Every day, we strive to be better than we were yesterday. It’s a natural desire in life to seek self-improvement. After all, how boring would life be if we stayed the same day after day?
The problem is many of us struggle with the self-confidence to take the steps we need to gain the improvement we desire. And it makes us feel stuck, with no hope. Maybe even downright useless!
Don’t worry, though. We’ve curated five of the greatest techniques we know to give you the self-empowerment you need to become your best self!
What does being your best self mean?
Before embarking on this journey, it’s crucial to establish what we mean (and don’t mean!) by your “best self.”
Becoming your best self is all about accepting yourself as you are right now, and using it as a point of reference to make small, continual improvements each day that lead you to live a life you feel more aligned with.
When you think of your best self, you might imagine someone perfect. Throw that image out of your head right now. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Perfect doesn’t exist. That won’t stop you from becoming your best self, though.
Your best self embodies the traits you want to have and performs them to the best of your ability on any given day. And that ability may change from day to day because life gets in the way. Factors like a bad night's sleep, hormonal changes, and feeling sick can affect your performance on any day. However, you can still be your best self by doing the best you can that day. Even if your best is spending the day in bed watching Netflix.
Why do we struggle on the journey of self-improvement?
As we touched upon in the previous point, there is one key player when it comes to derailing your self-empowerment journey. Perfectionism.
The misunderstanding that being your best self means being perfect causes so many to become paralysed with fear before they even begin. Striving for perfection is impossible (literally, you have more chances of winning the lottery or going to space), so it makes sense that the entire process feels too daunting to continue.
After all, what kind of motivation do you have to continue when you know you can never achieve your perfection goals?
In turn, perfectionism causes you to lose self-confidence in your abilities because not only have you realised you can’t hit your unrealistic goal, but your fear of failure has stopped you from progressing at all.
That’s why we are going to reframe what your best self looks like and give you the self-empowerment tools you need so you can start living the life you want.
How to decide what your best self looks like
The first step to deciding who your best self is is to write down exactly what you envision. Be as specific as possible. What do they look like? What personality traits do they embody? What do they do differently that you don’t do now?
Once you have a clear vision of exactly who your best self is, it’s time to step back and reflect. Why do you want each aspect? Is it for you or because you think society expects it of you? Is it realistic to achieve this vision of yourself?
For example, imagine your goal is to eat healthier. Maybe your best self eats only vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains every single day. Sure it’s healthy, but is it sustainable? Research says no. Instead, maybe your best self is capable of finding more balance in their food, with more healthy options while still finding room for treats from time to time. Because that is still a beneficial outcome. It might even be healthier than being perfect because it’s sustainable.
With all your goals and aspirations for your best self, make sure they are attainable and realistic.
And now, all that’s left to do is start working towards them!
Five self-empowerment techniques to become your best self
Journaling is an excellent tool for focus, accountability, and emotional healing. Keep track of the things you do every day to move closer towards your best self.
Open up in your journal about how you feel after each day. Evaluate what went well and what didn’t.
By doing this every day, you’ll get a clear picture of what is working for you and what isn’t. One of the best tools to help you achieve your goals is the art of the pivot. Simply put, when you identify what doesn’t work, you’ll know exactly where you need to change your strategy and how to move forward. Because when something isn’t working, it’s not a problem with you; it’s a problem with the method you are using.
Journaling may also help you see trends in how your mood and emotions affect your ability to work towards your goals. In doing so, you’ll find the kindness you need to take it easy and be empathetic with yourself when these days inevitably occur.
Mirror healing and affirmations
Challenging your core beliefs about your ability to improve and be good enough can be difficult. You may have gone through your entire life with the misconception that to be worthy means to be perfect. And that’s a difficult concept to unlearn.
In order to become your best self, you need to first accept who you are with kindness and empathy. That’s where affirmations and mirror healing come in handy.
Affirmations are statements of intent that you repeat to yourself to change your inner dialogue about yourself as a person. Some great examples of affirmations to become your best self are:
- I am good enough
- I am not afraid to fail
- I am capable of self-improvement
- I approach my goals with self-compassion and kindness
When used in conjunction with mirror healing (repeating affirmations daily as you look at yourself in the mirror), you’ll experience a mindset shift over time.
After all, what we think, we become.
Set realistic goals
Someone who has never run a day in their life can’t wake up one day and beat the world record in the London Marathon. And if they try, they’ll probably do themselves more harm than good.
The journey to your best self is paved with realistic goals. Sure, you may have an overarching goal that you want to end up at, but it might not be realistic just yet.
The best goals work in small increments to give you the best chance of success.
So using our over-enthusiastic runner as an example, a realistic first goal may be to simply get up each morning and put on some running clothes. That’s it. Then once that becomes comfortable, their next goal, two weeks later, might be to go for a five-minute walk three times a week.
Setting realistic goals means meeting yourself where you are at, not expecting yourself to overperform in a skill you don’t yet have.
And if going slow feels completely foreign to you, just remind yourself of the story The Tortoise and the Hare…we all know who ended that story triumphant!
Focus on your own journey
It’s so tempting to compare our progress with the people around us. In fact, social media encourages it.
But you need to remember that you are the only person on your journey and the only person you compare yourself to. Everyone has a unique set of circumstances that changes their journey and outcomes slightly, so worrying you aren’t progressing as fast as someone else only does yourself a huge disservice.
Instead, focus on all the milestones you hit, and celebrate your achievements, big and small. Your only competition is you.
I know. It’s the horrible eff word none of us likes to hear. And yet, it’s a concept we need to make friends with.
If you think of life as a system of checks and balances, then it makes sense that you can’t have success without failure. Failure teaches you the lessons that help you improve; success is the fruit of learning those lessons.
And, if you take a deep dive on the internet, you’ll find that many of the world’s most successful people have failed plenty of times. But, without those failures, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
So don’t be afraid to fail; it’s there to help you grow.
Final thoughts on becoming your best self
You have what it takes to become the best version of yourself that you can be. You just need to develop the self-confidence to unlock the potential you already have.
So don’t be afraid to make mistakes on your journey. They are inevitable and will help you grow. But, instead, embrace the lessons failure teaches you so that you can continue on your path to your best self.
Let us know how your journey to self-empowerment and being your best self is going in the comments below!