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Bring out the best in yourself

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”- Coach carter, The movie

Do you sometimes feel like you could do more? Like you still have something more to give? Maybe in your work? Your Education? Or your social life?

I do. I have felt like that in the past and still feel the same with other areas in my life that I am constantly working on. After an exam session I sometimes felt like I could have studied just a little bit more to improve my chances of success. Usually, after ignoring someone who needs my help on the streets I am attacked by feelings of guilt because I know I could have done more to help. Even when I finish a personal task, a personal goal, I am plagued with questions like ‘is this it?’ ‘Is this all I can do?’ ‘Could I do more?’ ‘Can I do better?’

I can. You can. We can always do better.

We are all constantly working at being better. And that is the best way towards growth, working at it.

That being said, the only person who can know whether you’re being the best that you can be is YOU.

Effort. Passion. Being the best that you can be. That is between you and you.

Most of us do want to be the best version of ourselves but usually we are held back from being the best we can be by both external and internal factors. It could be by our fear. Or it could be by our past and the decisions we made. Or the negative influences of the people we are close to.

Granted these have a lot to do with who we are and where we are in life now, but we should do everything we can to make sure that they do not slow us down or interfere with the quality of life that we deserve.

So how can we do this? How can we bring out the best in ourselves? Let’s take a look at seven ways we can do so.

Find a strong ‘why’

Your ‘why’ is what motivates you, it is what inspires you. Whether you know it or not you have a ‘why’. It may be a weak or wrong ‘why’ but you have one. Knowing your WHY gives you a filter to make choices, at work and at home, that will help you find greater fulfilment in all that you do.

Simon Sinek, Author of Finding Your Why: A practical guide for finding purpose for you or your team, put it this way.

“It is one of life’s greatest joys to wake up in the morning… every morning, with a clear sense of why that day matters, why every day matters. This is what it means to find your WHY. This is the start of an inspiring journey… your inspiring journey.”

Always start with why.

A strong ‘why’ will bring out the best in you. It will make you wake up every morning wanting to be just a little bit better than you were yesterday. And when you are faced with dark adversity, a ‘why’ that is very strong will give you the energy and inspiration to keep going.

Be optimistic.

So you have found your ‘why’, and it’s a really strong one too. Now you have to develop a positive attitude. Think about it, you can’t really bring out your best when you don’t think anything positive will happen. Change the way you see things. Negative things happen all the time and probably will still happen, but if we don’t change our perspective to a positive one we will never be happy. We will not see opportunities and we won’t work towards changing a negative circumstance. And it all begins with our thoughts, which will influence our attitude.

Once you become positive, and start to feel like a positive thing can come out of a bad situation, it can give you the energy to weather the storm and push yourself a little bit harder onto the other side.

An attitude is contagious. Your attitude is also a very underrated powerful too that will determine the outcome of a lot of situations in your life.

To bring out the best in you. Bring your best attitude. A positive attitude.

“When you live positively it is impossible to not also be living for something greater than yourself.” — Bryant McGill

Learn to be comfortable in your own body.

Accept who you are. The Good. The Bad. And The Ugly. You are unique and different from everyone else and that is the reason you will shine. Carve out your own identity and don’t worry too much about what other people say or think about you.

When you accept who you are, it will be easier to become self-aware of yourself. When you are self- aware you will be able to accept the things you’re good at and therefore work to excel at them. You will identify what you’re bad at without feeling bad for it. Focus on your strength and amplify them, ask for help with your weaknesses.

We are living in a period were almost everything around us is designed to tell us we are not good enough. From ads to job requirements and everything in between, when we really look around the message being spread is that you are not good enough. Learning to be comfortable with who we are will give us the permission to move forward with full confidence in our abilities and our personality, knowing full well that we are enough.

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Be in the company of people who bring out the best in you.

Who we spend the most time with, is who we slowly turn into. That’s a very old saying, it’s been repeated to many many generations before us, and to be honest, I must have heard that at least a hundred times in my short period on this earth. Why the emphasis on such words? Because they are true. Regardless of whether we want to or not, we absorb the traits of people around us. Our parents. Our brothers. Sisters. Friends . Mentors. Everyone. If we spend a lot of time with them we slowly become them.

Therefore, if we spend time around people who are discouraging and perpetually negative, all the progress we will have made will be dragged down and our morale will be drained and soon we will become just like them.

In order to be the best we can be we need to have people who bring out the best in us. We can’t afford to have the negative around us and expect to succeed. It’s already hard enough without them around. But the truth is there is more negative than positive around us. We find it in people, on the television and on social media. But we can always, always choose who we can spend time with.

And just like we can choose who we hang with, we also have ‘interior feelings’ we need to consciously avoid. Have you ever been home alone, in a fine mood, only to find yourself bored or depressed an hour later? That’s because the thoughts that pass through our mind have the power to drag us into its dark circle of influence. When we notice that these feelings are present in our thoughts we can choose to ignore them and feel our minds with positive thoughts. And these positive thoughts will help bring out the best in us.

Recognise your small achievements and build faith in yourself

Another way to bring out the best in yourself is to look back on the small achievements you’ve made over the years. They may have seemed insignificant at the time we achieved them, but looking back on them may show you just how far you have come.

Small achievements add up and become great achievements, but if all we are focused on are the great achievements, we will start to feel less than capable and in turn slowly lose faith in our self.

In order to achieve the great things, we need to believe in our self. We need to have faith in our abilities. And what better way is there to build faith in your abilities than to look upon your past victories. You may feel like you have non, but just the mere fact that you have made it through another day, that you have learnt to read and are able to read this article, is an achievement. So recognise the small achievements and allow them to give you the inspiration to move on to the ‘great’ ones.

Stick to the goals you have set for yourself

Finishing what you started, especially something you have worked hard for does bring a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. And it will give you the confidence and drive to set and achieve bigger goals.

Giving up or stopping half way, always makes you feel like you are not good enough. The habit of giving up eats away at your confidence, and before long you will not even be able to ‘start ‘on any of your goals.

For example, if you are a runner or rather you jog; every distance covered will give you the confidence to go the extra mile. If you set a goal to jog for a kilometre and complete that distance, it will give you the confidence to do 1.5 kilometres on your next run. But if you quit on your goal and stop half way, you will rarely think you’re capable of achieving a greater distance because you don’t even have the confidence to complete the distance you felt you could do.

That is why you should not quit on your goals. With every finished goal comes a boost of confidence and momentum to reach your full potential.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Show up every day even when you don’t feel like it

One of the reason people fail to become their best version of themselves, is because people forget to “show up” every day.80% of being successful at anything has been attributed to us ‘showing up’ every day. And you have to do the same with yourself. You have to make up your mind to be the best you can be and then show up consistently everyday no matter what.

Sometimes we let our past success get to us and we let it ‘get to our heads’. We start to feel like this is it and we relax and stop working on ourselves.

That is why and how we fall ‘off the wagon’ without even realizing it. Showing up every day and treating each new day, project and task as if your life depended on it is a surefire way to make sure you get better at what you do and move in the right direction to where you want and need to be.

In order to become the best version of yourself you need to become a ‘No matter what’ type of person. Meaning whatever happens, good or bad, you will still show up and move forward.

“Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.” — George Bernard Shaw

Being the best that you can be is something that you owe to yourself and not anyone else. You deserve it and therefore you should work towards getting there. When that happens you’ll achieve things you are probably not even thinking of right now and most of all you will inspire those around you to do the same. You are a gift to the world and the people in your life, so wake up every day and show them the best of what you can really do. The best of what you can be.

What do you do to bring out the best in yourself? I’d like to hear from you now. What are your thoughts on this? Share them in the comment section below.

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