How to Figure Out Who You Want to Be

Don’t strive to be someone you’re not. Aim to be a better version of who you already are.

Every day, I try to be a better person than I was last year, last month, and even yesterday.

It’s not because I dislike myself but because I want to be the best version of myself. I want to grow and improve.

If you’re reading this, it’s because you want to grow too.

The problem is you have no idea how that person looks like. And how can you become better when you don’t know what a better version of you is?

It’s like looking for a person at the airport without a description of how they look.

We must find ways to grow

Have you ever heard gossip from someone and wondered why they’re still acting like they’re in high school? Have you questioned why there are still homophobic, racist, or sexist people?

It’s because people like this refuse to grow and open their minds.

They want the status quo and to stick to what they know because it makes them feel safe.

They don’t care about becoming better people; they want to be who they’ve always been. But that’s a boring and limiting life.

When you don’t look for ways to improve, you can’t cross the lines you’ve set for yourself.

You don’t take chances and grasp at new opportunities. You live the life you were dropped in without complaint.

Is that the person you want to be?

Good news: you already know who you want to be

Deep inside, you know who you want to be.

You know the vision and expectations you have for yourself. You might even be trying to reach it subconsciously with the choices you make every day.

You just have to bring that vision into the light.

How to figure out who you want to be

First, take out a pen and a piece of paper. (Write, don’t type.)

Now, instead of writing down who you want to be, write down the person you don’t want to become.

For (a short) example, this is what I wrote down earlier.

“I don’t want to be the type of writer whose actions don’t correlate with her words. I don’t want to quit when things get hard. I don’t want to be the person who comes up with excuses to not do the things she proclaims to love.”

It’s easier to figure out who you don’t want to be and what you want to run away from.

After you’ve done that, flip your words:

“I want to be a bestselling author who says that she wrote every single day, put in the hard work, and never let the overwhelm stop her. I want to be the type of person who does the things she says she’ll do, sticks to the habits she makes for herself and is consistent.”

By knowing who you don’t want to be, you can figure out who you do want to be.

You can’t change traits you don’t like

To be clear, this isn’t a list of things you dislike about yourself and want to change.

If you’re a shy introvert, you can’t write, “I want to be an extrovert.”

You can’t change who you already are, but you can find ways to use who you are to your advantage and to not let your traits stop you from being better.

Instead, a shy introvert could write, “I want to be the kind of person who dares to go up to someone and talk to them.”

To give another example, I’m not going to write down, “I want to be the type of person who stays up until two in the morning writing.”

Why not? Because I’m so not a night owl. Seven-thirty in the morning is when I write best.

You don’t become a better version of yourself by changing who you are. You act in spite of who you are until those traits that hold you back become so small they can’t stop you.

Why does this matter?

Striving to be the best version of yourself is crucial because it’ll help you reach your goals.

By knowing who you want to be, you have a guide — someone to work toward becoming rather than stumbling in the dark trying to find them.

I don’t just want to be a writer. I want to be a writer who writes every day, shares her work, and never gives up.

When I keep that in mind, it pushes me to work so I can reach that vision I have for myself.

Figure out who you want to be, and then start working toward becoming that person today.

Start by taking small steps

You become who you want to be by taking small steps toward that person.

Say you want to voice your opinions more often because you usually don’t in fear that someone will judge you.

You don’t have to be blunt the next time someone tells you something you disagree with. No one’s asking you to start big.

Practice with something so small it seems insignificant.

When your friend tells you they liked a movie, but you dislike it, tell them. This might sound like a small example, but I would lie about small things like this all the time just a couple of years ago because I didn’t want someone to judge me. I didn’t want to seem “uncool.”

By taking small steps like this, I learned to voice my opinions even when everyone disagreed.

Small steps are what’ll lead you to say what you really want in the long run. Sooner or later, you’ll able to say how you feel and not give a crap what others think.

And you can apply taking baby steps toward anyone you want to be.

Journal by me, Itxy Lopez

Remember: Don’t strive to be someone you’re not. Aim to be a better version of who you already are.

This is how you figure out how to be a better person. Find out who you don’t want to be, and then do the actions that will steer you away from that person.

Despite wanting to change certain things about yourself, love yourself exactly as you are anyway. You can love yourself and still want to change.

Start working toward becoming the person you want to be today.

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