What Are the Nine Life Skills?

by Michelle Blessing

Everyone has the potential to do extraordinary things in life. According to the website Essential Life Skills, there are nine essential life skills that can provide you with the direction and motivation you need to achieve your goals. Learning and applying these nine skills can help to strengthen your self-concept, enhance your critical thinking skills and provide you with focus for your dreams.

Know Yourself

You need to understand who you are as a person to set and attain goals in life. Become aware of your strengths and weaknesses by listening to others around you and noticing your own accomplishments. Knowing your true self allows you to interact more positively with others, make more effective decisions and find your purpose in life.

Love Yourself

Loving yourself means accepting the person you are, including your flaws and faults. Take care of yourself physically, spiritually and mentally by working on each part of yourself every day. Exercise and proper nutrition demonstrate caring for your body. Learn something new every day. Find a higher power in life to nourish your spirit and give you focus.

Be True to Yourself

Being a follower usually makes you unhappy. Being true to yourself, on the other hand, can lead to self-fulfillment. Although you should listen to others and take their advice into consideration, you need to follow your heart. Don't do something against your character to please another person. Being true to yourself involves taking a stand for who you are and what you believe in.

Personal Value System

Your personal value system will guide your goals and continue to define your self-concept. Respect, honesty and loyalty are important values, according to the Essential Life Skills website. Define your personal value system by following what you believe and the qualities you find endearing in others.


Your view and attitude toward life differ depending on your life experiences. A negative perspective can shadow your life, creating tension and sadness. Adopting a positive -- or at the very least, realistic -- perspective helps you be open to the possibilities life can offer.

Open Mind

A positive perspective and open mind work together to help you meet life goals. Being open-minded allows you to see situations in a new and different light. Repetition can lead to boredom, and boredom leads to monotony. Monotony can steal your focus and stall your life progress. Be willing to see every side of the situation for what it is, as well as what it isn't.

Sense of Humor

Laughter is the best medicine, or so an old saying tells us. Being able to laugh when life gets you down is good for your body and mind. According to WebMD, laughter can reduce blood sugar levels, aid in sleep and relaxation, and increase your level of infection-fighting antibodies. Find something funny every day, laugh at a good joke or read a comic strip; it is good for your health and focus.


Disappointing things happen in life, but you need to be able to bounce back and keep fighting. Resilience means facing your troubles head on and continuing to meet your daily responsibilities, even in the event of tragedy. Find your purpose and focus each day. Repeat a mantra to get yourself moving. Fake it at first if you don't believe it; you eventually will find the strength to believe.


Acceptance helps you to realize that not all life goals are attainable. You will fail and make mistakes. However, you are an important person, and your life has meaning. Accepting life as unfair at times and wonderful at others is part of being a responsible adult. View your life situation for what it is and recognize that somewhere, someone is suffering more than you might ever know or understand.

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About the Author

Michelle Blessing has experience in child development, parenting, social relationships and mental health, enhanced by her work as a clinical therapist and parent educator. Blessing's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing her master's degree in psychology with a specialization in applied behavior analysis.

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