matters Podcast

If you are ready to get unstuck, say goodbye to wasted days, and feel your life adding up to something more—you are in the right place! The Cultivate What Matters Podcast will help you uncover what truly matters in your life and give you the tools to start acting like it today. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed, lacking motivation, or simply looking for a little joy and delight, you'll find exactly what you need right here. We are so excited to walk alongside you!

Goal School

Get access to premium content to help you stay on top of your goals all year long!