(Becoming Your Best Self Series—Part 2)
Before you can work on changing yourself and becoming your ideal person, you need to figure out who you are right now. You need to have a clear picture of what you believe about yourself.
Was there a time when you were really happy with who you were? Are you happy with who you are right now? Imagine you’re an outside observer and you’re about to write a biography of your life. Write down the most important facts about yourself, your personality, your successes, and your failures.
Think about what made you who you are today. Consider in which ways you’ve been lucky and in which ways you haven’t been so lucky. Consider your childhood, people who’ve let you down, and people who’ve made a positive impact on you. Take this exercise seriously because it will help set you up for success as you work to change.
Good versus Bad
Consider how you tend to think about and perceive yourself. Do you think you’re too hard on yourself or too easy on yourself? Most people are way too hard on themselves. You can’t become your ideal person if your internal language is always telling you that you’re “worthless, bad, awful, terrible, and horrible.”
Do you consider yourself to be a good person or a bad person? Or maybe you think of yourself as somewhere in between. There’s no doubt that you can think of absolutely wonderful traits about yourself. But there’s also no doubt that you consistently put yourself down and beat yourself up for things you’ve done that you perceive to be wrong or bad.
A big part of becoming your ideal self is learning to accept your mistakes but not to punish yourself for them. You’ll realize that your mistakes and failures are not what define you. You’ll learn to praise yourself and accept the good because you can’t become your ideal self if you don’t truly like yourself and believe that you’re a good person.
Plus, remember that who you were in the past isn’t who you are now. People change, and very often the change is in a positive manner. When you finish reading this book and taking action on what’s inside, you’ll change also, and you’ll be at least a slightly different person because of it… and maybe a vastly different person.
It’s time to develop self-confidence and a positive self-image. The simple fact that you’re working so hard to become your ideal self puts you light years ahead of other people who never work at getting better and doing better. You are a good person, I assure you, and so it’s time to allow yourself to feel that.
Your Self Image
You were born with a certain personality. But your habits and the way you feel about yourself have come as a result of the challenges you face in life, how you perceive those challenges, the way you handle them, and what you feel your personal strengths and weaknesses are.
It’s completely possible to change your self-image no matter what. You can change your life into whatever you want it to be. You just have to build up your emotional strength, change your beliefs and attitudes, and work on improving yourself, one step at a time. You need to make an active effort to be aware of how you perceive yourself now and in the future.
Work on strengthening your skills and your ability to handle whatever life puts in front of you. For instance, focusing on a positive attitude will help you handle both mistakes and successes better. You need to strengthen yourself inside so that nothing can throw you off course.
Understanding Your Emotional Life
You also need to understand your beliefs and emotions. We all get in a bad mood sometimes. We all feel like throwing in the towel sometimes. The keyword here is “sometimes.” The most important thing is how you typically handle events in your life.
If you’re consistently negative, in a bad mood, or down about life in general, it means you have poor emotional patterns and beliefs about yourself and the world. It’s going to take some work to turn those patterns around.
How quickly do you bounce back when something bad happens in your life? Do you feel like any little thing could knock you down and you wouldn’t be able to get up again? Has that already happened to you and this is your last hope? If so, then you need to improve your resilience—we’ll get into exactly how to do that.
Do you typically stay positive even when difficult things happen in your life? That doesn’t mean you should never feel down or express your true emotions, because bottling up your emotions inside you isn’t beneficial either. But you need to be positive so you can move forward. You need to see the glass as half-full.
You also need to be very self-aware and socially aware. You need to understand yourself and your actions as well as the feelings and actions of those around you. Awareness is a major key in becoming your ideal self.
Your typical reactions, beliefs, and emotions may have been ingrained in you since childhood. We have all had negative events happen in our lives, and some much more so than others. The coping skills and emotional style you developed in childhood is likely very present in your life today. The amazing fact is that you can change your typical emotional patterns and become more self-aware.
This Process Alone Is Helpful
We move through life not really paying attention to why we do the things we do. We have this image of who we are, but we hardly ever think about why that is and what it really means. The process of investigating who you are is very helpful.
Please don’t move beyond this point before completing this exercise and giving it some true thought. You can’t become your ideal self if you have no idea of who you really are right now and who you really want to be.
You are inherently good. You are driven to change for the better–or you wouldn’t be reading this book. That says a lot about you. Be honest with yourself and continually make strides to investigate what you consider to be the more negative aspects of who you are so you can blossom into what you want to be. You’re going to do all of this with the power of your mind and by creating new experiences.
In the next edition, we will explore "What Is Your Mind, Really?".
Until then, many blessings and much peace!