By Jackie James

It’s time to celebrate…YOU! October is Self Promotion Month, so let’s focus on your personal growth and advancement by examining what makes YOU special. While most people can quickly list their failures, their regrets, and their flaws, instead, let’s concentrate on your TRIUMPHS, your DREAMS, and your UNIQUE FABULOUSNESS!

The most important step of personal growth is to know and accept yourself, regardless of where you are in your life. Trust that you are where you are supposed to be, and if you can be grateful for what you have learned and experienced to this point, you will find contentment. Do a self-assessment:  what are your strong points and what are your weaknesses? Knowing yourself is the first step in achieving your dreams!

Plan for your future. Contemplate what you want to achieve and then set a course of action. Don’t get discouraged if all does not go to plan; sometimes a deviation can be a welcomed surprise. Be flexible enough to make any necessary adjustments.

Recognize that everyone has their own journey; don’t be judgmental. Learn from others and be open-minded but guard your integrity. Don’t do or say something that compromises your principles, but if you do, forgive yourself. We all make mistakes!

Realize you have great power. You may not yet be a CEO, but you still have influence over your life. Don’t be ruled by fears; instead, embrace your abilities. Make your choice and don’t second-guess yourself, even if you find you made a wrong choice. Note that NOT making a choice, IS a choice, and you are being reactive, not proactive. Don’t “let” something happen to you; have the self-respect to make the hard choices, even if they may initially hurt. Don’t let disappointment shape you; let it be a catalyst for change.

Never stop learning. The more you know, even if it is through experience, can build your self-confidence. Be open to new challenges and have faith that you CAN handle them, whatever they may be. Even if you “fail”, you learn something.

Reflection on past events or choices is only valid if there is awareness and if necessary, change. If you find yourself in the same situation over again, the only way to get a different result is to try an alternative approach.  As Albert Einstein said, the definition of insanity is ‘Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

Create good habits. Successful people have routines, even if it is just consistently completing small tasks; recognize these accomplishments and use them to achieve even greater endeavors.

Have vision. Help others. Cut yourself some slack. Be patient that you are not exactly who or what you want to be—we are all a work in progress. Embrace your unique qualities, even if they are not conventional—ESPECIALLY if they are not conventional. The world needs more YOU, so take time to celebrate YOU!