Why Being your Best Self is Wrong

We have all heard it before from motivational speakers and inspirational videos where we are told the age old adage: “ put your best self forward!” I should know, I used to preach that same message. But as a critical thinker I am constantly challenging my beliefs and am open to my perspectives being shifted; this is how I evolve.

Being your best self is a very limiting statement: it implies there is only a singular self to better when in fact you and I comprise of multiple selves. Think about it: how many hats do you wear throughout your day or week? When I’m in ‘daddy’ mode (one of my favourites), I’m completely different than when I’m consulting for my corporate clients and I’m in ‘facilitator’ mode.

We wear many hats in our lives, it’s important to nurture each identity so we develop holistically.

When we are told to ‘be our best self’ it often means be the version that prescribes to the pre-determined formula and societal definition of ‘success.’ We all know the formula: { school + degree + job + family + house = success!} Basically, you are only at your best when these certain things are ticked off like some life-examination, where the teacher is a culmination of yours and others’ expanded expectations. What pressure! And for such a limited slice of what you can give as well as get from the immeasurable totality life.

embrace the many roles you play in life, they are there to better you

So how do you start to nurture all your various selves? Follow these three easy steps to get you on your way! The first step is acknowledging that they exist and that means acknowledging that you have a split-personality! This is normal.

Our personalities slightly shift depending on the various circumstances we are in.

In ‘daddy’ mode my guard is down and I immediately become a magician capable of making teddy-bears disappear! In ‘facilitator’ mode I am focused on ensuring my clients’ needs are met in a reasonable time and manner. I have not changed, but my my focus is on very different things.

There are elements of you that remain the same, but due to the varying environments and contrasting stimuli, different things are emphasised.

The second step is becoming aware that your various identities are linked, when you do, you realise you can learn from them. My kids make me exhaust my imagination and this forces me to think differently and engage them from their perspective.

When I apply these lessons at work, I become an invaluable asset to my clients; as I am capable of conjuring my creative will in a multitude of situations and am humble enough to take into account others’ viewpoints.

Use your various selves to gain new perspectives which you can then apply to seemingly unlinked situations. This will ensure your ideas are constantly fresh.

Thirdly, you becoming aware of your multiple selves and being able to learn from them increases your overall ability to engage your external environment more comprehensively. It becomes easier to learn from various sources, people and cultures.

I began reading books and learning subjects that I would not normally consider beneficial to me but I was interested in. I was limiting my learning to what would make that prescribed formula work- this closed the door to so much vast knowledge. Probe into the things you are curious about for the mere sake of making you better.

When you stimulate the various parts of yourself, you improve the whole you: Your Authentic Self (YAS).

Think of YAS as the source or foundation of who you are. Is it from this base that your other selves emanate from. Being your best self implies a singular, limited identity. It is in letting your multiple selves blossom that you enjoy the fruits of your true expansiveness.

Using these three easy steps of acknowledging your various selves, learning from them by cross-pollinating perspectives and investigating the selves you often neglect is a good start to getting to know Your Authentic Self.

Thanks for reading! Dont forget to like, recommend and subscribe below to get free content! There is also a link to my YAS Podcast below, take a listen!