Are you the best person that you can be? It’s a simple question, but, its consequences are far reaching. Why?
Because making a commitment to self-improvement puts us in control of our lives – and a sense of control is a cornerstone of positivity. By taking action to be the best person we can be, we assert our right to judge ourselves. At the same time, we deny the right of others to judge us.
Most of us understand that we shouldn’t let others determine our worth. So, why do we still compare ourselves to others? More importantly, why do we allow our perceptions of others to prevent us from achieving our own dreams? Because we are blinded by our own competitive nature. This might be a good way to get things done.
After all, as baby boomers, many of us built our careers on a desire to be “the best”. But, nothing will make us unhappier than comparing ourselves to others. This is especially true for women, who are bombarded by images in the media of women who can “do it all”. Did you ever feel like society was asking you to be a modern day superhuman? How did that make you feel?
Now that we have reached our 60’s, we have an important choice to make. We can continue to be constrained by what others expect of us. We can continue to look to others to tell us our limitations. Or, we can choose to make our own potential the only point of comparison in our lives. You can choose to be the best person that you can be.
Some people never take the first step on the path to self-improvement because they don’t know where to start. Their problems may appear too big and the transformation too hard. The good news is that the first step is easy.
Think of one thing that you want to accomplish and why. Build a well of emotional strength to draw on, because, unless you know what you are fighting for, you will never win the battle.
It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others. It’s time to stop setting impossible goals. It’s time to be the very best you that you can be.
They say that the bigger the goal you want to achieve, the smaller the first step that you should take to achieve it. It may sound silly, but, try looking in the mirror every day and saying out loud “I am going to be the best me today.”
Instead, focus on finding a positive state of mind. Once you believe with all of your heart that you can do anything, you can start to break your plan down into actionable steps.
On the road to self-improvement, one of the first speed-bumps that many people encounter is low self-esteem. The problem is that low self-esteem is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that you cannot change, you are correct. Be confident. Since you have already decided to reject external comparisons, you have nothing to lose. Even if you do not succeed first time, so what? Failure is often the best teacher.
J.K Rowling, author of the enormously successful Harry Potter books, has talked openly about how her failures were more important to her growth than her successes. In addition to embracing failure, Rowling also talks about the importance of nurturing our imagination. Don’t be afraid to think big. Imagine exactly where you want to be and create a mental picture to keep you strong along the way.
Even better, write a letter, draw a picture, or make a collage. Define your goal and go for it!
Letting go of external comparisons does not mean that your path to a better you has to be a lonely one. Trusted friends and family make welcome companions on your journey. Girlfriends, in particular, are valuable allies; their encouragement moves us forward while their constructive criticism keeps us honest.
Suzanne Braun Levine’s book, “Gotta Have Girlfriends,” discusses how confiding in others brings psychological and emotional support. When we are surrounded by people who accept and love us, we are less afraid. We know that the people who actually matter have our backs and will help us to reach our goals. Do you have a good friend to join you on your self-improvement adventure?
Now that you have prepared yourself mentally and surrounded yourself with positive people, it’s time to put your self-improvement plan into action. Develop small habits that help you to be a better you every day.
Don’t move on to the next self-improvement project until the previous one becomes second nature.
Actively look for new friends who share the same self-improvement goals as you – they will encourage you to improve and keep you accountable for your promises. Be fun to be around. Smile. People will be drawn naturally to your enthusiasm.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself achieving one of your goals. You have reached the finish line. You are surrounded by your friends who are smiling and cheering your accomplishment. How do you feel?
Are you ready to be the best you possible? Letting go of the past is an emotional and challenging, yet ultimately liberating process. Now it’s time to get out there and live your life – full of freedom, love, and passion!
Write down one habit that you are going to work to eliminate from your life. Write down one small thing that you will do to move towards that goal today. Share on your personal Facebook page or with a trusted friend.
What are you doing to be the best person that you can be? Please join the conversation.