Kids don’t see any limits. They see the world through the lens of opportunity and believe that anything is possible. Unfortunately, this open-minded, brave-hearted, fearless approach to life doesn’t stick around. We get told there are things we can’t do. We’re taught to settle. We get trapped in the status quo until we reach a point where we stop dreaming in the same way.
I like to think that there are two versions of you.
There’s the YOU that’s living your life right now. And there’s another YOU that’s holding the torch for your best self.
Exactly who your best self is will be different for everyone. My definition is to become fully expressed, continually explore how far you can go, and to stand in your full potential.
The beautiful thing about chasing your best self is there’s no fixed destination. You can’t know for sure where you want to end up because at each stage of growth a whole new door flies open.
That said, there are things you can do that make the journey easier and more fulfilling. So get excited and keep reading to discover the specific mindsets, behaviors, and commitments that will empower you to become the person you always knew you could be.
- Think bigger
Although this isn’t a step-by-step process, one of the first things to unlocking your best self is to think bigger.
We get stuck in the status quo because over time we come to accept certain things about ourselves. We make decisions about what we can do (and what we can’t). We decide what we deserve, what’s achievable, and what will fit in with the lifestyle we currently lead.
When you’re fixed to a particular view of your life, it’s harder to see new possibilities.
Thinking bigger provides a pattern interrupt that challenges your self-imposed limits.
A simple way to do this is to apply the 10x rule.
Think about something in your life then imagine how that would look when you 10x it. Think about your finances, your health, your happiness, your relationships. Bizarrely, just considering a new possibility can be enough to open the door to an entirely new opportunity.
- Create a vision for your life
In your head, fast-forward to your final days on this planet.
Who do you want to have been? What do you want to have achieved? What would you have wanted your life to stand for?
What were your core values, your purpose, and your mission?
Creating this big picture vision for your life gives you the context you need to plan your everyday. You’ll have an inner compass that makes it easier for you to make the right decisions and set the right goals.
When everything you do is in alignment, it’s so much easier to become your best self.
- Set goals
You can’t become your best self if you don’t set goals.
Goals give your life meaning and direction. Without goals, you’ll be rudderless and risk living life on an autopilot that takes you further away from where you want to go.
Set goals for all areas of your life and ensure they align with the bigger vision of what you want to do.
Then make things happen by setting a 13-week goal. This time period is long enough to achieve something significant and short enough to keep you focused and implementing. Put your finish line too far out in the future and you’ll be more likely to procrastinate because there’s no urgency to take action now.
- Practice gratitude
Your best self knows that life isn’t all going to be plain sailing! You’re going to hit your fair share of highs along with failures and lows.
If you want to be successful, you need to nurture a positive mindset. You have to be willing to believe that you can do it, that you are worthy, and that life isn’t always against you! It’s why gratitude is a critical practice to nurture.
Bookend your day with a gratitude practice and you’ll train your mind to focus on and appreciate the positives. Start the day by writing down three things you’re grateful to have (or have experienced) in your life, and end the day writing out your gratitudes for the day.
It takes minutes to do, but once you get in the habit of practicing this daily you’ll notice a big difference in the way you feel about yourself and your life.
- Reflect on your progress
This is my favorite ever Steve Jobs quote.
“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
For me, it’s a great reminder that you can’t be sure of the real purpose of what you experience on your journey until you can look back with the benefit of hindsight.
Reflection is the greatest of teachers because it enables you to see the patterns and consolidate what experiences have taught you about yourself, your goals, and your next steps.
So make reflection a regular practice. Reflect on your day, your week, your month, your quarter, and your year. Use this practice to build your self-awareness and learn more about who you really are so you can plan your next steps more powerfully and intentionally.
- Learn to thrive in discomfort
Your best self is not going to be an easy life!
If you want to create and achieve things you haven’t got, you’re going to have to do things you’ve never done before. You will need to push yourself out of your comfort zone - and thrive there.
If you don’t, you won’t be able to move beyond where you are now - you’ll keep hitting that ceiling.
Plus you’ll never know what you were truly capable of.
Pressure can make you incredibly resourceful. You can ALWAYS do more than you imagine.
So go with it.
Let the fear guide you and as you proactively seek out experiences and situations that are going to force you to grow, watch your potential unravel.
- Take absolute ownership
When things aren’t going the way you want them to, it’s easy to point the finger elsewhere.
When it’s not your fault, you don’t have to take responsibility and you can feel better about yourself by placing the blame elsewhere.
The trouble is this attitude is disempowering.
If it’s not your fault, then you’re powerless to change the situation.
That’s why you have to take absolute ownership for EVERYTHING that happens in your life - even the stuff that doesn’t at first seem to be your fault.
When you own it, you control it. When you own it, you can take proactive steps to change the circumstances and shift your life in the direction you want to go. It’s one of the most powerful attitudes for a successful life.
- Default to action
It’s true that everything starts as a thought in your head.
But if that’s where it remains, you’ll never feel the full value of that idea in your life. It’s why you must train yourself to take action. Make implementation a non-negotiable.
Commit to doing something practical every single day that takes you closer to the person you want to be - no matter how small. That way, you won’t find yourself a few years down the line in the same place tackling the same issues.
When you default to action, you force yourself to make decisions. You don’t sit on the fence and you therefore don’t waste time. You show initiative and you find a way to fix problems.
It’s the doers in life that get the best results - become one of them.
- Enjoy today
You only get one life. So don’t waste it wishing your time away to some point in the future where you think you’ll find ‘success’.
Instead, enjoy the journey now.
Your goals may have a defined finish line, but they’re not the destination. Who you become as a result of achieving your goals is far more important than achieving the goal itself.
- Spend time with yourself
We live in an insanely connected world. 24-hour news, TV on demand, phones that make us accessible at any time of the day (or night). Social media that allows us to be close friends with people we’ll never meet and search engines that put information at our fingertips.
Everywhere you look there’s someone (or something) telling you how to live your life.
This is how you should look, this is where you should live, this is what you should be doing, reading, cooking, writing, playing, learning, exploring, discovering…
It’s why you need to disconnect.
You need to shut out all those other voices and get clear on who YOU are and what you want.
Meditation and journaling are two ways you can explore who you are inside. Make time for them and watch how they rejuvenate and recharge you.
- Master your minutes
Time is your most valuable, non-renewable resource - you need to ‘waste it wisely’.
As Jim Rohn said, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
So how can you maximize the 24 hours you have each day to think bigger, achieve more, and enjoy the journey?
The simple answer is to become a student of productivity. Truth is, we unknowingly squander so much time every day. Distractions, interruptions, and lack of focus means time soon disappears. But take control of your minutes and you can train yourself to do more in less time.
Learn to work harder and not smarter. Use tools (such as the SELF Journal) to allocate your time well, and be honest with yourself about where you’re not being as disciplined as you should.
There’s plenty you can do to become a productivity whizz! And when lack of time is no longer the thing that holds you back, just imagine what else you’ll be able to do.
- Build resilience
We won’t always get what we want. Even if we work hard and with a passion, you’re going to knock up against failure.
How you respond when things don’t go your way is key.
Mistakes don’t feel good. No one wants to see themselves as a failure, but if you’re never getting it wrong, there’s a good chance you selling your potential short.
This is where resilience helps in spades.
How much do you want it? If you keep getting up every time you get knocked down and refuse to give in, you will find a way. It may not be the way you expected and you may not even get the result you wanted, but you will find your potential.
- Develop a growth mindset
When you commit to becoming your best self you quickly discover how much you DON’T know. What’s more, each time you breakthrough to a new level of living, you’ll simply step into a whole new, unfamiliar world.
There’s so much you don’t know you don’t know!
So stay curious and stay hungry for knowledge. Be OK with not knowing everything - knowing you can find it out if you look in the right places.
People with a fixed mindset don’t believe they can change. People with a growth mindset know there may be a steep learning curve, but with the right training, knowledge, or mentorship, they can get there.
So stay inspired.
Listen to podcasts, watch TED Talks, subscribe to YouTube channels that spark ideas and challenge your current way of thinking. Keep feeding your mind and expanding your knowledge base and see what else opens up for you.
- Believe in yourself
Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
The success you want starts in your head. If you don’t genuinely believe you can do the thing you want to do, there’s a high chance you’ll prove yourself right.
So invest in your confidence. Do the inner work that helps you understand (and address) your limiting beliefs. Track your successes to reinforce that you’re on the right path.
As cheesy as it sounds, make friends with yourself. Talk to yourself in the same way that you’d talk to your best friend. Remind yourself you CAN do it (you wouldn’t have come up with the idea in the first place if it wasn’t possible).
The way you feel about yourself is pivotal to everything. The quicker you crack this one, the faster you can accelerate your best self journey.
- Review your network
There’s an old saying that people like people who are like themselves.
Your network will have a significant impact on what you’re able to achieve - because not only will they influence what you set out to achieve, but they’ll influence what you believe is possible.
As painful as it sounds, do audit the people in your closest circle.
Ask yourself if the people you spend the most time with (and therefore the people who have the most influence on your thinking, goals, and everyday behaviors) inspire and uplift you?
Do they support your goals - or do they tell you that you’re crazy?
Change your circle and you can transform what you believe is possible.
It’s one of the reasons we created the Best Self Alliance - so you can get yourself in a peer group who want the same things as you.
- Have a beginner’s mindset
It’s OK not to know the answer. Sometimes not knowing gives you an advantage because it stops you assuming wrongly. It’s OK to have a lack of knowledge if you have a willingness to learn.
Permit yourself to be curious.
Ask the ‘stupid’ questions (someone else is definitely thinking the same!) Don’t allow what you think you should know to stop getting your hands on what’s going to get you to the next step.
We all start out as beginners.
Feel comfortable enough to seek help from the right people and you’ll accelerate your journey.
- Get tools that help!
Settling in life is easy.
It’s easy to allow yourself to be trapped by what you, society, your friends, your parents, your boss, and your partner says is possible for you.
But what if they’re wrong?
We can all do so much more than we give ourselves credit for. Just think back to the last time you found yourself in a stressful or challenging situation - I bet you found a way out. It may have been messy, but you resolved it one way or another.
And you emerged stronger and wiser as a result of it.
So don’t leave your best self journey to chance. There are plenty of people out there who will try and knock you off course and stifle your dreams - because your drive says something about their lack of it.
Instead, invest in tools that will help you get focused, stay on track, and make progress every single day.
Ready to kick-start or accelerate your best self journey?
Check out the tools we’ve created to help high achievers (just like you) think bigger, achieve more, and enjoy today.