Updated: Jun 22
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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).