(Becoming Your Best Self Series—Part 7)
Now it’s time to figure out who you are by doing some reflective journaling. Start to reflect on the parts of your life that stand out to you the most.
For instance, there may be a memory from your childhood that consistently nags at you. You may not really understand why at this point. That’s why it’s so important to investigate, reflect, and consider how that memory affects your life today.
In addition to focusing on events that stand out in your life, reflect on your life as a whole. Consider your childhood, young adulthood, and your life to this point. Why do you think you tend to fall into the same habits and patterns?
The simple act of journaling and getting your thoughts down on paper can be very therapeutic. You’ll start to make connections you never would have made before.
We’ll discuss this in more depth further on, but by simply becoming aware of your thoughts, history, and actions, you’ll be shining a spotlight on your issues so you can take steps to become your ideal self.
If you’re having trouble reflecting on your childhood, and you’re aware that your childhood was not ideal, you may want to seek professional therapy so you can start to work through those issues. Psychologists have found that those who have “holes” in their childhood experience or have trouble may have an avoidant style of relating to themselves or others.
Some people believe that childhood plays only a very small role in who you are today. Though, I have a strong suspicion that you’ll find patterns that go back to your childhood. It can be difficult to go back to times that weren’t ideal, but it can really help you work through your issues today.
I don’t mean to make it sound like only those with rough childhoods have a difficult time becoming their ideal self. The fact is that everyone has issues and holdups in life. The important thing is that you get to the root of why your life has turned out the way it’s turned out. You need to know why you believe what you believe and how that shapes your life.
You Can Change Your Story
Many people think of themselves with some finality. They think they will always be the way they are. If you’re disorganized with your work or home, you may believe that you’ll always be that way. After all, you’ll usually go back to old patterns even if you make an effort to change. If you seem to have money problems or don’t handle money well, you may believe you’ll always be that way–even if you make an effort to change.
Thankfully, you still hold on to hope because you know you can do so much better in your life. You look at the people around you who’ve already accomplished so much and done so many incredible things. You know that can be you someday. But do you really internalize and believe that thought?
Part of the issue is that we get used to the stories we tell ourselves. We’re used to being bad with money, messy, a procrastinator, or someone who starts and stops goals. It’s easy to stay in this pattern–it’s what we’re familiar with.
But, if you’re truly ready to change your beliefs about yourself, you can pull yourself out of whichever bad habits or negative attributes you consider to be true.
Create a Fictional Version of Who You Strive to Be
Now it’s time to dare to dream. You’ve reflected on your life to this point. You’ve tried to become more aware of why you are the way you are. At this point, you probably have a foggy notion of what your ideal self is. Now it’s time to get it down on paper so you can get excited and start training your brain to make these changes.
You’re not just going to dream about becoming better or different. You’re going to make it happen. This is a very exciting step. I know you feel it in your bones already— this process is what’s truly going to work for you.
Think of your life as if you were writing a novel. What would you do if you could wave a magic wand and create whatever kind of life you want?
Write a character sketch of yourself. What do you look like? What kind of work do you do? How do you run your business and home? Where do you live? How successful are you? Who do you spend your time with? In which ways are you fulfilled? What major goals have you accomplished? What do you do with your free time?
Let your mind run free with this exercise. Don’t censor yourself— you’re daring to dream without censorship. The truth is that you can have whatever you want out of life but you have to figure out what that is first. You might be surprised at what you discover by letting your mind run free.
You should do this exercise with a smile on your face. The very thought of it should give you a great sense of contentment and joy. Spend enough time on this so you feel pumped up and ready to turn it into a reality. That might be in an hour from now or it might be in days from now. The only important thing is that you don’t let yourself stew over this. This is a fun exercise that will open your mind to the possibilities.
Your story is what you strive to be and do. By the end of your time following these methods and ideas, you’ll have become your ideal person. You’ll be living life on your own terms, happy, healthy, and successful.
In the next edition, we will explore "The Science of Change"
Until then, many blessings and much peace!