1- Pray (or make an intention)
Someone told me a long time ago to make dua (pray) that I can see my own shortcomings. It's truly an amazing dua... I'm SO grateful to Allah for showing me a mirror and showing me where I need to grow as a person. This kind of self-awareness is truly a blessing. We don't want to go through life never healing our wounds and never growing as a human being.
2- Become comfortable with the uncomfortable
It's not easy to see your faults. It's a VERY uncomfortable feeling. Like Brene Brown says, we can't have comfort and courage at the same time. Personal growth takes A LOT of courage which automatically means tons of discomfort. Learning to recognize that discomfort as a cue for reflection is the first step toward change. We can either do that or waste time defending ourselves or attacking whoever/whatever brings it to our attention. It might get us off the hook, but our hearts become unsettled.
3- Look for your triggers
What moments in life elicit strong emotions out of you? Anger, grief, frustration, jealousy- any of these emotions in great intensity indicates something is not ok. That's your cue to investigate further... speaking of which...
Isn't it amazing how curious kids are? They learn so much through that curiosity and they don't let anything get in the way! That's what we need to do! Every time we're caught in an uncomfortable emotion, we want to pause and think... what is it exactly that makes this emotion so hard to feel? Why am I compelled to push this emotion away? What kind of feelings and thoughts does this evoke inside me? Why?
5- Ask your trusted and loving friends and family
Ask them where they think you need to make some improvements. Make a list for each person... see what the lists have in common. Pick sincere people- not people who're looking to always criticize you anyway. Children are also very honest and have interesting thoughts when we ask them this question.
UP NEXT: Now that we know what we need to do... how do we do it?