I am a personal believer that our lives are shaped by various experiences that we encounter, both good and bad. In life, we can either choose to let our experiences negatively affect us or shape us for the better into the people we become. Throughout childhood, everyone is raised differently, this plays a vital role in the outlook we have on life and our futures. Some of our best and worst qualities that we develop over time can be either attributed to our upbringing, or to the people we are at our core. This philosophy speaks to the theory of nature versus nurture, and how they affect us differently, and in many various ways. Through many defining moments in my life, I have been able to look back at the many aspects in which I have changed in a positive way. In our assigned reading, Drucker states “The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis.” (p. 101) This quote resonated with me deeply. From experience, I have learned that constructive criticism has shaped and improved many of my skills and weaknesses.
The most defining moment in my short life, up to this time, has been making the decision for myself to transfer from Great Bay Community College to The University of New Hampshire. There were many swaying factors that played into my situation when making this decision. I was unhappy with myself, my education and my overall well-being while attending Great Bay Community College. It felt as though a majority of the classes did not challenge me in the way I expected a college class to do. Understanding and appreciating my yearning for an improved, and more stimulating learning environment was a tough realization to come by. I so desperately wanted to be okay with the fact that I was at a community college, but I knew subconsciously that deep down, I was capable of pushing myself harder. I also faced many roadblocks when I talked to family about my plans to attend UNH in the Spring of 2018. My parents would have preferred for me to continue to live at home, go to Great Bay, and help out around the house. I believe this is mostly due to the fact that neither of my parents attended college and did not understand how necessary it is to get a degree. In the reading, Drucker says “But taking pride in such ignorance is self-defeating. Go to work on acquiring the skills and knowledge you need to fully realize your strengths.” (p. 102) Reading this quote reminded me of a conversation I had with my then friend, now roommate around November of 2017. She was encouraging me to attend UNH with her, that she knew I didn’t realize how capable I was, and that I didn’t believe in myself as much as she did. This is when I had made the decision to apply to the University of New Hampshire. Although I faced many challenges in transitioning schools, identifying my strengths and weaknesses aided me throughout the process greatly.
Admitting my weaknesses and downfalls has not always been the easiest thing for me to do. Moving out of the safety of my parent’s house, into my own apartment has proven to expose parts of my personality that need to be worked on. Some of the weaknesses I have been able to identify are my time management skills, strong headedness, and my habit of having a short fuse. Although, many of my friends attest that these attributes have long improved over the years, I know that I still have progress to make. I believe that over time as I have grown up and matured, my self-confidence and esteem has grown with me. “Self-esteem is an individual’s general feeling of self-worth. Individuals with high self-esteem have positive feelings about themselves, perceive themselves to have strengths as well as weaknesses, and believe their strengths are more important than their weaknesses.35 Individuals with low self-esteem view themselves negatively. They are more strongly affected by what other people think of them, and they complement individuals who give them positive feedback while cutting down people who give them negative feedback.36” (p 87-92, [271-291]) I find this to be very true for myself and how I have grown in the past couple of years. Previously, when I interpreted someone’s criticism coming across as harsh or unkind towards me, I always took it personally and resented them for it. Now that I have developed more into an adult, I am much more able to take criticism with a grain of salt and try my hardest to see things from another’s perspective. I believe that this has much to do with the improvement of my self-esteem in a professional, and social setting alike.
Over time, I have fine-tuned and enriched the many skills that I found myself successful at in the work place, and in my personal life. Some of these skills include being organized, hardworking, and having the ability to be both a leader and a team player. Having the capacity to recognize when I cannot be utilized in a leadership position is something that I have worked hard to focus on. When there are certain situations that I may not be well-versed in, I have the confidence to step back, and let others take the reins while I still give my input and thoughts. According to Peter Drucker, “Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values. Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person.” (Drucker, 2005) I have become more successful in both work and school, when I was able to start identifying the attributes that both helped me excel and held me back.
After taking this time to reflect and self-analyze on the ways I have changed and improved over the past years, I realize now how many strides I have made. Being able to admit to myself and others that there are still things I need to work on, makes me proud of myself. I believe that while our parents can (hopefully) raise us to the best of their ability and shape us into the good people they want us to be, it is ultimately up to me to ensure I align myself with a future I can be proud of. To further solidify this, I recently saw a quote written by Eliezer Yudkowsky that read “You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in” (Yurtoğlu, 2018). After the self-reflection throughout this essay, and reading this quote, it is further proof that it is up to me to make sure I become a self-aware individual in this world. For my future, I decided that I would no longer allow myself to be complacent in the work place, in my personal life, or in school. I have decided to be conscientious in my own life, and aim to live how I want to, not how I’m forced to.