One of the most challenging and fulfilling things you can do is to better yourself. Everyone wants to be a better person, but not many people know how to become one. It is more than just donating money to a kid’s foundation or giving a homeless man a sandwich.
These things are great for humanity and make you feel good, but they don’t make you a better person at your core. Becoming a better person requires you to look at yourself without bias and see your faults. Then it’s an uphill battle to fight against the habits, circumstances, and genetics that have shaped who you are. It can take a lot of patience, hard work, and understanding people who want to support your growth.
1. Understand yourself
The first step: Learn about yourself and discover your negative qualities. It may sound easy, but it can be difficult to see yourself in an honest light. Sometimes we bury away traits we don’t see as strengths. Start by thinking about the people that annoy you. Have you ever asked yourself why they annoy you? The reason you dislike certain people is because you may have a lot in common — you both have similar negative qualities. Their negative qualities remind you of a part of yourself that you choose to forget about or push aside.
Next, take a moment to think about your parents. What about your dad can you not stand? What does your mom do that drives you crazy? Your parent’s traits you find annoying may have been passed along to you.
2. Step back and watch
Once you’ve discovered your faults, it’s time to acknowledge them. Maybe you always have to be right or are easy to anger. Whatever it is, a big step is realizing these faults, admitting them verbally, and acknowledging them in your daily life. You must be willing to make a change. Now that you’re aware of your issues, watch for these negative qualities as they come out in your life.
Observe yourself without judgment and be gentle with yourself during this process of awareness. Remember you are not your emotions or your faults.
3. Learn what triggers you
When you are aware of your weaknesses and have detached yourself from them, it is time to find out what instigates them. What situations lead to these qualities coming out? What people bring this out in you? Once you’ve discovered your triggers you will have a better understanding of what situations and environments lead you to these bad behaviors.
4. Regain control
Once you’ve found your triggers, it’s time to make a game plan to control them. If you’re easy to anger at work, then you’ve developed a habit of venting your frustration to your employees or colleagues. Make a contingency plan to avoid this happening. Maybe go to the gym before work to get rid of steam or take a few moments in your office before you have to interact with a colleague.
You’ll need to develop a plan to counteract or control these bad qualities and habits. These traits may always be something you struggle with, so make a plan to control them so they don’t take over your life.