• Claudia Disco

Moving forward: five areas for personal growth


Today is the first day of easing of lock-down regulations in France. My new freedom, as limited as it still is, feels almost uncomfortable. Outside it is stormy, and I prefer to stay safely in my bubble called home. So how do I go forward and take all the new learnings from this period and grow from it. Going through a difficult period causes distress. Distress can have both a negative and positive impact. So, how to optimize the positive transformation and minimize the falling back into blaming and being a victim.

Psychologists Tedeschi and Calhoun developed a self-report scale to evaluate whether and to what extent someone has experienced growth after a trauma. It is called the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) (Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1996). Sounds heavy, but it looks for positive responses in five areas:


1. Appreciation of life. Grateful: “I thank”.

2. Relationships with others. Intimate: “I cherish”.

3. New possibilities in life. Thriving: “I dream”.

4. Personal strength. Optimistic: “I can”.

5. Spiritual change. Contented: “I accept”.


Looking at these five areas I see a lot of space for personal growth. It is a bit early to take everything in, and I am afraid we have not yet seen the end of this challenging period. However, I aim to move forward, grow, and develop myself further.

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