Recipe For Getting Better At Anything

It’s been said we only see 60% of ourselves. Turn your head to the side as far as it goes. You still can’t see your back. We all have blind spots. Weaknesses we’re not aware of. Other people see them but are sometimes hesitant to tell us about them. Telling the truth in love is difficult and risky, so important things often go unsaid.

As a result, we can remain unaware of our shortcomings. Businesses continue to produce sub-standard results. Relationships remain strained. Society accepts the status quo. Churches stay busy but don’t produce meaningful results. Things could be better, but because we lack awareness, they continue being sub-par.

We all need help. We may not like to admit it but it’s true. Whether it’s in interpersonal relationships, technical skills, physical well-being or business principles, asking for and receiving help is vital to maintain health. Thank goodness for experts. Counselors, teachers, advisors, personal trainers, and consultants all specialize in assessing specific situations and helping make things better.

Every successful outcome needs the right components. When my wife makes chocolate chip cookies, she adds the right ingredients, uses her baking skills, and produces delicious results. These cookies are amazing. The same is true in making anything that’s good. Here are seven steps to improving anything and the key ingredient to each step.

Assessing Your Current Reality
They say you don’t know what you don’t know. So, seeing a clear and accurate picture of your current reality is the first step in getting better. The key ingredient here is the value of continuous improvement. Genuinely seeking to get better is the foundation on which the improvement process is built.

Realizing There’s An Issue
Once you’ve assessed the reality of your situation, there will always be at least one area that needs to get better. There may be more but it’s good to focus only on the major issue. The key ingredient here is emotional intelligence, which is the ability to see and appropriately respond to the reality that is going on around you. In other words, you need to possess the maturity to be aware of your issues.

Admitting Your Limitations
Now we come to the difficult part. We need to (*gulp*) admit we don’t have the capacity to adequately address the problem. The key ingredient here is humility. The Bible often speaks of the blessings of humility and the dangers of pride. Having a humble heart and an openness to improve are vital aspects in getting better.

Asking For Help
Another tough one. It’s one thing to admit there’s a problem. It’s an entirely different thing to ask for help. The key ingredient here is courage. If you’re serious about improving, there will finally come a time when you’ll need to summon your God-given courage and ask for help. This is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of maturity and strength. And there are lots of trained professionals ready to give the needed help.

Engaging In The Process
The next step is to actively participate in the improvement process. Outside experts are non-biased, wise, and experienced. So, listen to your consultant, coach, or therapist. Work with them. They are on your team and they are for you. And they will tell you the difficult truth. The key ingredient here is vulnerability. Your job is to heed their advice. It may not be comfortable, but it will be worth it.

Accepting Feedback
You’ve already admitted you need help and you don’t have the capacity to get better on your own. And you’ve asked for help. The next logical step is to receive feedback from the experts. The key ingredient here is openness. You need to be open to accept their advice. Consider their recommendations and proceed with Spirit-led wisdom.

Applying Recommendations
Finally, you need to do the hard work the experts advise. The key ingredient here is determination. Strip away the unfruitful programs, damaging attitudes, and unproductive processes. Roll up your sleeves and work diligently on improving. It may get worse before it gets better but trust the process. If you rely on God’s help and do the work, be assured, things will get better.