We have huge blindspots
Most of us want to become better at what we do or become a better person in general. The problem is that we have too many blindspots for ourselves to really find out what we really need to work on. When something goes wrong, we can think of a hundred external factors for that reason, but we genuinely cannot see our own faults.
And when it comes down to it, most people WANT to know their flaws that they don’t see themselves. The problem is, it’s considered impolite for people to tell you of your faults when it is not completely necessary. Most people are non-confrontational, and not everyone takes criticism constructively.
Use the magic mirror around you
The solution to this? Just ask. I have experienced and seen numerous times when someone randomly asks, “What can I do to improve myself?” And immediately, almost without thinking, people give the asker a very constructive list of things they can work on. It’s like they’ve been thinking about it all along but never felt comfortable enough to share it.
By asking this very simple question often, you will constantly find things you are blinded by and can improve on. This works especially well when you ask people who can benefit from your improvement (like being more considerate to loved ones, setting more accountability for the team).
For instance, if the Queen from Snow White had a magic mirror as good as the “straight-forward friend”, the mirror would tell her that her problem is not that she’s not fair enough, but “You are too vain, self-conscious, and jealous of others. You can never be happy if you can’t accept yourself. You should just be happy with who you are and love life.” I consider that an infinitely better solution than trying to poison an innocent girl to death.
Set up Mirror Alerts
Often times, even after we know we need to improve something, it’s never instant, and we usually make the same mistakes over and over without realizing it. So after you know what you need to improve on, a good follow up is, “Thanks! Can you remind me every time I do that again? Sometimes I’m not aware of it…” And now you gave people the permission to harass you whenever you screw up. Pretty awesome.
What straight-forward advice have you gotten from friends, or one’s you have given to friends?
Reading is good, but socializing is more fun! I look forward to your ideas and experiences in the comment section!
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