Updated: 5 days ago
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You know how hard it is to change yourself when you don't know where to start and what exactly you should be doing right?
It's a shame that schools don't teach you these things and society expects you to get it right off the bat or quickly dismiss you off on an offer based on a quality you don't have when they don't give you feedback.
I have gone through years of trying to figure out how to change myself and my personality in life without any guidance from anyone and luckily for you, I have made it easier for you to find the direction you want to go to in life while adding in my personal experiences as well.
In this guide, I will be going down through this list that will help you on your personal journey which includes:
1. Personal Analysis
The first step to progress in personal development is to find out your strengths and weaknesses in your personality and skills. I would suggest writing it down with pen and paper (or digital document with a stylus) since writing things down will more likely psychologically tell your brain to commit to it in comparison to typing it out digitally or simply storing it in your head.
It is important that you accept your current state of your mindset because you will at least know where you currently stand and how far or how much work it will take to achieve the status you want to reach in life.
It is also helpful to reflect on how you were raised and treated as a child through adulthood from important figures in your life. Doing that would give you an easier to identify how your personality developed and eventually give you more confidence on how to improve.
For my case, I was a very introverted person throughout most of my years in college and extremely shy around people but I had a very strong desire to change my behavior and become a very different person.
Furthermore, my introversion and shyness stemmed my dad's authoritarian parenting style. He was the type that would point out my problems without giving any encouragement and would harshly criticized me if I did something wrong. This severely affected my confidence and self-esteem on my actions I wanted to take.
Therefore, you can probably easily imagine how I interacted with people. There would be times where my behavior would be seen as rude to others without having that intention because my dad would give me that behavior as well. Luckily, I had a bunch of people in my life who would give me feedback about it and were very understanding.
But of course, there were people in my life that did the opposite and would rather bring up my problems and criticize me instead. If you want to know more about how I dealt with this situation, please continue reading to the end as I bring up the solutions to this and the influences it can cause to your life if not resolved properly.
2. Personal Objectives
If you set a plan without a clear goal, it is only a dream. If you set a plan with a clear roadmap and specific deadline, it becomes a goal.
I would go back to your list of personal strengths and weaknesses and evaluate how you are going to reach your goal with those qualities. Is there something specific that needs to be changed in order for you to reach your goal? Figure out the steps (minimum of four) you will need to take in your life and perhaps do some research on it.
The most important takeaway while writing down your goals is to never share your goals with anyone.
The reasons why are:
You're very likely to lose motivation along the way
You're less likely to stay committed to your goals after telling them to someone
This is a form of instant gratification
By showing your results instead, you're more likely to be succeed through the concept of delayed gratification
As an example, imagine yourself telling your goals to someone. You may get a sense of satisfaction afterwards but this puts an imaginary weight on your back that are the feelings of expectancy after completing your goal. For every person you tell your goals to, that imaginary weight continues to increase.
In comparison to keeping quiet of your goals, that imaginary weight isn't there so that sense of obligation to the number of people you tell does not exist so you're able rest easier psychologically.
Once you show people the results of your goals, the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction you get from people comes flooding in all at once. This method is pretty much hitting two birds with one stone.
In addition, this is where you will need to start building good habits and having a positive mindset that will help you succeed in your goals. Training your mind to stay calm before letting yourself become emotional and staying rational in any situation is a crucial key component to personal success in any aspect of your life.
3. Personal Skills
When you are evaluating your skills for your development, you would want to improve the ones you are good at and figure out what specific skills are required as part of your roadmap that would help you along your journey.
I would highly not recommend you practice on skills you are terrible at or learning a new skill and reaching it to a mediocre level unless it is used for a hobby you enjoy.
The reason why is because if you are learning or practicing something just to be mediocre at, it might actually do more harm than good in your life.
You might think you would save time and money by doing this but in reality, there will always be someone better at a skill for the one you are currently practicing at.
The sooner you realize this, the easier your life will be since this will eventually give you better time management skills and have a big moment of realization that your skills are better off with someone who can do the job more efficiently than you.
For my case, I was trying to learn how to code a website and I thought if I spent the time learning about it through free sources online, I would eventually get good at it and save lots of money.
I didn't. In fact, it eventually got worse as time went on and I would pay money to people to fix specific areas of code on my website I didn't have enough experience with.
In the end, I just ended up wasting more time and money learning skills I didn't need to learn when I could be doing something else more productive.
But when it comes to hobbies for skills that you are not good or mediocre at, dancing would be my example, specifically hip-hop. Even though I'm okay at it (I haven't danced for years), it is still something I would very much enjoy doing when I make the time.
Furthermore, this hobby has an positive effect on my self-confidence since it requires constantly your body language and specific types of body language will tell the brain that you are becoming more confident (this does relate to when humans were living out in the wilderness tens of thousands years ago and this part of us has not changed one bit).
4. Personal Growth
Personal growth is having the desire and confidence of stepping out of your comfort zone, focusing on becoming a better version of yourself than the person you were yesterday.
The confidence and energy doesn't come naturally to you since it is something you will have create and build within yourself and that comes with practice.
This is where your portion of the roadmap you've created becomes very specific with the actions you will need to take in order to bring yourself close towards your goal. Start out your actions small and work your way up slowly similar to how workout exercises would be, going to complete beginner and slowly increasing your reps and/or time as you get stronger.
When it comes to my own personal growth, like any other rational person in college, I would join clubs to see if I could change myself. A major part of that change would be a club called Circle K International.
The environment was very social for every meeting and I would often get intimidated a bit when interacting with people. I eventually would get acclimated once I get to to know people more until I mean someone else new.
About a year or two later, I eventually got comfortable talking to new people also.
But in reality, it only changed me a little and not enough to get the personal changes and qualities I wanted because I lacked a specific direction of where and how I wanted to go.
So when I transferred to University of California, Irvine, I tried rejoining again but it didn't hit me because I felt that I got what I personally needed for my development and my time would be better spent focusing somewhere else.
5. Personal Connection
"It's not about what you know. It's who you know." That is an important lesson that will be crucial throughout your life.
With that being said, once you find yourself making progress throughout your personal growth, it's time to move on to connecting with people.
When you connect and surround with people that have similar goals and mindset as you or people that goals and mindset that you aspire to have, you will start to think like them due to environmental learning.
Human psychology is a very strange thing. When you surround yourself with like-minded people, you will start taking in their habits and behavior.
If you surround yourself with millionaires, you will eventually become a millionaire yourself. If you surround yourself with poor people, you are bound to become a poor person later. If you surround yourself with stupid people, you're definitely not going to be making good decisions in your life.
By increasing the number of connections in an area you want to be a part of, you are opening yourself to more opportunities in life.
But not all opportunities are created equal and once you've learned the ability of easily creating opportunities in your life like me, you will have to pick and choose your battles.
In my case, I've had opportunities that all provided benefits but that were a few where costs outweighed the benefits and I've lost time and energy because of it.
And there were opportunities I planned on creating but didn't take because I realized the costs ahead of time exceeded the benefits at that time.
And I've mentioned previously in personal analysis that there were people in my life would rather bring up my problems and criticize me instead and unfortunately, you have to encounter these types of people throughout your life.
These types of people typically have larger egos and less empathy than normal people. This is because they operate in the same region in the brain so they are in constant competition with each other over territory so you can't have it both ways.
So that being said, it is very hard to change them, especially when they are not looking to change themselves. You would mostly end up wasting your time instead.
So my advice:
Stop interacting with them if it's someone you don't know and laugh at them to yourself about it because their own negative mindset will eventually bring misery to their life so that's pretty much karma taking care of them.
If it's someone you know, temporarily cut ties with them and tell them to self-reflect with hopes that their pain as a result of his/her actions will help them change themselves.
If no change can be seen in them after some time, permanently cut ties with them and thank yourself for doing that.
Now I don't expect for you to change and get immediate results after reading this because these things take a lot of time.
It's very much like building a business or start-up for the very first time. Nine out of ten times, you will fail but each time you fail, you reflect on what you did wrong while improving and adding onto the things that you did right. It's all about persistence. Relationships, applying for jobs, etc.
And as you eventually change your own philosophies and worldview, so will your personality and mindset like me where I am more extroverted, confident, and have no problems speaking in public.
If you would like more guidance on how to change your life, I highly recommend buying these two books for yourself since this is where I personally have started in the beginning as well:
I find this book to be helpful when it comes to boosting your self-esteem and confidence in life.
Other than the fact that the author is now rich because of his mindset, he is actually a dyslexic person who has been told that he is a stupid person by his teachers since he was a child due to the fact that he can't read which had a major impact on his self-esteem.
So I find it that it can be helpful to you to see how he changed his mindset during the process of his personal journey.
I find this book very helpful if you have dreams or goals in life but don't know where to start or to begin.
James Clear makes it simple to help you achieve your goals or your dreams turning into goals by creating habits that is within another habit and making the entire process easier.
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