Many of us seek a life that is fulfilling and happy. That life only starts when we grow and become our best selves. In this 10-minute guide, you will learn some tricks on how to make that happen. Before we jumped into this guide, take a moment to reflect on what it means to you to be your best self? What would your life look like? How would you be living your best life?
In some ways, being our best self is being true to ourselves. It is sometimes easier to explain something by identifying what it isn’t. That said, here’s a list of what is not being your best self:
- Being the best self is not about pleasing others;
- Being the best self is not about hating yourself;
- Being the best self is not about doing things you hate;
- Being the best self is not about forcing yourself to do some-thing;
- Being the best self is not about judging yourself;
- Being the best self is not about comparing yourself;
- Being the best self is not about being miserable;
- Being the best self is not about being liked on social media.
Then what is it all about? Being your best self is being in a space where you accept and approve of whom you are, no matter what others think, and no matter how others perceive you. In some ways, it loves yourself for who you are.
Assessing Your Self
You may be being your best self in some areas of your life as we speak. We tend to play a different role when we are with individuals that we want to please or want to make sure that they like us. On the other hand, we are our best selves when we are with people who love and appreciate us for who we truly are.
Take a moment to reflect on your life:
- Are you being your best self when you are with friends?
- Are you being your best self when you are with family?
- Are you being your best self when you are at work?
- Are you being your best self when you are in the community?
Projecting the Self
It takes a long time to realize that the external world is a projection of what is happening internally. Since the external world is a pure reflection of us, it can give us a lot of information about ourselves when we take the time to observe and be aware.
For example, if you are constantly trying to impress your friends, it might be that you feel you are not enough when around them. In that case, you are not your best self since you are trying to be someone else or please others with your behavior. That type of action can be very tiring, and you can end up not wanting to be with your friends at all.
When we are aware of the projections in our life, we become equipped to do something about our life and ultimately grow from the experience. Here are a few examples of projections and what it means internally.
External Projection: My romantic partner doesn’t give me enough attention.
Internal Reality: I am struggling to provide myself with love and care.
External Projection: My friends don’t listen to me or don’t want to hear from me; it’s always about them.
Internal Reality: I tend to forget about my needs and always try to please others. I have a hard time putting myself as a priority.
Now, your turn to dig deep and find what your external world is telling you about your internal reality:
What is this activity telling you about yourself?
How can you address your internal reality to become your best self?
Your Emotional Triggers
Another aspect that we can look at when trying to be our best self is to explore our emotional triggers. There are some experiences that we have in life that will automatically trigger an intense negative emotion within us.
When you are aware of those triggers, you can grow by exploring why it brings such a profound reaction within you. Learn to tame those emotions and simply recognize what needs to heal within you.
Make a list of what you tend to react emotionally to. You can be as detailed as you would like:
What are those triggers telling you about yourself if you explore them deeper? Here are some examples:
Trigger: I get so offended when people accuse me of being selfish or self centered.
Internal Reality: I tend to feel like others have it better than me. Therefore, I feel like I don’t get what I deserve, and when I focus on my needs, it’s be-cause I want what others have.
Trigger: I get so annoyed when someone talks about women
Internal Reality: I feel like it’s always been about a woman in my life. When are we going to realize that I am important too, and I deserve what others also deserve?
Now take the time to analyze a couple of your triggers:
Being your best self means that you are taming your shadows that have been following you, sometimes for years. It’s not always easy, but when you face your dark side, you bring it to light and immediately allow yourself to shine brighter than ever! It gives you the space to heal deep wounds and put aside some behaviors that were never meant to help you in life.
Projecting and triggers are often about blaming the external world for our misery or problems. When we take responsibility for our shadows, we stop giving our powers to others. If you stop blaming others, you start living your life. You prevent others from dictating who you are and how you should feel. It’s a complete change of mindset that will lead you to your best self.
One last aspect that is extremely important to master when we want to be our best self is boundaries.
Developing Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are crucial to living your best life and being the best version of yourself. Healthy boundaries can mean many things in your life. But first, you will have to learn to say “no” to things that do not align with your best self. When you listed what your best self meant to you being, you listed some values and as-pects that were important to you. Learn to say “no” to people and things that don’t help you be your best self.
Saying “no” is not selfish; it isn’t self centered, and it is absolutely not being disrespectful toward another person. It’s never about the other person anyway. Learning to say “no” is about self-respect, self-love, and self-confidence. When you put yourself on the priority list, you have more energy and time to help others.
Another type of boundary you can practice is to stop trying to please others over your own needs. This got to be one of the most limiting behaviors you can have. When you please others, you completely forget your true self and allow others to dictate how you should behave, look, and even talk. This type of behavior is very destructive to your best self, and it is pretty much “acting.” You become an actor and live the life that others want you to live in. Once you learn to let go of pleasing others, you start living your own life. You no longer tailor your experience to the image of others but more to what you want and who you are. By doing so, the people around you will accept you for who you are, and if they don’t accept you, they are not meant to be in your life.
Creating boundaries means recognizing that sometimes you do things to please others, and that has to stop if it makes you feel bad about yourself. Pay attention to when you say “yes,” and make sure you are being honest with yourself when you say “yes.” Take the courage to stop trying to please others.
Doing what you want doesn’t mean free for all; it means showing compassion toward what lies in your heart and do things that bring you joy, fulfillment, and drive. The more you will do things that bring you joy, the less you will need boundaries; you will surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are. You won’t need to say “no” because it will be aligned with your true self.
Creating boundaries is not about saying “no” to everything but more about saying “yes” to what aligns with your best self. Once you start setting boundaries, you will notice your life changing, and you will find yourself experiencing more positive moments. A life with boundaries is the perfect environment to be yourself and live your best self.
By distancing yourself from things that don’t align with your authentic self, you are saying no to distraction and hindrance to living your best self. When you start respecting yourself, you put yourself as the priority. It will enable you to be present for others and, in return, uplift them too. When you find the courage to create healthy boundaries in your life, you quickly are rewarded with joy, happiness, and a sense of being the best version of yourself.
Self awareness will allow you to observe yourself from a non-judgmental perspective and make some changes to be closer to your best self. When you are self-aware, you can catch yourself in the present moment experiencing an emotion or feeling.
The more you are aware of your emotions, the more you start to understand yourself. For example, you might observe that you tend to be reactive when someone provides you with a suggestion on how to do something different. When you are aware of your emotions, you have a better idea of who you are and how you tend to react in certain situations. It is also the best way to improve yourself on certain aspects that you don’t find optimal. You become less driven by drama.
Being your best self is not an objective that we can reach overnight. As a human being, we first have to accept that we aren’t perfect, and perfection will never be our truth. As you have learned from this guide, being the best version of yourself is not about perfection but more about finding your true self, being authentic, and living from the heart center.
Your best self can only be found when you choose to remove the mask that you’ve been wearing for a long time. That mask comes with behaviors and wounds that only time and hard work can heal. Don’t be afraid to face your dark side, remove your mask, and bring light to aspects of yourself that need to heal.
In addition, don’t forget that humans are social creatures. We were never meant to be alone and do things our own. We need others and require a community to thrive. Don’t hesitate to seek help from experts or build a support network on encouraging and motivating you and others to grow. No matter what, you got this and embrace your best self today!