To be your best self is something we all want to achieve in life. It can make us feel empowered, in control, and accomplished. But the truth is, everyday life can get in the way of feeling our best.
You may feel like your best self is a world away from where you are now. You may even feel like you wouldn’t even recognize what your best self looks like! But by taking charge of this now and with small steps, you can get closer to that version of yourself that you really want to be. And ultimately, live a life where you feel happy and fulfilled.
In this article, I will explore what being your best self means, why being your best self is important for your well-being, types of motivation, and some ways in which to achieve that best version of yourself.
- What does being your best self really mean?
- Why is it important to try and be your best self?
- How having the right type of motivation is important
- 11 ways to help you find your best self
- 1. Visualize your best self
- 2. Find and set goals
- 3. Discover the things which are holding you back
- 4. Create healthy habits
- 5. Find your strengths
- 6. Take up new challenges
- 7. Find the support from others
- 8. Celebrate yourself
- 9. Have a positive influence on others
- 10. Start to think more positively
- 11. Be realistic
- Wrapping up
What does being your best self really mean?
When we talk about being our best self, we are essentially talking about being the best version of ourselves. And to achieve that involves going on a journey of self-improvement. So, we can optimize different areas of our lives for the better.
We can therefore continue to grow as individuals, focus on goals, and develop a positive way of thinking.
It is a process that is deeply personal to you and not a fixed state. To be our best self involves evolving and continually changing.
It is important to recognize that it doesn’t mean we need to ‘win’ in all areas of our lives. And it is impossible to achieve perfection all the time of course. But being your best self means you are simply taking more control of your life, by taking the driving seat and creating a future for yourself that you really want.
Where do you feel you are in terms of being the best version of yourself?
Why is it important to try and be your best self?
Trying to be your best self means you are continually trying to develop and learn. It also means you are taking time to:
- Set goals.
- Focus on healthy habits.
- Try new things.
- Find your strengths.
- Think positively.
There is a lot of talk in the psychology field about the process of ‘best self-activation’. This term can be described as the conscious effort to think quite literally the best of yourself through activating mental representations of your best self.
This process involves reflecting on situations and finding your best attributes. And it is often discussed in studies alongside work performance.
Interestingly, a lot of research out there suggests that best-self activation can improve areas of a person’s cognitive functioning, physiology, and emotions. And because of feeling better about ourselves, we become more resilient to stress and enjoy better relationships with others.
So perhaps, just thinking about our best self and attributes alone can help start us on the right path to our best self.
Not only are we taking time to reflect, but it gets us on the right road of positive thinking and a new sense of confidence. And we can receive benefits to our well-being too.
How having the right type of motivation is important
So why exactly do you want to be your best self? Knowing your motivation and reasons why you are making efforts towards self-improvement are important.
There tend to be two types of motivation: Intrinsic and Extrinsic.
- Intrinsic motivation relates to the motivation to do something for the personal reward and enjoyment you get out of it. For example, you might want to get a new job so you can feel happier and less stressed.
- Extrinsic motivation relates to the motivation to do something to achieve an outside goal, receive a reward, or avoid punishment. For example, you might want to get a new job so you can have loads of money and look good to others.
We know from a wealth of studies that intrinsic motivation is seen as a more effective approach to improving our performance as it tends to generate more long-lasting and authentic changes in our behavior.
If we are truthful, we all have extrinsic elements motivating us for whatever reason in life. And this is natural.
But moving forward, ensuring you are motivated for the right reasons is something worth thinking about when continuing your journey.
11 ways to help you find your best self
Keep reading below to find the top eleven powerful ways to help you be your best, most amazing self.
1. Visualize your best self
To start, a useful way of knowing who you truly want to be is by taking the time to visualize what your best self looks like. What do you do daily? What do you eat? How do you interact with others? There are many questions that you can ask yourself to get those ideas flowing.
2. Find and set goals
If you did the visualization, you may start being able to see some obvious goals which you would like to achieve. Finding goals is a step in the right direction to finding your best self as you can identify your aspirations and overall purpose in life.
This also allows you to take charge of what you really want out of life and to find out what makes you happy.
Here's an article that will help you create and keep track of your goals.
3. Discover the things which are holding you back
Ask yourself the question ‘What is stopping you from living your best life?’.
Can you pinpoint what is limiting you? It may be negative habits, attitudes, or unhealthy relationships. Finding out what is holding you back can help you to become the person you want to be by making positive changes.
4. Create healthy habits
Once you have found the areas in your life which are holding you back, look at how you can change or develop these into healthier habits. If you are not looking after yourself mentally and physically, you cannot expect to be your best.
Try and find ways to improve your daily habits by making sure you get enough rest, and exercise, and you are eating healthily. Spend your time wisely!
If you want some inspiration, here are 7 mental health habits that you can use to upgrade your life.
5. Find your strengths
Try to put into action some best-self activation! List or note down some things you love about yourself, or things you have done or achieved that you are proud of. If you're not big on positive affirmations, this article might change your mind.
By doing this we can create a positive mindset and hopefully trigger some cognitive and physiological benefits. So find out what your strengths are and write them down! If you need any help, here is an article of ours that will help you find your strengths.
6. Take up new challenges
We all feel safe and secure in our comfort zone. But by pushing ourselves that little bit more and taking on new challenges, we can receive so many benefits (I am very guilty of not wanting to do this!).
It also gives us the confidence in knowing we can do something new that we might not have expected. Go on, surprise yourself!
7. Find the support from others
It is so motivating to have support from family and close friends around us. You might even want to share some of the goals you have so you can get some words of encouragement. It can also be useful if you are trying to develop new and healthier habits to have other people on board.
8. Celebrate yourself
We are all impatient on this road to self-discovery, but you must celebrate the little wins in your life. It might be that you have taken up a hobby that is deeply personal to you or re-connected with someone who means a lot to you. This needs to be celebrated!
Be proud of your accomplishments, and don't let anyone give you the idea that you are not good enough.
9. Have a positive influence on others
Although we are talking about ourselves here, it is important to not forget how rewarding it can be in our lives to help others. Look at some ways you can make a difference to others and watch how it can transform your sense of self too.
10. Start to think more positively
We all have negative stories or scripts we tell ourselves. We will never be this…because we are like this. These are known as limiting beliefs.
Instead, find a positive thought to replace the negative and begin a new way of thinking. You may even prefer to start the day with some positive affirmations.
11. Be realistic
Being your best self is an ever-changing process. Not only do our needs alter over time, but we all experience life’s ups and downs. Remember you are not on a journey to perfection so be mindful of that and lower those expectations!
Get Our FREE Mental Self-Care Cheat Sheet
10 evidence-based tips to improve your mental health instantaneously when you need to take care of yourself!
Being your best self involves a long journey of self-discovery which is constantly evolving. These changes certainly don’t happen overnight but with some small alterations to our daily life, we can make big steps towards finding our best selves.
Life can throw at us different stresses and pressures but if we accept this is a bumpy road, we can embrace these challenges and learn from overcoming them. I hope you feel motivated to start the journey to your best self so you can live the life you have always wanted.