We all may have heard the expression “practice makes perfect.” It is based on the idea that if you continue to work at something often, you will become better at it. There is always room to improve ourselves in school, work, and relationships. So, the question you may want to ask yourself is, how can I improve myself to become a better person?
To answer this question, we will review the steps to becoming a better you. As with anything in life, change does not always happen immediately. For example, trying a new recipe for the first time involves reviewing the instructions first to understand what ingredients to use, what temperature to set and how long to cook it.
Just as planning to prep for a new recipe is essential, taking steps to improve yourself is also vital. Questions you may ask yourself include is it possible to become a better person? What does it take to grow in life? How can I improve or change myself?
All these questions are very critical to begin the journey of changing ourselves. So now, let’s review the steps to becoming a better you.
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Self-care has become more critical over the past few years. You may ask how does this fit into a better you? It is essential because it encompasses your overall health, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Think of self-care as the engine of your car. If driving your car regularly, you will discover that routine maintenance is needed to help it perform at peak performance. Getting an oil change, having brakes checked, and keeping tires rotated help your car perform better. To keep the vehicle running, you must add gas, so it takes you places.
Compare this illustration to your life. You have many parts of your body that require maintenance. In addition, your mind, body, and soul need nourishment to operate. The essential ingredients to take care of yourself include:
- Getting enough sleep to refresh your body each day. This may also involve taking naps occasionally.
- Eating well-balanced meals three times daily or based on your diet plan.
- Exercising by staying active. Even walking or doing an activity such as gardening can help you stay active.
- It is maintaining healthy relationships with other people. This helps your brain stay engaged in learning from others.
- Being spiritually connected. At the same time, we may not all share the same beliefs, but relying on a higher source than ourselves can help us stay grounded and humble.
It is important to maintain routine maintenance on yourself to perform at your best. Recharge your body with rest and fill your mind with positive affirmations to keep you motivated to handle life challenges when they come your way.
Develop a growth mindset
Developing a growth mindset is also a part of taking care of yourself. In this instance, you are creating a mindset to grow through hard work and dedication over time. We increase our capacity to develop skills, knowledge, and personal growth by continuing to learn.
Imagine, for a moment, that you decided to stop learning after the 1st grade and never challenged yourself to grow beyond that level of learning. Now, you may be able to get by and figure things out or learn to adapt with the help of others. However, what would your life look like as you get older? Do you want to be at the same level you are today, 10 or 20 years from now?
Developing your mind by believing in yourself, learning new skills, and challenging your mind to expand beyond your comfort zone activate your potential. This enables you to evolve into a better version of yourself over time. That is why we must never stop learning.
Focus on what you want to accomplish
Sometimes we fall victim to distractions in life. These distractions can be a failed relationship, a change in your career path that took you down a different road, or even a setback in life due to health or unplanned events.
Distractions can shift our focus and cause us to lose sight of our goals. Although this is a part of life, focus on what you want to accomplish.
I am inspired by the story of Gladys Wright, who had to drop out of high school decades ago because of a severe illness. Yet, deep within her was a determination to finish high school. So, in 2021, at 102, she finally graduated from high school.
What is so special about her story is that she focused on completing her goal and never lost sight of accomplishing what she set out to do.
For each of us, the goal may be different. However, if we can maintain the same focus and determination as Ms. Wright, anything is possible if we believe. This keeps us focused on our destiny in life.
Be true to yourself
How do you identify yourself? When asked this question, some people may think of their job occupation and state that I am a nurse, a doctor, or a lawyer, for example. Others may identify themselves based on their economic position about wealth or power.
But the most profound question to ask yourself is, who am I? The person you project to others versus who you are when no one is watching may not always be the same.
We all have an image or representation of ourselves that we present in public based on the situation. Who am I speaks to your values, beliefs, and how you identify yourself.
Being true to yourself involves looking at your personality and understanding who you are. Not what someone else labels you as, but who you believe you are and being comfortable letting your true self shine through when around others.
Discover your unique voice and think for yourself while maintaining healthy boundaries and following your values.
Maximize your strengths
We can sometimes limit ourselves and our abilities by staying within our comfort zone instead of pursuing opportunities that maximize our strengths. This may be due to a limiting mindset about what we believe we can do or allowing outside influences to shape our behavior.
In the book, Achieve Your Apex: How to Maximize Your Strengths, Create Predictable Results, and Thrive in Every Facet of Your Life by Chad Hyams, Hyams use inspiring stories about his life to illustrate how a person can unleash their potential. This book provides excellent examples of setting realistic goals to achieve success at a higher level in your personal or work life.
Developing and maximizing your strengths by maintaining good habits and focusing on your goals can expand your growth potential to strive to be better and more aligned with your life purpose.
Practice being calm and patient
The benefit of being calm and patient is to help manage our emotions. Let’s face it, we all may experience moments when we are angry or upset about something. Unfortunately, in this mindset, we may act before thinking and cause a situation to escalate.
Managing our emotions by stepping back to take a deep breath and accessing the situation allows us an opportunity to control our anxieties, worries, and things that cause us frustration. As a result, we can look at things differently and make better decisions from a calmer mindset.
I always think of boxing matches as an example of emotions getting in the way of our decision-making. Muhammad Ali would frustrate his opponents by dancing and dodging their swings. Then, as he bobbed around them, they began to chase him and make wild swings that missed a lot of the time.
Ali was able to upset his opponents by getting into their heads, causing them to lose focus on their boxing strategy. This made it easier to tire them out and defeat them.
In a similar way, people may push our buttons or do things that rub us wrong. If we react without taking time to slow down, breathe and evaluate, we may make decisions in the heat of the moment that may hurt us instead of helping us.
Use the practice of staying calm and patient to control how you respond to situations in your everyday life.
Be kind to others
The golden rule says, “treat people as you want to be treated.” This principle teaches us that if we want someone to respect us, we must show respect toward them. I fully understand that there may be times this is not always the case.
The point of being kind to others is to demonstrate, by example, how you want to be treated. I have even heard it said to treat people better than we want to be treated. Behind this reasoning is the idea that we are serving others a positive experience when we are kind to them.
Imagine going to your favorite restaurant and being served by a waiter or waitress. When they provide exceptional service, it may incline you to give a larger tip. But, on the other hand, if they provide poor service, it may cause your to reduce the tip or leave no tip at all.
In life, remember that we are serving others by the way we treat them. Be an example to inspire others and leave a legacy of making this world better by being a better you.
There are many benefits to becoming a better you. These benefits include taking better care of yourself and developing a growth mindset to accomplish more things using your natural gifts. But, more importantly, you are creating a legacy, a footprint in the sands of time, letting others know your strengths and character by how you treat others, including yourself.
It is possible to be a better person. Practicing the steps discussed in the article daily prepares you to make incremental changes to grow and develop into a better version of yourself. Start implementing these steps into your daily routine, and you will be amazed at the transformation of your life.
Please share your comments, feedback, and other ideas that you have used to be a better you.
Thank you for taking the time to review this article.