We can read book after book on how to become a better person than we were before, but in the end it is up to us to do so.
Over a good portion of my sobriety, I read a lot of different books on growth, spirituality, and what can be called new age, and they all helped confirm my conclusion that the decision is always up to us to improve on ourselves.
One of the best things I read came from a book called Conversations with God, which was about more than just improving on ourselves, and it gave what I thought was a very good suggestion to those of us who want to become better people.
Although I’m not sure the answer actually came from god, it said we need to ask ourselves one important question in life when trying to change as a person. This question is a simple one, and something I often ask myself in my efforts to become a better person than I was before. Who do I want to be?
When we’re angry about something, do we want to be the person who yells and says hurtful things? Or if resentful over something, do we want to be the person who stays angry and doesn’t do anything to make things better?
We can also ask ourselves who we want to be in other situations, for example when we feel worried about something. Here we can simply ask ourselves do we want to be the person that lets any fear we’re feeling affect our happiness and ruin our day. The same goes for any sadness we feel over something.
Keep in mind though, that changing ourselves and becoming the person we want to be takes time and practice, and expect that you’re going to fail at it on some days.
Although I’ve had a lot of time and practice trying to be a better person than I was before, I certainly still fail at it. However, the good news is that it has become much easier for me to not stay stuck in whatever emotions I’m feeling and not beat myself up over my behaviors.
I’ve also gotten better at taking action in an effort to move on and grow. To do this, I talk to someone about how I’m feeling, and sometimes I pray about it. I’ve found that prayer works no matter what our beliefs are about there being a god of some kind, but the thing to remember is we still need to take action.
Besides talking to another person we trust, as we improve on ourselves, we can also talk to ourselves. I know for some of us that the voice in our heads can be damaging, especially when we heard it telling us how bad we were for so long, but it can become an ally.
Today, my self-talk is almost always positive and I tell myself that it’s all right to make mistakes now and then. However, when I ask myself who do I want to be in a situation that has the potential to bring out the worse in me, I cannot allow that voice to justify behaviors that are not conducive of becoming a better person than I was before.
Again the decision to take action is up to me. And asking myself who I want to be and don’t want to be, can go a long way in helping me improve on myself.