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How To Build Character – Unleashing Your Inner Excellence

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Whether you’re looking to improve your personal or professional life, building character can help you become the best version of yourself. But how does it happen? How do you build character to unleash your inner excellence? In this post, we’ll explore character and provide practical tips to develop it.

How to build character - unleash your inner excellence
How to build character – unleash your inner excellence

Building character involves several key components, such as self-reflection, setting goals, and taking action toward them. It means nurturing your inner excellence – the qualities that make you unique and special. It’s about developing discipline, integrity, empathy, and many other virtues.

Building good character is a lifelong journey that involves cultivating positive traits, fostering personal growth, and making choices aligned with your values

So, let’s dive into some practical tips. But first, let’s define the character and its importance in our lives.

What is character?

Character encompasses the attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that make up an individual’s moral and ethical makeup. You are not born with it but develop it through experiences, interactions, and choices.

Character shows when faced with tough situations, how we treat others, and the integrity with which we live our lives. 

It’s a real-life application of our values and virtues. 

What builds character?

Many factors contribute to building character, including:

  • Adversity: When faced with challenges and struggles, we can rise above them and demonstrate resilience, determination, and self-control.
  • Role models: We can learn a lot from observing others who embody qualities we admire. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or public figure, having positive role models can shape our character.
  • Self-reflection: Reflecting on our actions, beliefs, and values can help us identify areas for improvement and foster personal growth.
  • Personal accountability: Holding ourselves accountable for our choices and taking responsibility for their consequences is crucial to building strong character.

It’s about when challenges hit you. Do you take a deep breath and keep moving forward, or do you let it consume you?

It’s about staying true to yourself and your beliefs when faced with difficult decisions. It’s how you treat others, even when no one is watching.

These are some of the building blocks of character.

How to choose the “right” character traits

Character is not a one-size-fits-all concept. 

However, certain traits are universally recognized as virtuous and beneficial to possess:

  • Integrity: Being honest and having strong moral principles
  • Resilience: Having the ability to bounce back from challenges and setbacks
  • Compassion: Showing empathy and understanding towards others
  • Humility: Being humble and open to learning from mistakes and criticism
  • Courage: Standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity
  • Perseverance: Continuing to work hard towards goals despite obstacles or failures

While it may be tempting to try and adopt all of these traits at once, a more realistic approach is to focus on developing one or two at a time. 

You can gradually build a strong character foundation by setting small, achievable goals and consistently working towards them.

RELATED POST: Positive Character Traits List – 100 Good Qualities & Examples

RELATED POST: Negative Character Traits List – 98 Negative Qualities & Examples

Good character vs. good person

Good character vs Good person
Good character vs. Good person

At first glance, the terms “good character” and “good person” may seem interchangeable. However, there is a subtle but essential difference between the two.

A good person is defined by their actions – they are kind, caring, and generally do good deeds.

On the other hand, good character encompasses more than just actions; it includes honesty, integrity, and perseverance.

A good person can do good things without necessarily possessing strong character traits.

However, someone with good character is more likely to make ethical decisions and behave admirably.

RELATED POST: Personality vs. Character – What’s the difference between personality and character

Character vs. Reputation

Character vs Reputation
Character vs. Reputation

While your character is who you truly are, your reputation is how others perceive you. 

As Abraham Lincoln put it: “Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

RELATED POST: Character Quotes – 41 Motivational Quotes About Character

Unfortunately, our actions and choices can sometimes be misinterpreted or misrepresented, leading to a disparity between our character and reputation.

However, by building and maintaining good character, we increase the likelihood that our reputation reflects our true selves.

5 steps to build character

Here are five steps to build character.

5 steps to build character
5 steps to build character

1. Discover Your Core Values

The first step in strong character building is to understand your core values. Core values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide your decisions and actions. 

They define what you stand for and what matters most to you. 

Take time to reflect on the values that resonate deeply with you. 

Are honesty, integrity, compassion, or resilience among your core values? Identifying these values provides a moral compass for shaping your character.

RELATED POST: Core Values: Examples of 150+ Personal Values + Core Values List PDF

2. Live in Alignment with Your Values

Once you’ve identified your core values, consciously align your actions and choices with them. 

Living according to your values means making decisions that reflect your principles, even when it’s challenging. 

For example, if honesty is a core value, always strive to be truthful, even when facing difficult situations. 

Consistently acting in line with your values builds integrity and trustworthiness, two essential components of good character.

3. Practice Self-Awareness

Building good character requires self-awareness. 

Regularly reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. 

Are there areas where you can improve? 

Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses is essential for personal growth and character development. 

Self-awareness helps you recognize when you may be drifting away from your core values and allows you to realign your actions accordingly.

4. Cultivate Virtuous Traits

In addition to adhering to your core values, work on cultivating virtuous traits that contribute to good character. 

Traits like kindness, empathy, patience, and resilience are invaluable. 

Practice these traits in your daily interactions with others. 

Over time, they become ingrained in your character, enhancing your relationships and positively impacting those around you.

RELATED POST: Personality Traits List – 137+ Examples of Personality Traits

RELATED POST: Character Traits List – 115+ Examples of Character Traits

5. Seek Role Models and Mentorship

Surrounding yourself with positive role models and seeking mentorship can accelerate your character development. 

Observing individuals who exemplify the virtues and values you admire can provide valuable insights and guidance. 

Engaging with mentors who have walked a similar path can offer support and wisdom as you navigate your own journey toward building good character.

How can you develop positive character traits?

Tips on how to build character
Tips on how to build character

You can develop positive character traits through conscious effort and consistent practice. 

  1. Practice self-reflection: Self-reflection is vital to understanding one’s thoughts, behaviors, and actions. It helps identify areas for improvement and develop a plan to work on them.
  2. Be open to feedback: Feedback from others can be valuable in recognizing blind spots and working on areas that need improvement.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity: The company you keep can greatly influence your thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes. Surrounding yourself with supportive and positive individuals can help develop positive character traits.
  4. Set goals: Setting specific and achievable goals can help you stay focused and motivated toward personal growth.
  5. Practice gratitude: Being grateful for what you have can help develop a positive outlook on life and appreciate the good qualities in yourself and others.
  6. Be willing to learn and grow: Be open to learning new things, trying new experiences, and stepping out of your comfort zone. This can lead to personal growth and the development of positive character traits.

Let’s say you want to become more creative with new ideas flowing in. Or you strongly desire to achieve success, be productive, and complete tasks on time.

These positive character traits can be developed through conscious effort and practice to make them a part of your core personality.

RELATED POST: Big 5 Personality Traits: Introduction to Big Five Personality Traits

10 tips to improve your character

To have a high character, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Take responsibility for your actions and decisions.
  2. Practice forgiveness, both for yourself and others.
  3. Set personal goals and work towards achieving them.
  4. Learn from past mistakes and use them to grow.
  5. Show gratitude and appreciation for what you have.
  6. Build solid and genuine relationships with others.
  7. Be open-minded and willing to learn from diverse perspectives.
  8. Stay true to your beliefs and values, even in difficult situations.
  9. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  10. Continuously strive for personal growth and improvement. 

By incorporating these habits into your daily life, you can cultivate good character and become a positive influence on those around you.

Teaching kids about character

Nurturing good character in children is crucial for their personal and social development. 

Here are some practical ways to teach kids about character:

  • Lead by example: Children often learn best through observation, so embodying the traits you want them to develop is essential.
  • Encourage reflection: Help children identify and reflect on their actions and how they align with certain character traits.
  • Use storytelling: Stories are a powerful way to teach lessons about character and values. Choose books, movies, or even personal anecdotes that highlight positive traits.
  • Foster empathy: Encourage children to consider the feelings and perspectives of others in their actions and decisions.

Introducing these ideas early on can help shape our children into individuals with strong and admirable character.


Building good character doesn’t happen overnight but is a continuous process that requires self-awareness, commitment, and dedication to living by your core values

You can nurture your inner excellence by identifying your core values, aligning your actions with them, and cultivating virtuous traits.

There’s no right or wrong answer to developing good character. It’s a personal journey that requires self-reflection, growth, and learning and is filled with opportunities for personal development. 

As you become the best version of yourself, you’ll positively influence the world around you.

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