The starting point for personal development is knowing who you are and accepting yourself. You’ll never make an effort to improve any aspect of your life if you don’t accept the need for improvement.
Denial is comforting — it lets us deflect the responsibility of self-auditing. You cannot make adjustments if you are ignorant of the problem at large.
That is why knowing who you are and then accepting who you are is so important.
We’re forever changing. Every day, with every different encounter, we form dispositions to better endure similar conflict in the future. And, in such a process, we acquire very subtle nuances about us that change as well.
That’s why it’s crucial that we view ourselves as a study subject, always observant to which patterns and tweaks are needed to ensure we run as smoothly as possible.
It’s as simple as paying attention to how we’re conditioned to adapt in every environment we find ourselves.
Once you form the habit of routinely re-learning who you are and how you’re constantly changing, it’s then your responsibility to accept whomever that person may be.
Ironically, this is the main reason many of us avoid getting to know ourselves in the first place.
No one wants to accept if maybe they’re horrible with returning phone calls or if they’re a bad driver. Accepting that you’re a bad cook or that you really struggle following a conversation is a tough pill to swallow.
However, when we master ourselves, when we’re aware of our strengths and weaknesses and accept ourselves enough to change in order to avoid compromising situations, we’ll be able to see success in every area of our life.
Knowing yourself can be as simple as knowing your trigger points — or what sets you off — to knowing not to get too drunk.
Maybe at one point in life you had the patience to argue back and forth with the most confident of know-it-all’s, but if you’ve retired from the debate team and that’s an activity you want to pass on nowadays, you know better than to get involved with a woman who resorts to screaming matches to solve disputes.
Personally, I know I need to be around self-starters and others who are ambitiously driven not only for me to be successful, but for me to be the most functional as a human.
The same goes for running. I know that if I’m feeling groggy or in a bad mood it’s because I haven’t been running in a while, so I always make sure I maintain a steady dose of physical activity.
This self-monitoring technique is great because it helps a great deal in relationships. If you know cleanliness is a deal-breaker for you then that’s something you should vet out quickly.
Or if you know you’re the jealous type, you should make sure she is someone that is sensitive to that or who doesn’t have a lot of guy friends.
Luck favors the prepared, which is why we must equip ourselves with the most knowledge about ourselves as possible so we will be more “lucky” in our relationships, careers, and friendships.
Knowing yourself is nothing more than an act of self-reflection. A lot of time we’re so ready to be done with bad situations, that when it’s over we split — leaving too soon to assess the scene of the crime.
Looking back on a past relationship long enough to make a mental note of what would be more ideal is a research project well worth the time.
Once you’ve mastered the art of studying yourself you then have the brave task of accepting what you find. There are a lot of us out here living in denial simply because they do not like and cannot accept who they are.
I’m not saying that you will always love every single aspect of who we are, and while that may be the goal, it’s something we will always strive for because we will always be imperfect. What we can do, however, is acknowledge our shortcomings and, instead of ignoring their existence, make efforts to overcome them.
There are guys who will not accept that their one-liners are creepy or that the Hooters Tuesday drink special is a horrible date choice. I know men who truly don’t see what’s wrong with obsessing over every girl that walks across their eyes and others who will never grasp the concept of prioritizing the emotions of a significant other.
Often times the constant cycle of mistakes we keep finding ourselves in is due to our inability to see the mistake itself, then not doing enough to correct it.
In order to correct infidelity, bombing dates, nightmare relationship stories, or whatever mishap you are going through, you must admit there is something worth correcting.
The quest to improve is humbling, even looking in the mirror and accepting room for opportunity is humbling, but it’s necessary to be better men to the areas in our life which demand it the most.
You don’t want to be the guy too headstrong on what he does right, that he walks around proudly not even realizing what he’s doing wrong.
Be a man who is in control; proactive, not reactive. Be a man who is open to improving and who enters each situation knowing how to present the best version of himself.