Ingredients for Growth

By Akua Boateng, M.S.


I love peace lilies. They're lush, green, and they flourish rapidly. When placed in your space they provide a sense of beauty and tranquility. These as well as other plants often remind me of our emotional growth. Growth indicates the development of something from a lower or simpler to a higher or more complex form. Everybody wants to grow, to be their “best self” or even to achieve some type of emotional “centeredness.” This may describe you. I believe that in any growth process there are some essential ingredients to begin the development. The 3 essentials are these:

1. Environment for Expansion


Every plant needs space to expand and grow.

Ensure that your environment allows that space. 

One of my peace lilies began growing rapidly and looked amazing. I was amazed and excited believing that it was my awesome green thumb. Then suddenly it began to die, and I could not understand why. I was watering it and caring for it in the same way. I found that the reason it was not growing was because it lacked the space needed for its expansion. To grow emotionally, we need the right environment.

The space that once assisted in your expansion may need to be altered and revisited. Some of us need to choose bigger goals, better friends, or even new career strategies. You may not currently fit your new vision (space) however give yourself the space to grow into it.

2. Mistakes Equal Education


Mistakes help us to identify the areas where

we need pruning and new growth. 

Mistakes are essential in the growth process in order to constantly build upon our personal knowledge base. Innovation comes from learning to be wrong in order to find clarity. We learn from bad relationships, failed attempts at reaching a goal, or the consequences of never trying. Emotional healthy individuals learn from their mistakes and use them as education.

3. Aspiration Breeds Motivation


Dreams and aspirations help you

to see yourself as you intend to be.

The bible speaks of the idea of writing a vision. Aspirations help us to see ourselves in the future without qualifying evidence of its presence. We grow and expand our borders through dreaming the unimaginable. Knowledge that you are worthy of this is essential, and faith to believe beyond your current resources and abilities is key. Write down an aspiration for your future. Watch to see how you instinctively will rise to meet it. In your emotionally low times, this will be your motivation to keep moving forward.

As we embark on this journey of growth, I believe you will begin to see new opportunities for the new and greater in your life. These are essentials for growth broadly…next time we will dive into the emotional implications of these prerequisite steps. 


Akua Opoku-Boateng is a clinical therapist  in Northeast Alabama. She has a passion for seeing individuals experience emotional restoration. Read her full bio


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, and be sure to look for more of her posts on emotional growth regularly here on The Growth Network blog.