What is the difference between being yourself and being your best self? In response to a recent WCN message, a reader asked an important question. “Psychology and self-improvement books seem to be telling us that we should just be ourselves. We tell our kids this, but I get confused sometimes. I can be so many different ways. How do I know which self is the best me?”
You know, the reader was making a good point. All of us have many possible selves. Some parts of our personalities are active and obvious, but some parts may surface only now and then when they are needed. Still others may remain hidden nearly all the time, either by circumstance or intent.
Consider this question: What is your best self like? Take some time answering it, and write down what you are thinking. This act of writing it down actually builds stronger neural pathways, making these thoughts and ideas easily accessible, when you decide to make those changes in your actions and behaviors. You are creating the picture, inside your mind, of your ideal when thinking about who you are…or who you want to be.
So, can you list the qualities that make your best-self different from the ordinary, everyday you? You see, becoming aware of these qualities is the key to bringing them under your control. Once you are aware of them, you can deliberately set out to make your everyday-self more like the picture you hold of your best self.
Using the techniques of affirmation, visualization and control of your self-talk, the shift to your best self is relatively easy to do. You see, we move toward and become like what we think about. So, focus your thoughts on those aspects of yourself that you would like to see more of. See yourself behaving in situations like your best self. Do it in a systematic way, over and over again, every day. Soon, you will find that “being yourself” will automatically mean, “being your best self.”