I am darn near perfect. The only thing that keeps me from just outright declaring my perfection is that I am also very humble. If other people could see my perfection the world would indeed be a better place!
I remain perfect pretty much right up to the time someone who cares about me talks some sense into me… then I see a little different me.
You don’t see yourself the way others see you. You may not think you’re perfect but because you’re human you likely hold yourself to a somewhat different standard than you hold others. It is much easier to state your principles than it is to live them.
The person that talks some sense into me is called a mentor. (or my wife but that’s a different post) They are a truth teller. They see my world from the outside, without the fog of ego, defensiveness, shame, and the need to be liked.
They see me the way others see me and they paint me a picture so I can see it too.
That helps me be a better me. If you want to be a better you then you need a mentor. If you don’t want to call them a mentor then call them a coach. You can call them whatever you like but they need to care enough about you to invest in your growth by being honest with you. Even when “honest” hurts. It’s okay to be friendly with them but they don’t necessarily have to be a friend, it might be better if they weren’t.
You can hire a professional coach or select someone that you admire and that most people see as successful… however you define successful. Whether your coach/mentor is paid or not that best way to repay them is by following their advice. Listen, REALLY LISTEN, to what they have to say, linger on their words until they sink in. If you’ve picked the right mentor then they are telling you the truth. If they are telling you the truth then you NEED to listen.
Regardless of your current level of success you will be better off with a mentor. Even if you’ve reached the pinnacle of your career you will be better off with a trusted sounding board.
A coach or mentor will not tell you what your principles are, they just help you live them.