What does it mean to be the best version of yourself? Aren't we always growing and developing? And doesn't this make 'being your best self' an elusive, moving target?
Even though we are continually evolving, growing beings, you can become the person you want to be most at any given moment.
Dispelling a Myth: What does it mean to be your best self?
Being your best self is not a destination. It is a journey of self-discovery over your lifetime. This is exciting news, in that you can always be better, and frustrating, in that you can always be better. The point is to respond to life rather than react, and enjoy living as much as you can along the way.
We are doing one of three things in our lives regarding our careers, relationships, etc.: we are growing them, killing them, or letting them die. Being your best self is an active, intentional process. Growth is frequently not linear, but will always be worth the ups and downs. What I end up regretting most in life are the moments where I did nothing rather than the moments where I failed.
There is nowhere to get to in life. If you have a miserable experience in achieving a goal, it was not worth the effort. The non-renewable resource that we all have is time, and enjoying the experience of living is more important than most goals we have.
Steps you can take
Different moments in life require various structures to put into place to be our best selves. For example, this past March I went through a serious breakup. I hired a therapist who I still work with today, to help me with that transition. His presence in my life has been a gift, and taking space and time each week to work on these feelings has allowed me to heal and move forward. I am finally at the point where I can see a picture of my ex and instead of being devastated or triggered, I genuinely hope she is doing well.
Another structure to consider is hiring a coach. Many top athletes, entrepreneurs, and business owners have worked with a coach. We have numerous mentors and teachers while we are in school and not as many formal structures to help us succeed once we are in the working world. A coach will work with you to develop a plan to achieve the life you want most by helping you navigate the unknown. When you hire a coach, you are committing to a future that does not yet exist, one that is of your wildest dreams.
Working with a coach will also allow you to respond to life versus react to it. One of the most significant gifts I received from working with my coach has been the ability to get out of negative self-talk. Everyone has voices in their head that shut them down, tell them that they suck, and stops them from going after their passion. Coaching allows us to quiet these voices and choose a different place to come from that is more empowering.
Don't forget the basics of an extraordinary life
We often forget the basics when it comes to living an extraordinary life. Here are some things to consider: exercise and eat unprocessed foods. A commitment to your health is a commitment to living your best life. Working on our physical health energizes us and positively impacts all other parts of our lives.
Take regular breaks. The demands of our always-connected world are challenging for modern-day workers. Make sure you have regularly scheduled time off to unplug and do fun things. Turn your phone and computer off completely. You will be amazed at your expanded ability to enjoy the moment.
For me, vacation means either body surfing in the ocean or spending time with loved ones in my home city or traveling to new countries and cities across the globe. Find out what fills your cup and commit time throughout the year to doing that. Have at least a couple breaks that are 5-10 days long.
Read, be engaged in your community, travel, learn a new skill, invest time in your hobbies, be creative, and get good sleep every night.
Know the gaps in your life between where you are at and where you want to go. The gaps will inform the type of support that makes sense for you to take on. There is no right answer to being the best you. Through trial and error and striving for something better continuously, you will close some of these gaps.
It's up to you to become the best version of yourself
You determine the path to being your best self. Sometimes it means taking a nap. Or giving your leftovers to the hungry person on the train. Or saying "no" to a potential client who is not a good fit for you or your business. You must define in a given moment what it looks like to be your best self.
The most potent gauge on whether you are your best self is when you are aware of your commitments in life. Ask yourself, “Does this action contribute or take away from my highest commitments right now?”
When your actions align with your commitments, you give yourself the opportunity to be the best you can be at any given moment. This means trusting your gut, trusting that what you think and believe is in service of who you want to be. You are the essential factor in being your best self. Listen to your intuition, and you will know what you need to do.
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