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|Have you ever walked past a mirror or shop window and glanced at the reflection, not realizing for a moment that it’s you?|
Most of us see our lives like that, as there’s a perception of who we are and then some happier, healthier, more successful, and just plain better version of ourselves that we have yet to become.
Most of us will never even come close to realizing that full potential. But, sadly, most of us won’t even try.
I encourage you to read these 12 ways to become the best version of yourself. By going through this authentic journey of self-discovery, you’ll be able to tap into that fulfilled, maximized life.
So, the next time you walk past your reflection, you’ll recognize it as the version of yourself that you’ve always wanted!
1. First, take responsibility for your life
The first step of any self-improvement – whether it’s straightening out our finances, trying to lose weight, or even becoming the best version of ourselves – is always to take a good, honest look at yourself. Identify where you are in life, why, and what the “best version” of yourself even looks like.
Only then can you start taking 100% responsibility for your own decisions and outcomes and hold yourself accountable throughout this beautiful journey.
2. Give up your limiting beliefs
We all have beliefs, biases, and entrenched negative thoughts that sabotage our development in life. Often deeply entrenched that go back to childhood or stem from trauma, I’ve spent a lot of time outlining these limiting beliefs, as I wrote about in a previous blog.
“We all have past experiences, memories, filters, emotions, and more – together referred to as cognitive biases – that distort our accurate portrayal of life. But by understanding these psychological and behavioral mechanisms, we can make better allowances for them, aligning our worldview more precisely while also eliminating the things that have always been holding us back.”
You can read more here. In a nutshell, you’ll want to identify and shed those limiting beliefs and biases in order to evolve into the best version of yourself!
3. Amplify your strengths
Too often, we focus, stress, and ruminate on our weaknesses or shortcomings. If only we didn’t lack in these areas, we often tell ourselves, as we judge ourselves negatively yet again. We even try to push a boulder up a hill by trying to work on improving our weaknesses, which is admirable.
However, we have to remember that people are remembered for their strengths – those talents, characteristics, or even personality traits that stand above the rest, not their weaknesses. So, double down and focus on accentuating and nurturing your strengths!
4. Develop a growth mindset
They say that “You either win or you learn,” which also can be applied to the hard times and challenges in your life. Those never go away – and are usually out of our control!
But by developing a growth mindset, you’ll see them as opportunities to grow from the experience and become happier, getting closer to the best version of yourself.
5. Give up expectations
The fastest way to make yourself miserable is to compare and measure yourself against others. You’ll always perceive yourself as a big loser if you’re in competition with everyone else (or what they post on social media). Likewise, we put huge expectations on ourselves, and then judge ourselves negatively if we don’t measure up.
But the good news is that by letting go of those inherent expectations and comparing yourself to others, you’ll be an actualized, mentally healthier version of you!
6. Be willing to recreate your identity
Just like those expectations we mentioned above, we all have a firm vision of what our life should look like and who we should be. That may come from many places, including the pressures from parents, society, and our own need to reach our potential.
But like a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly, we need to fully strip ourselves of that old, un-useful identity to become the newer, better version of ourselves.
7. Face your fears
“Life is either a grand adventure of nothing,” is one of my favorite quotes, uttered by someone who knows about fear, Hellen Keller.
No matter who you are and what you’re facing in life, we need to squarely confront our fears and smash through them in order to shift into the best version of yourself.
It’s not that you will never feel fear again or that everything will always work out perfectly, but you’ll learn to embrace the process of taking risks and not being deterred by your failures. Once you start taking bigger, bolder risks on a regular basis, your dreams will be within reach!
8. Focus on your daily habits
What will your life look like five, ten, or twenty years from now? It doesn’t take a psychic to read the future, since your life down the road is just a function of your current daily habits. It’s easy to daydream about this shining, perfect version of ourselves sometime in the future, but the way to actually achieve that is to knuckle down on the minutiae of your daily habits and routines.
Start with your morning habits here!
9. Change your brain!
This isn’t an exaggeration – you can literally change the physiology of your brain by breaking through old patterns and substituting them for new, empowering rituals and processes. Called ‘neuroplasticity,’ it’s one of the most unique aspects of human psychology, as the choices we make can actually create and strengthen new neural pathways, essentially rewiring how your brain works.
Read more about how to rewire your brain here.
10. Practice self-love
To be the best version of yourself, start being better to yourself. Practice more patience, compassion, and even forgiveness in every aspect of your life. Treat yourself at least as well as you treat others. After all, you deserve it!
11. Stay positive!
The average person has up to 60,000 thoughts per day, but 80% of those are negative and 95% of them repetitive! No wonder why we feel stuck in a rut! But you can turn that around, identifying your negative self-talk, consciously replacing those thoughts, and eventually reversing that trend.
It’s a process and takes work, but will really turns things around in your life!
12. Take time to rest and relax
These days, most of us are overworked, overstressed, and overanxious about the first two! Take some time to recharge your batteries, thinking of it as an investment in your health and happiness that will yield a monumental ROI.
There are many ways to do this that may be right for different people: exercise, yoga, meditation, reading, music, laughing, getting together with others, celebrating your faith, journaling, practicing gratitude, or deep breathing. (And if in doubt, just get more sleep!)
I assure you that doing these things on a regular basis will help you become the best version of yourself, one that you’re proud of and truly love!