Your Path to Self-Growth


Independence is a wonderful thing. It signifies your ability to stand on your own feet and think for yourself -- the hallmark of self-growth and all things that make you whole as a person. Sometimes it can be a bit scary venturing out on your own without someone to do all the decision-making for us. But rather than be intimidated, embrace the challenge. See it as a milestone in your life.

Here are things you can do as you make that journey to find yourself and establish your own identity:

• Observe people around you and note their habits and treatment of others.

Separate the admirable traits from the negative ones. Use the former as your peg to turn yourself into a better person, and use the latter as a reminder of the things that go against your better judgment.

• Start making decisions for yourself.

Weigh the pros and cons of each situation, but do not ask anyone what they think you should do. Part of self-growth includes learning to trust your own instincts.

• Learn to accept your frailties and imperfections.

That way, when you make mistakes, you won't be so hard on yourself. A mature and independent individual will be more accepting of himself and not allow any mess-ups to derail him from pursuing his goals and becoming the best he can be.

• Try to do things on your own before asking for help from others.

If you've been so used to receiving assistance at the onset, now is the time to break free from that and go "solo." That is, until you can honestly assess that it's time to get some help.

• Self-growth is also about discovery.

If you've never been away from home or have always done things with family and friends, then go on a short trip. Don't let anyone tag along. Think of this as "me time" - a time for personal reflection, relaxation and enjoyment. Quiet moments have a way of stimulating our minds and helping us discover things about ourselves, things we are unable to do when surrounded by the cacophony of our environment. We also learn to fend for ourselves, thus honing our survival instincts.

• Learn to start saying no.

You don't have to accept all social invitations. You don't have to agree to everything that is said. Say yes only to people, occasions and ideas that really matter. Don't be afraid to go against the grain.

• Keep experimenting, trying, discovering and surprising yourself.

Enjoy your journey to self-growth and remember that you alone can transform yourself into the person you wish to become. Good luck!
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