Are you living the kind of life you desire?
Or are you just plodding through existence waiting for it to end?
The fact is, we all have untapped potential and unrealised dreams, but we’re rarely educated on how to access or achieve them.
Instead, many of us quit life learning and simply stick to our self-made status quo.
If you’re tired of your current reality, start with this Best Self summary.
Based on years self-reflection and experience by life coach, Mike Bayer, you’ll emerge with actionable insights to apply today.
Define your best and anti-selves
We’re often told we’re unique little snowflakes. But this doesn’t help us know ourselves better.
Often we navigate life feeling that something’s a little off and that we may not be acting in alignment with our authentic self.
After all, this stuff isn’t taught in dusty ol’ school classrooms.
Well, we actually have two selves:
- Our positive best self – the person we want to be
- Our negative anti-self – the one holding us back
Each one can act as a template if we allow it, so we must define their attributes and bring them to life so we know who’s in control.
Let’s get started:
- Create positive traits – write out a list of your positive traits, even if you don’t always embody them
- Create your best self – amalgamate these traits into an imaginary being that displays said qualities. Even if it’s a mystical character like Merlin, it should be someone you can sketch and hang on the wall and visualise effectively
- Express gratitude – Connect with your best self by identifying 10 things you’re grateful for
Our anti-self is the raging monster that’s triggered within us when we encounter the negativity that life often produces.
It could be the dark side which emerges when you experience road rage or criticism. It’s the side we’d like to see less often.
- Identify negative traits – like above, list them out, however painful
- Create your anti-self – make this visual representation as cartoonish and memorable as you like, something you can easily call to mind
- Recount past incidents – Recall five incidents when the anti-self was in full beast mode. Compare those reactions with the likely response from your best self above. Contrasting your reactions will help make the conscious and malleable.
Basic tenets for finding your best self
Fear is the problem, honesty is the solution
We all encounter obstacles in life. It’s inevitable.
Fear is one of the main obstacles to becoming our best self.
However, it’s often unfounded and prevents positive action.
The way to overcome it is via honesty.
Here’s how to get honest to see which fears are founded and how to overcome them:
- List your fears to put them to the test
- Create an action plan to focus on solutions vs the fear itself
- The next time you experience fear, visualise minimising the anxiety and throwing it away
Rituals can also be a powerful method to minimise fear, including:
- An effective morning routine
- Positive affirmations/mantras
How to become our best self
We can become our best self by exploring all aspects of our lives using the acronym ‘SPHERES’.
As humans, research says we’re wired to socialise.
Leading an active social life with close connections has been shown to enhance wellbeing.
According to the author, we should build this time into our schedule, not just with people we know, but also with new connections.
Few of us are natural social slickers and the thought of making new chums might bring us out in a cold sweat.
Three tips to beat the fear:
- Prepare conversation openers ahead of time
- Be present, ask questions, actively listen and give compliments
- Use open body language e.g. an open posture, and employ non-verbal cues like engaged eye-contact
Imagine a great social life and contrast this with what you do now. Try to close the gap.
You can’t help others until you help yourself and this starts with your personal life.
Self-care isn’t selfish, but rather provides the means for you to nourish others.
Our internal dialogue changes our brain function, for the better or for the worse.
As we’re often our own worst critics, we need to imagine an alarm sounding when we experience negative thoughts, and replace this thought with its positive counterpart.
We should try instead to infuse our personal lives with compassion
- Mindful, deep breathing
This is a foundational aspect for the other SPHERE elements.
A key component to getting healthier is awareness and realising how your actions have a detrimental effect on wellbeing.
Rather than perfection, aim for improvement and becoming healthier than you are now.
- Food is fuel for your best self
- Output is a direct consequence of input
- Eat well and exercise
Your best self is a lifelong learner and thirsty for knowledge.
Rather than school days, when we were force-fed material, discovering a topic we’re interested in makes learning easy and natural at any age.
We must simply identify these topics.
Write down your interests and what you’d love to learn before thinking about what’s holding you back.
Self-awareness is key.
Learning is integral to the evolution of our best self and can be achieved through online courses and podcasts.
You can only control yourself and showing up every day as your best self will result in better relationships.
To improve your relationships, first become aware of your core values, allowing you to identify the same values in your relationships with others.
Even if you didn’t experience secure relationships when you were young, you can work on your relationships in later life by manifesting your best self.
There’s nothing wrong with being single, but if you’re in a romantic relationship, here are two myths:
- A great relationship requires constant romance – forget about the Hollywood blockbusters. The difference between falling in love and being in love is simply a transition in your relationship
- A great relationship is always harmonious – arguing is natural and can strengthen relationships if your best self is in control
What would your best self love to do for work?
If you’re not doing that, you’re wasting a significant chunk of life.
Work isn’t all about money and shouldn’t be infused with dread.
While we all have bad days, every day shouldn’t be bad.
Perhaps your employment requires a minor modification or a complete overhaul.
Alternatively, perhaps the problem doesn’t reside with your job, but with you.
Can you change your perspective, adopt a positive outlook and create a self-fulling relationship with work?
An oft-neglected piece of the puzzle where your integrity, values and actions towards others originate.
Here are some tips for spiritual practice:
- Develop a spiritual intention
- Spend time in quiet reflection e.g. through meditation, at least once a week
- Be open to positive change in the universe
- Be grateful, acknowledging the positive change
- Be playful, have fun and pay it forward
The people we socialise with influence our SPHERE more than anything.
By surrounding yourself with a strong team, you strengthen your best self.
Growing your SPHERE
When you’ve reflected on your SPHERE, you’ll know which areas of life require rebalancing.
When this is clear, choose an aligned goal, reverse engineer it and track your progress.
Focus on a strategy within your control and keep yourself accountable as you grow into the type of person you wish to become.
In this way, you’ll live a life congruent with your best self.
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