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The Real Outcomes of Self-Development

The Real Outcomes of Self-Development

Things change when you start working on yourself. Some things that you expect to be too clichéd actually do happen, and others take you by surprise. Here are some things that arise when you spend time being the real you.

Haters gonna hate

No matter how well off you are or how well you have it together, there will always be people who will criticize you. The trick is not to buy into the number one lie: “You are lacking.”

Some will do it out of jealousy, some will do it out of spite, and others will do it to push you. But they all tell themselves “I’m not being nasty” or “I’m trying to help them grow.” Only some of them will actually turn the criticism into something constructive for you to work on. The reason being, it’s not about what you’re lacking—you already have everything to make the most out of your life—it’s about which parts you can make better. Constructive criticism will show you those parts.

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Friendship masks fall to the floor

As people start seeing you for who you are, you start seeing them for who they are. Sincerity increases beyond value. People who genuinely want to know you are intrigued and go out of their way to discover more about you, from you. You’ll find yourself in a position of authentic friendships, the ones that don’t use you as a time or space occupier, or to fill an emotional void. Instead of blowing their own horn and forcing you to blow yours to make a masked friendship work, you’ll find yourself in the presence of people who keep you accountable to your own standards and priorities. These are friends that add value to your life and you to theirs.

Self-inflicted drama becomes childish

When you know yourself better, you know the way you tick. You understand what sets you off on an emotional rollercoaster and what it looks, sounds, and feels like when the internal furnace starts to boil. Because you know this, you know when to walk away before it blows over, you eliminate plenty of embarrassment, moments of apologies, and a lot hurt for yourself and those around you. You become really good at seeing the outcomes of your own actions before they’ve taken place.

Drama becomes child’s play and stays in your childhood—where it belongs.

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There will always be moments where the unpreventable happens, but when those moments occur, you’re also better equipped to handle them in a more dignified manner.

Opportunities are a-knockin’

All of a sudden, you find yourself living in a world where there are an influx of invitations, chances, opportunities, and challenges. A lot of them will be super exciting, some of them terrifying and daunting, others tedious and boring, and others still weird and whimsical. But you’ve extended the thoughts of your own limitations and now have the ability to test new waters. As you make decisions by sifting through these new prospects, you’d think the opportunities would slow down, but they just keep on coming, and they get better with time.

You stick to your guns

After a while, you will have learned your basic daily routine and have it pretty much down pat. When you go to embrace a new opportunity or habit, you’re able to draw from what you’ve already learned about yourself; your reactions, how long it takes you to form a habit, how you think, what you need to do to overcome it and keep motivated. Your stamina becomes one of your greatest assets.

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It becomes more than a stale habit—it’s an attitude and a lifestyle change.

Having the stamina to do the little tedious things, even when you don’t feel like it, makes it easier to strive for newer and greater things. Stamina isn’t what makes you start something, but it’s what keeps you going (#Stamina2Strive) and it’s one of the most powerful skills you will master to succeed every day.

You’re actually happier

Everywhere you go, people start commenting on how happy you are. Your attire, your posture, your attitude and mood—they all reflect joy in unison. Your actual presence starts radiating exuberance, and the people around you feel it. You become so comfortable in who you are because you know your strengths and you use them to the max. But equally, you embrace your weaknesses for where they’re at, look forward to where they’re going, and enjoy the process. In becoming the best version of yourself, you actually like who you are without having to be fake.

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You’re rocking being real, and the world digs that.

The world can no longer convince you of who you are, because you already know. When all the hard work pays off, the best bit is this:

You’re not even trying anymore!

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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