How to Become the Person You Want to Be

16 January, 2021
Are you who you want to be? Or are you who everyone else wants you to be? There comes a time when you must decide, and that step requires more than just bravery or self-confidence. You need a plan and a strategy. Let's take a closer look!

Owner of your own business. Astronomer. Someone independent and sure of themselves. College professor. Influencer. Sports coach. A happier and more fulfilled person. Each person traces out their own dreams with colors and figures only they understand. What about you? How can you become the person you want to be? Where should you start?

Life goals, like desires, don’t appear before you at the snap of your fingers or just by saying some magic words. We all know that growth and personal improvement is a process that everyone isn’t ready for. Why? Because, to achieve some life goals, the idea of “Trust yourself and you’ll know the way” isn’t enough.

Becoming your ideal person, achieving your dream life, and being able to show those personality traits you long for requires an internal transformation. It’s a process where you change little by little to allow the best version of yourself to come out. It involves the ability to gradually reach what you want to achieve. It’s where you don’t give up, but rather continue to work towards your dream each day.

All of us are born as individuals, and it’s necessary to keep changing and adapting until you become the person you want to be. The time has come for you to achieve this too.

A man walking out towards the sea.

Keys to help you become the person you want to be

Carl Rogers was one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. His humanistic approach helped to create new perspectives and tools in the field of personal development. These views are still useful today. One issue for reflection that he pointed out was that each person wears a mask, or disguise, throughout their life, almost without realizing it.

These masks are like a protection to help you be socially accepted. By using these masks, people hope to be accepted, included, and even appreciated by others. However, due to this, there may come a time when you barely recognize yourself due to so many masks or disguises that you put on when you’re around others.

How can this happen? Well, it happens when you’ve lived your life oriented around others instead of inwardly focused on your own values, ideals, dreams, and desires.

That’s why it’s good to ask yourself the question: How do I become the person I want to be? You may have spent a lot of time isolating yourself from your inner voice. Thus, you need to start listening to yourself again. Only then can you start the transformation process. A path where you don’t try to make a new you but rather you allow the real you to emerge, the one you’ve silenced for so long.

Here are some keys to help you with your transformation journey.

Clarify who you want to be, not who you “should be”

Many people spend their lives working on a version of themselves that doesn’t even conform exactly to their own values. To put it another way, sometimes, you might tend to focus more on the person you “should be” and not as much on the person you really “want to be”.

What should you do if you realize that’s you? How can you become the person you want to be?

  • Firstly, specify how you want to see yourself in five years. Detail what kind of person you want to be, what you’ll be dedicating your life to, and who and what will surround you.
  • Next, think about why you want to be that kind of person. Is it your own desire or is something external influencing you? Does that future version of yourself fit in with your values?

Recognize your potential and identify your limitations

When you ask yourself “How can I become the person I want to be?”, first consider your potential and your shortcomings. Do you have the skills and abilities to shape that future version of yourself? If so, acknowledge those abilities and start to further develop them. Work on increasing your strengths.

On the other hand, it’s also important to identify your limitations. To do this, you have to free yourself from all the masks and disguises that you’ve hidden behind over the years.

In doing so, you may find many fears and insecurities. Someone who’s been too focussed on recognition and validation from others needs time to recover and strengthen their self-worth.

Awaken your psychological strengths

Your emotions, thoughts, and actions must be in harmony to reach your goals. Your whole being needs to be oriented towards those life goals that mean your happiness. How can you feel more worthy and reach an optimal state of mind?

One way to achieve this is by activating what psychologists Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman defined in 2004 as psychological strengths.

The following are the most appropriate in this context:

  • Enthusiasm. It’s what motivates hope. It’s the energy that mobilizes your thoughts to move towards a common purpose, combining creativity, self-confidence, and optimism.
  • Commitment. Developing a firm commitment to yourself and your goals is an important step to success.
  • Meaning. Everything you do, think, and feel must have meaning, a goal. Nothing you do should be by chance.
  • Transcendence. This means having a purpose and wanting to aspire to excellence. This concept is related to the peak that Abraham Maslow commented on in his hierarchy of human needs, where one aspires to self-actualization.

Accept your fears, they’re part of the transformation process

Another critical aspect of your journey to becoming who you want to be is acknowledging and accepting your fears. It’s useless trying to hide them or denying their existence. No one can begin the most decisive adventure of their life without fear. Fear is, after all, an indisputable part of our essence, of what human beings are.

The key is to keep moving forward despite your fears, to take risks despite them holding you back, to work around the boundaries they create. When you do that, it will show you it’s possible to keep improving yourself each and every day.

A woman looking out to sea.

To become the person you want to be, choose the best path for yourself every day

To become the person you really want to be, keep this one aspect in mind. Personal advancement, improving yourself, and transforming into a better version of yourself requires understanding how to choose the best path every day. Thus, if some day discouragement and frustration threaten to overwhelm you, choose which state of mind is better: defeatism or overcoming the challenge.

Here’s another scenario. What if another day you have two options before you? Should you choose the easy way out and adapt to what others expect of you? Or should you continue alone, working on what you want? You must dare to decide for yourself, to think about what’s the best decision for you in the long-term.

Don’t ignore the fact that your well-being and happiness depend on your making decisions at every turn. Making decisions with courage, while focusing on your goals, values, and expectations, will always be the best option. Always keep that in mind.

  • CLONINGER, C. R. (2005). Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. American Journal of Psychiatry162(4), 820-a-821. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.162.4.820-a
  • Peterson, C. y Seligman, ME (2004). Fortalezas y virtudes del personaje . Un manual y clasificación (págs. 53-89). https://doi.org/313971759