Top 18 Ways to Build Your Character for Life

Despite all the talent in the world without a strong character, anyone can fail. Because talent does not guarantee that one can sustain tough times or maintain their success for a long time. So, if you want to succeed in the long run, you must build a strong character. 

Unlike your personality, your character is malleable. With hard work, self-reliance, and the right attitude, anyone can build their character from scratch.  So, do not worry, it is never too late to start working on yourself. 

If you want to know more about how to build your character, this article will help you. Read on and start building your character.

How to Build Your Character?

1. Learn to be Self-Reliant

There is nothing wrong with asking for a little help. But it is a problem when you need help with every little problem. Because no one else will live your life for you. If you rely on others every time you face a difficult situation, you will not have any self-esteem. 

Take responsibility for your own life. You can get advice from others, but you need to be the driver of your own life. The first step of becoming self-reliant is making your own decisions. 

You do not need to know how to survive in the wilderness, but you should learn survival skills like cooking and first-aid. Manage your finances and work on your own health. By doing these things, you will be more in control of your life and thus self-reliant.

2. Acknowledge Your Mistakes

The ability to acknowledge your shortcomings and mistakes is a strong character trait. 

There is no need for improvement if no mistakes have been made. But humans are inherently flawed, therefore you will make mistakes. You will get nowhere by running away from your mistakes. 

By acknowledging that you were wrong and you made a mistake is the first step of self-improvement. It creates scope for growth. Being accountable for your actions is like saying, “Yes, I made a mistake, now I will correct it.”

Sometimes you cannot fix a blunder you caused. But you can learn from it and make sure you never make the same mistake. You will be wiser after you acknowledge your mistake and understand why you made it in the first place. 

3. Use Your Past Failures as Fuel

Failure is just one of the hurdles you will face in life. It is not the end of the road. It is a part of your journey, and there is much to learn from it.

Failure is an indicator of what went wrong. If you want to succeed in life, you need to face defeat head-on. Instead of letting one defeat consume you, let it fuel you for your next endeavor. Your attitude towards failure is indicative of how you are as a person.

 A person who can turn their failures into success stories are people who can face any situation. Look at Jack Ma, for example, he failed in school, he failed to get a decent job at first, but today he is a business magnate. 

4. Pop the Bubble

Your comfort zone will be the death of all your dreams and aspirations. Comfort is like an addiction, a bubble that encases you and hides you from reality. 

A common proverb from Greek Tragedies is that

“Man must suffer to be wise”.

Your comfort zone keeps you safe and sound. But it gives no space for misery from which you can grow. 

Try learning a new language, try your hand at debating or travel alone. Try out the things that intimidate you. That uncomfortable feeling, while you are trying out something new, is an indication that you are learning.  

When you pop the bubble of comfort, you will start gaining experience. Your experience gained from learning new things will later add to your character development. 

5. Try Your Hand at a Minimum Wage Job

Anyone can do a minimum wage job. You will not need a specific skill to get the job. All you will need is patience. 

Work as a dishwasher or a waiter at a fast-food chain or a delivery boy. These minimum wage jobs are uncomfortable and hard to do. But there is a lot to learn from it.

You will learn a lot about how to manage your finances, how a business works and how to deal with people from a minimum wage job. Moreover, you will become more accepting and empathetic towards others.

A person of high character will learn that no job is little. You need to be responsible and sincere even while doing a small task. 

6. Work Hard and Avoid Indolence

Nobody likes a person who is all talk and no action. You can sell yourself with your words, but can you survive with just words?

People who have a strong character avoid idleness. You can sleep a day away. But one day turns into another and another and then you become a sloth. Your indulgent behavior will be your ruin.

Incorporate your hobbies into your work to avoid indolence. If you love art and watching animation, why not become an animator? If you love reading, consider becoming an editor, writer or an academician. 

Work hard towards a goal. But make your journey fun by working hard on something you love and strongly believe. 

7. Dare to Dream Big

Fear can limit our dreams. It makes us focus on our shortcomings and what we can never achieve. Instead of thinking of possible solutions to our problems, fear cripples us. 

Having a clear vision is a strong character trait of influential people. If your dream is to be a famous author, write every day, join a writing agency and most importantly gain experience. Whatever your dream is, work hard to turn them into reality.

If you want to succeed, you need to think big and let your dreams define your goals. Start working towards your goals with a clear vision. Let your dreams fuel you forward.

8. Run Your Own Race

If you keep looking at the person behind you or beside you while running, you will lose the race. If you keep on looking anywhere but forward, you will fall. You will only burn yourself out if you are on a race with others. 

There is no point in seeking validation or comparing yourself with someone else. Because no amount of validation from others will make you love yourself and, there will always be someone better than you. 

Instead of envying the success of someone else and running after arbitrary goals, look inwards. Set personal goals for yourself. Your race is with yourself. You are running after a better version of yourself, not someone else. 

9. Engage in Civil Debates

A person of strong character keeps a cool head in the face of opposition. When someone speaks against their beliefs or tries to sabotage them, they try to face that situation keeping a cool head. 

In your daily life, you will have to deal with unpleasant people. If you lose your cool in front of them, you will only make things worse for you. 

If you want to nurture patience and maintain composure during tough times, take part in civil debates. Instead of turning away from confrontation, face it head-on. 

The more you engage in debates with people, the more you will learn how to deal with people. You will also learn to discern which fight is worth getting into and which is not. 

10. Surround Yourself with the Right Kind of People

Cut out the toxic people from your life. Learn to recognize who is good for you and wish the best for you. Surround yourself with people you admire and respect. 

If you see someone succeeding in life, you will want to learn a thing or two from them. By emulating them, you too will be one step closer to bettering yourself.

 If your friends are busy working towards the future, you will too think of the future, because you do not want to be left behind. 

The best kind of people are those who bring out the best in you. Find them and cherish them. The right kind of people will influence your character development. 

11. Try Taking the Lead

If you want to be a man of action, you need to start taking the lead. To succeed in your work life or any other aspect of life, you need to be proactive. 

You can assume leadership by being proactive. Take a small initiative to bring change. Do not be afraid of failure and offer your ideas even if they might get rejected. 

Step up to the full responsibility of your role. No matter how small of a role you play, make sure that you do it well. By doing so, you will be confident enough to try something out of the box like speaking up. 

Take the lead and be the first to initiate good relationships with people. When you take the lead, it shows you care. A person with a strong character is someone who has good leadership quality not just in work but in their personal relationships too.

12. Sit Down, Be Humble

Humility is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it is the indicator of a strong character. A humble person knows even the most successful person can lose everything in a blink of an eye. 

The success of an individual is not the result of their hard work only. Their family, friends and their situation in life plays a big part in their success. They also acknowledge that there are people better than them or, there will be someone better than them someday. 

If Sheldon Cooper can learn to be humble and appreciate his friends for playing a part in his success, then so can you. 

13. Find the Balance

A person with a strong character is always in control of their affairs. They know how to balance family and work life. 

It is hard to find the perfect balance of work time, family time and “me” time. But with time, you can learn to find the balance. If you take on a managerial role, you can also learn how to balance things. 

Again, a big part of finding the balance is to get your priorities straight. It is like juggling 52 balls at the same time and dropping the unimportant ones. Sometimes you have to drop a “me time” ball for a “family time” ball. Sometimes you need to choose work over family. 

You need to learn to discern what job at hand is more important at present. There is no shortcut to finding the balance. 

14. Be Kind to Your Enemy

Spread kindness and let your character flourish. A person of strong character is not petty. They understand that no person is unimportant. Moreover, they know how important it is to separate emotions from actions. 

One of the best ways to build character is to be kind to others. Being kind to others keeps you grounded to reality. Again, being kind in the face of adversity, to your enemy is a great show of strong character. 

Being kind towards your enemy does not mean that you are going out of your way to help your enemy. It simply means that you have the good conscience to not let your emotions control your behavior or actions.  

15. No Lie is Little

Little lies lead to bigger lies. It is like a domino effect. You keep on lying to keep from being found out for your first lie. But like little Johnny got caught for lying about eating sugar, your lie too will come to light someday.

A person who has a habit of lying is always afraid of being caught. No matter how confident of a liar they are, their confidence starts chipping off when they are caught once.

If you have a habit of lying, try not to lie about the little things. For example, if you have to attend a reunion with old friends but you do not want to attend. Then be honest and let them know you are not feeling up to it. 

If you keep lying about little things, people will have a poor impression of you. They will stop trusting and respecting you. 

16. Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

Always needing other people to have a good time is an indication that you are not self-reliant. When you constantly need others for emotional support and well-being, it means that they have an influence over you. 

Learn to trust yourself and enjoy your own company. Do not vent your troubles to others always. Because then the change in your mood will depend on their response. 

You cannot succeed in life if your self-image, self-belief and emotions depend on other people. If you want to build your character, start by doing things on your own. 

Go to a coffee shop alone or watch a movie alone. Learn how you can also be happy on your own.

17. Don’t Be a Sore Loser

There is nothing worse than a sore loser. If you are stuck on your one defeat you will never win. If you want to build a strong character, accept your defeat graciously. 

It is hard to accept losing in an important match or failing to get into your dream college. But you need to accept that defeat to succeed in your next endeavor. Instead of being frustrated over one defeat, you need to learn from it and look forward. 

To learn to accept defeats you should take part in different sports, cultural competitions or even play board games. When you get used to losing, you will be able to accept it easier. But that does not mean you will give up on winning either.

In the face of success, be humble. Remember all your failures and struggles. But do not forget to give yourself a pat in the back for a job well done. Celebrate your victory in private. 

18. Challenge Yourself

Don’t set yourself up for failure by chasing unrealistic goals. But challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself with well-defined and realistic goals. 

 A lot of us have the habit of setting vague personal goals. Instead of setting a goal of reading 50 books a year, set your goal to reading a few pages every day and completing a book every week.

Again, instead of deciding on a weight goal alone. Define your fitness goal by personalizing your healthy diet and workout regime. Moreover, challenge yourself to do more.

Do not set unrealistic goals but challenge yourself with well-defined and difficult goals to develop your character. Because only under pressure do we improve. 


Lastly, how to build your character depends on your conviction. All the advice in the world will not help you if you do not commit yourself to improve. Remind yourself to do better and stay true to your values to succeed in life. 

I hope that this article left you feeling motivated and one step closer to becoming the best version of yourself. 

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