Over the last 15 years my clients often ask me: “How do I become the best version of myself?”
The question usually comes up after a significant event or situation that has left doubts about themselves. Using the term best here is a two edged sword - begs to ask the question: the best version of whom and through whose eyes?!
This topic is particular prominent now, in the aftermath of the initial hike of the COVID 19 virus, BREXIT and the Ukrainian war, where jobs are more demanding than ever and with cost of living rising incredulously. Companies are reviewing their strategies constantly together with structures, practices and products constantly thus providing a very fast paced, unpredictable, ever changing and demanding environment for its employees.
This in turn puts massive pressures and causes a ripple effect on every person in every situation of life, be it professionally or personally. Irrelevant of which group of people (or in another word: systems) they belong to. It encourages more and more people to strive towards becoming one with themselves in order to ride this wave safely and show up to everyone around them, but most importantly to themselves as the best version of who they can be. I hear the wheels in your brain ticking insanely now trying to work out how to do exactly that.
In this article I look at achieving to become the best best version of yourself in three simple steps:
In addition there is one pre-condition, which is the willingness to show up and commit by putting all efforts into succeeding. I guess, as with everything in life, there are two sides to this coin of becoming the best version of ourselves too.
Ready to give this roller coaster a shot? OK – here we go…
The one side is often painful as well as high in effort but is highly rewarding because gaining clarity means understanding and accepting who you actually, truly are – warts and all, no masks, just plain and raw.
Some folks are quite at peace with who they are at the core of their beingness and might already know that, which is a great first step. I congratulate you to that fantastic achievement. It’s fun to create or even draw a picture of this person you have discovered as a reminder for yourself. You can use all resources available to you to do this - just let your creativity run wild and have fun with it.
For those people who are a little “too busy” to look at themselves, I have a challenging question:
“What are you afraid of finding that you keep yourself so busy and thus avoid looking at it?”
Perhaps, you have chosen to take the easy route. Namely, to plot on because things aren’t so bad really…..and there is nothing wrong with that approach. It just means by doing so you are accepting to forfeit becoming the best version of yourself during this life time. Hence, with it you are also accepting the consequences of this choice – whatever this might look like. For some it might be ending up in a relationship that is mediocre, a job that doesn’t fulfil your needs or perhaps some might even be left feeling a bit disillusioned with life.
So, if you truly want to have a go at finding out more about yourself it is important firstly, to recognise the pattern that you live by. This is easy and highly effective to identify and it is the way to find an opportunity to turn things around. The simple exercise of keeping a reflection diary, ideally on a daily basis, is a fantastic start to pastures new. Please let me know if you feel that you want to know more about how to go about this. Also, the internet is full of examples and templates about it.
Secondly, in this journey to clarity is to figure out what really matters to you in your life, what is really important and therefore becomes a priority? Establishing your personal values is exciting and insightful, as long as you are prepared to invest a little bit of your time and are specific. It’ll enlighten you on so many levels. My clients and I usually create eight terms that capture all that they need to live a happy, fulfilled life. Then in the second step we define each of those terms into specifics of frequency of actions, behaviours, feelings, thinking, types etc. That way we are connecting the values with what is going on to the everyday living. You'll understand more once you get started observing yourself and thinking it through. Once you have that it's time to work through a process that leaves three or maximum four core values.
Knowing and understanding these three or four core values helps with decisions, relationships, conflicts and also the direction we may need to head into.
In summary, given that you work through this expertly, all the while fully accepting who you are and knowing what matters to you, brings a previously unknown clarity to your and your life.
The first step in this journey to your best version is well on the way.
Once you worked thoroughly and properly through your values, you’ll have recognised where and how you are able to look after yourself in a way that strengthens your body and mind in authenticity.
For some people this might be a long walk once a week in mother nature to fill up the resilience tank with energy, vitamins and oxygen. All the while strengthening the body. Others may enjoy a spa treatment or massage, making time to spend with their family members. Alternatively it could be a combination of exercise, meditation, rest, time out alone or with friends. Little things often are very powerful. For example taking a lunch break with a friend, leaning back and listening to your favorite music track or indulging in a cup of hot chocolate.
The people who succeed and have become the best version of themselves know that taking care of their own needs always is the number one priority. They have learned how to use time to create spaces for self-care whilst not taking their egos too seriously. They honour this because they know that the people around them see them, feel their energy, are looking for inspiration and soak it all up.
They take the time to create pictures in their minds about where they themselves want to be in line with what matters to them. Therefore their decisions and actions are always aligned with who and where they want to be.
Only if we are prepared to invest all of this effort and time into gaining clarity and selfcare will we be able to bring alive all of our hidden gems.
Implementing and being the best version of oneself brings with it a number of behaviours:
- Remember your priority and goals
- Ask for, receive and give effective feedback
- Willingness to embrace change and learn from it
- Regular reflection
- Vulnerability and humbleness
- Honest interest and curiosity in others and life
Remember that we are all human and make mistakes. Mistakes give us the opportunity to grow. Growth only happens if we don't give, rather pick ourselves up and try again perhaps with a little bit of an adjustment.
In summary to be the ”A” Version of yourself requires courage, hard work and drive but the result and outcome of going through this process is the other side of the coin: living a happy and fulfilled life the way you imagined it to be, whilst leaving your legacy of the person you are wherever you go.
Enjoy and have fun – this is the real life roller coaster and much more exciting as any other roller coaster you have ever been on. How amazing is that as a gift?