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How do you balance personal growth with just being yourself?


Gyromite

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I ask this because over the past two years, I’ve: lost 100+ pounds, been the first in my family to have graduated college, established myself firmly in a career I love, gotten over a significant deficit in social skills, gone on real dates for the first time in my life, developed countless meaningful new hobbies, cut my cholesterol in half, learned to lift weights/workout at the gym with confidence, etc. etc. So after all those significant changes, now I really feel like a new person at 25. The trouble I’m faced with now is how to put healthy limits on what I should be willing to change about myself and what should stay put.

 

This question came up for me when I was at a birthday get together for a friend. There was one person there who was the center of the group’s attention the whole time with amazing results, telling jokes, teasing, stories, flirting, everything. A year ago, I was so shy I probably would have tried to find a way not to even go to the event that night, but here I was. So with my newfound “can do attitude” I started thinking that with some hard work and practice, I could be like that guy too. But then I asked myself should I want to be like that guy and I didn’t have an answer. Half of me wants to keep pushing myself to improve and the other half says to chill out and go with the flow.

 

Obviously people should always be striving to grow and improve, but at what point do you draw the line and say “Ok, I’m not changing this, it’s just the way I am?”

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interesting question. i think the most challenging, and important part, in self development and improvement is learning to just be yourself and trust your gut instinct. you shouldnt try to be like that guy. surrounding yourself with the right people for you, and going to the places where you want to go will naturally bring out hte best qualities in yourself. now those best qualities might be along the lines of being a crowd-pleaser, as the fellow at the social event you were at was, or your best qualities might be quietly confident and observant. or it could be somewhere in between. whatever it is, if its right for you and you are comfortable with it, then you're on the right path and should stick to it.

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I think it would be helpful to define "self". For me, my self is NOT my body, my degree, my job, or even my brain dominance (lower left quadrant for those keeping score at home). I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

 

My spirit is of God, yearning to be closer to God. So anything I do that gets me closer to that is not changing my "self", it's getting me closer to my real self.

 

I am in favor of going with the flow, as long as it is the right flow. God is a flow, it is the flow of the entire force of nature. Going with that flow sometimes means making changes to my form, which, as I said is not my true self.

 

HTH

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Personal growth is just being myself. There is no difference. We ( humans) are not static selves, we change constantly. That is what it is to be a self, it is to grow all the time. There need be no conflict there. Decide who you want to be and be that person, that is you.

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i don't see the two as being mutually exclusive.

 

I think a person can still be true to themselves and live within their own personality and being, and still grow and improve within that persona.

 

For example, a person might a skilled athlete and recognises that this is true self, so to speak, but this doesn't mean they cannot build on this and become a better athlete. Anyhow, I also feel that by simply living we are growing and improving, since we are always acquiring new experiences and new knowledge.

 

But I think one thing also is that you are comparing yourself to somebody else, which I think is not good in general. Obviously, everybody is unique. And because everybody is unique, then a person's talents, abilities and thus outcomes in life would be different. Man A who is more of a ladies' man and more charming than Man B is not necessarily inherently better than Man B. Who defines what or who is better anyhow? It simply means that Man A has different strengths than Man B does. While Man A is getting some all the while, Man B might make a new scientific breakthrough that changes people's lives for generations to come. Who really is better in this instance?

 

I'd say always be true to oneself and never be afraid to improve on your own strengths. In life, I feel, we should become more than we are.

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Personal growth is about being yourself. Sometimes we might need a bit of help in finding out who that self is, especially if we come from a family where emotions were denied. A useful pointer is if you find yourself feeling envious of someone - this isn't necessarily negative, but can be a way of letting you know that they have something you want. Then it's up to you to decide whether it's practical/ethical/legal to go ahead.

 

Otherwise, we are not static. We are either in a state of growth, or a state of decline, and if you're open to new experiences and willing to learn from them you're much more likely to grow.

 

With your reaction around the very witty, extrovert guy - what exactly would you be looking for, if you were to become like him? Is it a joyful existence? The attention of people around? To develop your sense of humour? Trying to be like someone else is a waste of time and energy, but if it's some aspect of the way he is which intrigues you, there's nothing stopping you getting that for yourself - in your own way.

 

I also agree totally with NowandZen in the importance of spirituality in finding your essential self - in whatever way you understand God. But it is a journey, not a destination.

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How To LiVe Your Truth
How To LiVe Your Truth

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