Most of us are interested in becoming better versions of ourselves. I know I am. Certainly, my life coaching clients are also. Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why? Why do you want to become your best self?
Likely, becoming your best self will lead to something you want. Do you want to get more things done faster? Do you want to feel better about yourself, or about your life? Maybe you want to express all there is inside of you to express. These are all good reasons for looking to personal growth and self-improvement to help you.
7 Life Coaching Tips For How To Be Your Best Self
1 – Think Deeper
So much of what is written about becoming your best self is about becoming bigger, doing more, getting more recognition. All that is totally fine, but I have found thinking deeper not bigger gives my clients the perfect grounding for growing into their best self. Call it the soil.
Starting with big goals focuses us on the outer world. Becoming your best self is more of an inner journey. Or to take the soil metaphor further, you are cultivating an inner garden that will in time be reflected outwardly.
Bigger is not always better!
Start by asking yourself, “What will really matter to me when I am 70, 80, 90 or 100 years old?” Really, think deeply about that. What will really matter to you?
Likely, you will gather a number of ideas that form part of your Core Values, those experiences in life that matter deeply to you and represent your true and deepest self, the you who shows up when no one is looking.
Becoming your best self will only have meaning for you, if you focus on fulfilling those core values rather than living out someone else’s ideas of what success means.
2 – Think Systems, Not Goals
I know what you are thinking. How can a life coach not recommend setting goals? Truth is, winners and losers have the same goals. But only one of them wins the gold. It all comes down to the systems they set up to support their goals.
For example, let’s say an athlete sets a goal to win a road race, a race she has not won before. If she simply resets her goal and makes no other changes, her chances really don’t improve. But let’s say this time, she does something differently. Instead of focusing on the goal only, she sets up a whole system of small improvements to help her reach that goal. It could include a tweak to her nutrition and overall fitness, small technique fixes, and even an improvement in her running gear. This system of small improvements will add up to propel her to become her best self. New inputs, create a new outcome.
Goals are great for planning, but systems are vital for progress.
When you want to become your best self, you will need to create some new systems.
3 – Think Habits
Habits are the building blocks of all great systems. A well-designed system of daily habits will move you to becoming your best self.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to meditate but can’t seem to make it happen. You have the goal, but the motivation comes and goes. The trick?
Build a habit – a meditation habit.
Here’s how I did it. First you need to start small. In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear makes it clear (couldn’t resist)… that one of the rules of creating a new habit is to make it easy.
I started with sitting for three minutes. I downloaded the Headspace App which has the beginner program and lovely checkmarks and pretty graphics when you achieve your goal of meditating daily. That’s what James Clear calls a reward.
I got out a calendar and wrote a big red X on each day I meditated. I also committed to not break the chain. That’s a Jerry Seinfeld trick I had read about. He used it to create a habit of writing a joke a day.
As soon as I got out of bed, I literally walked to a chair in the living room and sat down. Basically, I “stacked” sitting to meditate with something I already do, getting up in the morning.
Essentially, I got up and sat down.
Because we can do anything for three minutes, it was easy for me to meditate daily. And before too long, I was sitting for many more minutes, added slowly and never more than I thought I could handle.
It’s been years!!!! My meditation is now part of a much bigger morning system. Thinking habits work when you are looking for the way to become your best self.
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4 – Think Positive Focus
It’s hard to be your best self when you are cranky, complaining and generally a pessimist. You know what I’m saying? If you want to know how to be your best self, get out of the negative and accentuate the positive.
You can do that with a simple, yet powerful focusing technique.
You may or may not know already that humans have a negativity bias built into us. We tend to give more importance to negative experiences, and frankly, they seem to sting more.
We also look for the negative as a way to protect ourselves. Our brain is always scanning the scene for any potential threats.
We are so focused on the negative that the positive world floats right on by.
I know this first hand. My first question with all my clients is “tell me about your wins this week.” New clients struggle to find even one. They have to work at it. But if I were to ask simply, “how was your week?” they could rhyme off all the troubles.
We have to train ourselves to see more of the positive. And you can do that each day by doing that, look for the things that went well. Write them down in a journal, talk about it around the dining table with your family, even think about it as you are making your way home from work.
See if you can create yourself a positive focus habit and see how it helps you to become your best self. You’ll just be a joy to be around.
5 – Think Baby Steps OUT of Your Comfort Zone
Don’t jump! Someone once wrote that success happens outside your comfort zone. It’s true. To become your best self, you will have to step into the unknown.
My request, do it in baby steps. Don’t jump. Jumping means we are breaking stuff in our life. Baby steps means we are being thoughtful, and persistent, intentional and therefore able to make the changes stick.
Even when we make a big change that seems to happen in an instant, it usually happens after we’ve spent time thinking about it. One night in the 1970’s, I decided to quit making my living as a musician. I left New York City, moved back to Toronto and enrolled in University. It seemed to others that I had made a rash decision, a jump. But truth be told, I had been thinking about it for at least a full year and was making these small changes out of my comfort zone along the way. By the time the decision reached the surface, I was psychologically completely ready.
Whatever you choose to work on to become your best self, pick one thing at a time, and give yourself small enough steps that you know you can do it. Just make sure you take those small steps out of your comfort zone. That way, you’ll be growing personally for sure.
6 – Think Self-Care
Have you ever watched how all living things thrive when they are loved? Your pet? Your child? The rose bush in the park? We grow and thrive when love is present. Unfortunately, we often forget to put ourselves on the list of things and people to take care of. Becoming your best self depends on you loving yourself in a conscious way, intentionally. You can do that by practising self care.
One of the monthly in-person groups I lead a few years back decided to focus on self-care. Honestly, the changes these women experienced was remarkable, simply by putting themselves on their “to do lists.”
Tomorrow, when you awake, check in with yourself and ask;
What can I do today to take care of myself?
Create some habits and systems around your answers. You will be amazed how you will be propelled to your best self with this one focus alone.
7 – Think Spiritual Practise
Many times becoming your best self means finding your True Self and connecting with your Higher Self. There is more to life than what our senses perceive in the material world. And when we take some time each day to connect with it, find it, learn about it, it helps us to become our best self.
There is more to life than what our senses perceive.
Whether you learn to meditate, read wisdom literature, or even go back to church, developing a spiritual practice will support you in becoming your best self by becoming a “bigger” self. You can learn to grow your compassion, open your heart and learn to be deeply appreciative of life. All that, plus so much more will support you to be your best self.
We started this discussion with why – Why do you want to be your best self? Do you have an answer for that question now?
When you bring your best self to your life, your relationships can change, your work can change, how you are with your kids can change. And it changes because you feel so much better about yourself. The part of you that might have felt broken feels healed. The worry you had that life wasn’t really all that great fades. Instead, you feel you have purpose, direction and even meaning for your life.
I will leave you with a Self-improvement Quote from non other than Madonna. Yes, Madonna the musician. You must admit, she is someone who knows something about reinventing herself. It’s not quite the same as becoming your best self, but it’s pretty close.
“No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.” — Madonna
Let me know why you want to become your best self by leaving a comment below. I do reply to all comments.
With love & Peace