Be your best self by asking these 3 questions

I’m a big proponent of growth and being my best self – in fact growth is my highest ranked value every time I do a values determination exercise (if you haven’t done this for yourself there are plenty of free and simple exercises you can do – here’s one to start).   

But being our BEST selves – that’s a big task, and how to be this, is a big question.  Three questions actually.

How to be our best selves?

 

Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? To be our best selves. To be the best you, you can be. The best me I can be.

I know that’s my quest.  

I’m past the days when I wanted to be someone else, or be like someone else. That was never going to turn out well – because as we all know, there are 7 billion people in the world and we are all individuals. We’re one offs – one of a kinds. Specially made unique gifts – to ourselves.  

I’ve been working on being the best version of myself for years now – I mean really, consciously working on it. I’ve developed and utilised a number of strategies and activities over the years – some have been successful and now form part of my daily routines, while others, well, lets just say they weren’t for me. Each has helped me to create a path towards being my best self.

It’s not a linear process and sometimes it looks more like a heartrate monitor output, but I trust that over time, I’m incrementally learning, growing and accepting, and heading towards my best self. Better than the day before. Better in some way – be that in what I feed by body, feed my mind or feed by spirit, or how kind I can be. How much I practice humility – taking no more than my space and no less than my place. How trusting I am. How committed to my goals I am. And the list goes on.

 

The great thing about striving to be YOUR best self, is that you get to set the rules, you get to decide what your best self looks like, feels like, thinks like. You’re in charge. There’s a freedom in that, and there is also a responsibility in that.

 

You get the set the rules

I love structure and systems so even though I’m in charge of me, and my efforts to be my best self, sometimes I create such complex structures around my own personal growth that I spend my time ticking boxes and analysing my every move.   I develop systems for myself, record these and follow them. I list what I want to become new habits in my life and check these off a list every day. I set goals at the beginning of each year, I break these down into actions and I try to hold myself to them.

With all of these rules and regulations and processes I put on myself in relation to my own personal growth, I find myself sometimes throwing my hands in the air and eating the entire family sized pizza by myself. It all gets too hard and when I notice I’m falling short in some areas (and I notice because of all the crosses instead of ticks), I feel like it’s all too hard. Like I might as well give up on this quest to be my best self.

 

My ok self is doing just fine – she can stick around a while longer.

So lately I’ve been getting to a point where I crave more creative freedom – less hard work around being my best self. Less systems and lists and ticking off.

But I do still want to strive to be my best self….so I’ve found a way to simplify this quest.

Just three questions.

 

Best Self questions

Three questions I am getting used to asking myself – about all my choices. Helping with my personal growth.

Simple. Effective.

Question 1 – How do I feel about myself now?

Question 2 – How will I feel about myself if I do this?

Question 3 – How will I feel about myself if I don’t do this?

I saw these in a book by Barry Mangione called No Easy Answers, which was focused on his recovery from addiction.

Immediately I knew they would help me.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

My choice – what to have for dinner – to eat the family size pizza or not?

Question 1 – How do I feel about myself now?

Well I feel ok. I’ve eaten well all day. I have a healthy dinner alternative I can have. But I feel like cheesy, hot, convenient pizza. I feel perplexed about what to do. I’m leaning towards the pizza.

Question 2 – How will I feel about myself if I do this?

I’ll feel like crap! I’ll be disappointed in myself for not nourishing my body well (which is one of my priorities). I will feel like a loser.  

But the pizza – it would taste so good. No doubt about that.

But how will I feel after the pizza?

Ok – I know I’ll feel bad about that choice. So bad that I am likely to skip the gym tomorrow because that’s how I do things – all or nothing.

Question 3 – How will I feel about myself if I don’t do this?

I’ll feel strong and empowered – knowing I have made a choice that nourishes me and serves my goal of becoming my best self.

I will feel in control of my choices around food – and I’ll go to the gym tomorrow to keep up the good work.

Ok that’s a fairly simple example but it’s one of the situations I used these three questions in early on.

Let’s try another one.

I’m on the boat, we’re about to go swimming in the deep, open water, with whales.

I am terrified of sharks and deep, dark water. I love adventure.

 

Asking these three questions – getting closer to my best self

Question 1 – How do I feel about myself now?

Well right now I feel safe – I’m on the boat and there’s no pressure for me to get in the water – even though that’s what I paid for and why I’m here. I feel very Libran – undecided about what to do. My fear is wrestling with my awe and curiosity. The water is cold. I feel unsure.  

Question 2 – How will I feel about myself if I do this?

I’d feel on top of the world of course. I would feel unstoppable – that I have faced my fear and put my brave on and because of that, experienced magical moments in the sea with these beautiful creatures. I would feel alive!

Question 3 – How will I feel about myself if I don’t do this?

I know without a doubt that once back on dry land, I’ll regret not taking the plunge and getting in the water. I won’t feel like I’m living my best life and being my best self.

No processes to complete, no ticks to put in a box, just three questions I gently ask myself.

So imagine you can apply these three questions yourself to some of your choices. Because you can.

  • Do you go to the gym tomorrow?
  • Do you start that business?
  • Do you leave your job?
  • Do you move to that city?
  • Should you climb that mountain?
  • Should you write that book?
Get in to the habit of asking yourself – checking in with yourself. Are you on the right track?

I hope you can find some usefulness in these three questions and that by asking them of yourself you too can simply and quickly make decisions that keep you on, or put you on, the path to your best self.

As an aside, they are great questions to ask your children when they’re struggling with a choice. Walk them through it, help them to articulate their answers and see where they go with it.

 

How will you feel about yourself if you do this?

How will you feel about yourself if you don’t?

 

“Let your life be your message” Mahatma Gandhi

 

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