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Become the Best Version of Yourself: 5 Tips to Building Character

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Life doesn’t come with a manual. As we grow older and experience different situations, we become wiser and make better choices. The Rearview Mirror Reflections Podcast is a conversation between two Kenyan women sharing their perspectives on life and what they are learning along the way. The conversations are a reminder that life and our perspectives keep evolving. In their second episode on character, what goes into building character is something we can all reflect on.

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We develop most of our character from our childhood. Parents are usually, our first point of contact with the world, the people who have the potential to make a lasting impression in our lives. There are those who were lucky enough to have come from a family that modeled the best character at all times. Others had teachers who imparted good virtues. Additionally, interacting with friends with solid character positively impacted others.

However, the reality is many people were not that lucky. A good number of us must be deliberate about improving our character. Luckily, there are several things you can do to improve your character and become the best version of yourself.

Work on yourself

You can work on your character to become a better person. A good point to note is that this transformation comes from a conscious decision to do better and be better. It starts from a mental note that you’ll deliberately and consistently maintain a positive outlook on life.

In the second episode of Rearview Mirror Reflections Podcast, Susan Njoroge reflects on a quote that says, “Watch your thoughts for your thoughts become your words. Watch your words, for your words become your actions. Watch your actions, for they become your habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for they become your destiny”.

True to her statement, who you are is a manifestation of your thoughts through the years. Your thoughts determine what you believe, say and do. And believing, saying and doing something consistently over time, creates your persona.

To work on yourself, you have to listen to yourself. Take note of what your heart says. Spend time learning about the good, the bad and the ugly about you. Commit to improve the not-so-good side of your character. And just like you learned the bad habits, you can equally unlearn them and relearn new habits.

Be yourself

Nothing is as exhausting as not being who you are, and striving instead, to be a carbon copy of someone else. You are always in character. There’s no room to express your uniqueness. Instead of using all your energy trying to be something you are not, strive to be authentic.

It’s okay not to fit in because the greatest gift you can give the world is to be yourself unapologetically. Your “weirdness” is what makes you interesting. It’s what makes you, you. And so whenever you try to mold yourself to fit in for fear of standing out like a sore thumb, talk your mind into calming down (You can do it). Like a butterfly fly, spread your wings and fly to the limitless sky.

Have a positive attitude and outlook

Negativity drains not only your energy but also the energy of those around you. Negative thoughts beget negative energy and, ultimately, a hopeless life. Learn to look for the best in every circumstance, or at the very least, the lesson. Strive to look for the positive attributes in people instead of focusing and capitalizing on the negative. And you can only see good in others if you see the best in yourself. Be that person that lights up the room with a warm smile and positive energy. Be a force that spreads kindness.

Become a better listener

Listening is a skill that few of us have mastered. Instead of listening to understand, we listen to respond. Therefore, most of our conversations do not lead to growth. We force our agendas down peoples’ throats without a second thought. When we’ve worn them out with our points of view, we feel better about who we are. Our perceptions and values must always be better than the second person’s. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The next time you find yourself thinking of a response when someone is talking, silence your thoughts and listen. The act of listening goes a long way in creating meaningful connections. It makes the other person feel valued. You’ll also be learning a lot. And, importantly, remember to put your phone aside when you’re having a conversation.

Also read: The Healing Power of Listening- Lessons From a Personal Encounter

Have integrity

Stand for the truth, your truth, in every situation. Be that person who keeps their word. Be honest with those around you.  Just like you learned dishonesty, you can also learn to be honest and truthful.

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