When was the last time you felt deeply satisfied with who you are, your relationships, and the life you are living? This year? Five, 10, 25 years ago? Ever? Life is such a gift, but often we go through our lives unintentionally denying ourselves the joy and fulfillment of leading a completely authentic life. Instead, we often live according to the “script” given to us by our parents or partners, or according to the expectations and needs of others in an effort to achieve or maintain acceptance and approval. Others feel weighed down by responsibilities and think they have no choice but to stay stuck in their current circumstances. We rarely take time to really look within to consider if we are the person we choose to be, and are living the life we desire to live. And even more rarely, do we take serious action toward a more authentic life that would result in real satisfaction and greater happiness.
Some of us desire to be our best self, but have little idea as to how to achieve such a lofty or nebulous goal. What does it mean to be your best self? How is it done? Where do I start? Without any idea how to move forward, we tend to stay busy with our jobs, school, friends and family, but deep down we want greater passion, fulfillment and joy. Sometimes it takes a major life event that jolts you to attention. Mortality lets us know we have a finite time to do anything. So the bigger question is how do you want to spend your time? How do you want to feel? What would you like to make happen? Who do you want you to become?
One great truth is, when you seek change (in your thoughts and actions) daily, you will find it. Almost any goal is achievable when we are honest with ourselves and become open to different possibilities, thoughts and actions, and have the will to continue down our desired path with conviction. You can affect positive change for yourself and change your life. These changes create a halo effect and often inspire those around us as well. So if you’re ready to do what it takes to evolve to your best self, let’s get started. Here are the four simple things you’ll need: the who, what, when and how of discovering your best self.
Who: The obvious answer is you, but not just who you think you are now (self perception), or how others see you, but the “best self” (qualities you admire and desire) that you would like to master. You can continue to learn, and evolve in thoughts and take new actions through your life. Finding your best self is a process of discovery. To begin, take an honest look at all aspects of yourself. No room for ego here, just authentic evaluation. What is working well for you and what is not? Make a list. Determine what you are truly happy with and you desire to change. What do you wish to learn? What would you like to do differently? What are the aspects of yourself you want to overcome or achieve? Are fears holding you back? What are you unhappy with (no blaming or excuses)? Taking a close look at these elements will help you define the scope of where you’re at toady and area(s) you want to address going forward.
What: Your “whats” are the elements of yourself–how you think, feel, act and react–that you desire to understand and evolve. Your may desire to make many life changes or only a meaningful few. It’s important to get a grasp on what may be holding you back (self-limiting beliefs, lack of personal responsibility, lack of knowledge, negative self talk, unhealthy relationships, etc.), and on what you want to learn, change, heal, or achieve (personally or professionally). Consider the patterns in your life. Your relationships. Your friends. Your career. Do you seem to experience the same struggles or conflicts or disappointment? Clearly identifying your challenges and creating a plan for growth and action is important. Changing how you perceive your challenges and how you act and react in these areas can change the outcome. Sometimes just a simple shift in thinking–an epiphany–can change everything you experience going forward.
When: Change takes place in the now. You can desire to make changes and plan things for the future, but change requires action. Waiting until you finish school, get a raise, get married or win the lottery will simply delay your progress. Start now. Read and seek other perspectives. Talk to people who have the knowledge, skills or experience that you wish to understand or accomplish any moment you have the opportunity. If it is your desire to make changes, commit yourself to the process of discovery and take action daily. Every moment that unfolds will present countless opportunities to evolve to your best self with everything you learn and every choice you make. When you make becoming your best self an active, ongoing goal it permeates every moment of now, over and over again.
How: Much like a doctor “practices” medicine, you too will “practice” becoming your best self. Once you recognize and identify those areas of yourself and your life you would like to evolve, change and grow, begin with your thoughts. Do you have a habit of negative self talk? Pay closer attention to these thoughts. Talk back to your thoughts with positive, logical, truthful feedback. (For an in-depth understanding of this process, we recommend reading: Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice) Our subconscious pays attention to our thoughts and they affect our behavior and self-esteem. Our fears live in the realm of our subconscious. But, when you recognize, expose and confront your fears and take new actions, they begin to lose their power. Take baby steps if necessary, but make progress in addressing your fears and negative self talk (more on this in our next article). Any growth and change takes effort and an openness to learn a different perspective and take action accordingly.
If you are struggling in your career, love life, family, or any life pursuit, don’t stay stuck simply because it is all you have known. You may feel things can’t change because they haven’t so far, but this is a misperception. You always have the capacity and potential for growth and change. To a large extent you can choose your own path and live your ideals. You can also choose your limits and boundaries. The important thing to remember is you have the choice. You can evolve and affect positive growth and change in our life. Others may not follow you or resist your change and you may have to accept them for who they are, as they are. But, often when you take action to make positive self change, you’ll find those around you change how they interact with you. By definition, you are no longer the same and everything begins to shift.
When you make changes in your thoughts and actions you change your dynamic and you or your situation or both will evolve. So go ahead and begin now to explore your most authentic self and honor that person. Discover more about your desires and aspirations. Immerse yourself in learning new concepts and create a specific action plan for your best self and life. Make difficult changes. When you take action, you are opening the door to a new future. Make good choices and pursue your goals daily. We can’t effect change if we think the same thoughts and take the same actions and yet expect a different outcome.
Becoming the best version of yourself, changes your journey and focus. It also changes how others see and experience you. It will change the dynamics in your relationships. It is a worthy goal, and a process that becomes a mind shift and daily practice. Living your best self daily brings great satisfaction, fulfillment, passion and joy. We wish you the best on your journey. To help you along in the process we are developing a course for you in the coming months. Sign up now for our email updates to receive our member pricing at the launch of this special program.
We would love to hear you thoughts and experiences with your efforts towards discovering your best self. Share your thoughts with our readers in our comments section below!