‘Aim to be the best you can be.’ This is a powerful phrase that’s thrown around a lot in the self-development field. But what does it actually mean, why is this something to strive towards, and how do you go about becoming the best version of yourself?
It’s what we’ll explore in this article.
What does it mean to be your ‘best self?
Somehow, your best self implies there are two versions of you. The ‘you’ right now, and the ‘you’ that you have the potential to be (if you’re willing to take certain actions and decisions).
In other words, there’s a gap to close because there’s more you could be, do, and have if you stay hungry to explore your limits and learn more about your strengths and capabilities. That could be better relationships, more money, a bigger business, a healthier body, more exciting hobbies - your definition of ‘best’ will be unique to you depending on where you feel you’re falling behind in your potential or aspirations.
In this way, wanting to be the best you can be is a powerful motivator that forces you to take a more intentional path through life. It inspires you to look for the growth opportunities and it reminds you to figure out where you could step up.
Your best self is a journey, not a destination. In fact, it’s a journey that’s never going to end, but don’t be put off by that! Instead, see this an empowering concept where you have limitless potential for growth. You’ll have already seen this in your life. Just when you think you’ve reached your limits, somehow you take another step and a whole new world of possibility opens up.
That’s why your best self is also an attitude. It’s a commitment to being better today than you were yesterday. It’s a conscious choice to keep striving, and growing, and learning from every experience that comes your way.
It’s a self-love journey too because being your best requires you to recognize that you are ‘work in progress’. It reminds you to appreciate your achievements and be grateful for what you already have while at the same time knowing there’s always more in your tank.
It’s the more challenging path
Living to become your best self is the harder path through life.
Sure, it’s a mindset that creates the space for incredible relationships, impactful businesses, ideas that change the world, and an insatiable zest for life.
But it’s also a route that’s going to be hard.
If you’ve ever tried to be your best, you’ll know that personal growth is painful.
You take on things you have no idea how to do and fail miserably! You get knocked down. You feel out of your depth and overwhelmed. You drown in discomfort and you’re forced to let old things go as your identity shifts and evolves.
But that’s part of the magic of this path.
- Every failure creates new insights
- You get stronger every time you get back up
- Discomfort expands your comfort zone
- Letting go creates space for new opportunities
Then there’s the elation of achieving an ‘impossible’ goal. The self-esteem boost from figuring it out. The confidence rush when you decide you won’t be beaten. There’s also the excitement of trying new things. The thrill of mastering a new skill and the courage to continually rediscover who you are.
Yes! The journey to be the best you can be is addictive, transformative, and one of the most rewarding commitments you can make to yourself in this life.
Better still, it’s also a personal project too. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your unique journey - there’s only your way. What’s most important to you will be wildly different from what someone else deems essential.
But how do you do it?
What are the strategies and mindsets that empower you to be the best you can be - even when you’re feeling beaten, disillusioned, and low in confidence.
Check out these five.
Five ways to be the best you can be
1. Embrace failure
No one likes to be seen to fail. We’re social beings and losing face in front of other people never feels good! But reluctance to fail is always going to hold you back - because it reduces your scope for experimenting and exploring.
If you want to be the best you can be you have to take risks. You need to step out into the unknown and do things you’ve never done before. Hindsight is the best thing and there will be plenty of times you’ll wish you had a time machine!
But if you never try you never know.
Give yourself permission to fail. This may be a big hurdle to overcome - especially if you’re a perfectionist. Work to shift your beliefs about failure and remind yourself that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. It’s true. Failure actually makes you better - if you allow yourself to adopt the mindset that makes this a reality.
2. Invest in the inner journey
If you want to be the best you can be, you’ve got to invest in your own inner journey - this is a non-negotiable. You need to be able to reflect on experiences, your beliefs, your thoughts, and your goals. Continually build your self-awareness and you’ll unlock the inner wisdom and insights to understand your strengths, weaknesses, fears, self-imposed limits, dreams, desires, goals - the list goes on.
The deeper your relationship with yourself, the more empowered you’ll be to be your best.
It’s why so many top-performers and high achievers swear by their journaling practice - because all the answers are inside.
3. Set stretching goals
You’ll never know how much you can do and how far you can go until you push yourself.
That’s the power of setting your goals. They take you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to create or experience something you don’t have currently.
Goals force you to commit, focus, innovate, and problem solve. They’re a catalyst for diving into your reserves to pull it out of the bag!
Your goals create a huge learning experience too. Reflect on your performance and you’ll discover your limiting beliefs as well as unhelpful behaviors and triggers. Use your goals to sharpen your self-awareness and as well as achieving extraordinary, you’ll learn more about yourself too.
4. Commit to continuous improvement
We’ve already said that being your best is a work in progress. You’ll never truly hit the summit of your potential because each stage of growth creates new learning opportunities.
That’s why being your best is something you have to work on everyday. It’s not enough to invest in ad hoc sprints and bursts of activity, instead you have to make your best a habit.
Go after the 1% improvements. Ask yourself how you could make something 1% better than yesterday. Do this everyday and you won’t recognize yourself in 12 months time. The amount of growth you’ll experience will be astronomical!
5. Cultivate positivity
Henry Ford said it best, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
You can’t be your best if your inner critic continually undermines you.
‘You’re not good enough’, that’s too hard for you’, you failed before’, ‘people like you don’t do things like that’...
The list is endless!
Here’s the good news…
Positivity can be learned. Even if you’re the most negative person you know, it is possible to develop a positive mindset. Sure, it’s not an overnight thing. It will take time and commitment, but make it one of your 1% things and you’ll be amazed what you can achieve when you brainwash yourself with positivity.
It’s easier than you think…
Turn off the negative news. Don’t engage in conversations that pull you down. Listen to positive audios, podcasts, and music. Repeat affirmations. Visualize positive outcomes. Make a big thing of your successes (even the small ones).
Make positivity the default and slowly, but surely your default mindset can change.
Being the best you can be starts today
It’s never too late to commit to becoming your best self.
Regardless of where you are on your journey through life, you can take proactive steps today to explore more of your potential and step closer to the person you really want to be.
We’re here to help with tools, ideas, and community support to help you get out of your comfort zone.
All you’ve got to do is start.
Over to you…
What’s one thing can you do today to be the best you can be?
We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.