Becoming Your Best Self – Basket of Wisdom For Personal Growth

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As I reflect back on my last 10 years of coaching experience, I can see the similarities in both problems and solutions when individuals are striving to become their best self and live in wholeness. Accepting the following bits of wisdom can create significant change in your life!

  • Attitude of Gratitude
  • A key attribute of people who live their best life is gratitude. They are grateful for all the good in their lives (people, things, experiences) as well as for the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons when negative or uncomfortable situations arise.
  • 3 Minute Miracle
  • This is a tool that I use all the time, both personally and with all my clients. BREATHE! This doesn’t mean the unconscious sort of breathing we spend most of our day doing, but a very focused awareness of the process of breathing. And it’s simple! Just pay attention to the physical act of breathing. Notice how it feels as you take in air, allowing it to fill your lungs and spread throughout your body. Hold it as long as you can, maintaining focus on the physical act. Then exhale, loud and slow. (I usually ask clients to make sure I hear them exhale over the phone). Do this 3 times, each time doing it slower. At the end, you will be clear and focused, in your “center of wisdom”. Now is the time to ask questions like “What’s the most important thing to do right now?”
  • Don’t take it personally
  • In my opinion, Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is one of the most brilliant guidelines for being your best self. Especially, the agreement to not take anything personally. “Nothing others do is because of you. what others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
  • Fundamental Human Needs
  • In the early days, I used an assessment created by Thomas Leonard to determine what unfulfilled needs a person had. Over and over again, it came down to feeling accepted, valued and/or acknowledged. We need to know that we count. Hearing it from others is nice, but we also need to hear it from ourselves. In fact, I would recommend acknowledging yourself (and others) first, and then let the acknowledgement be mirrored back to you.
  • Ministry of Presence
  • Some time ago, I attended a funeral where the priest spoke about “the ministry of presence”. He encouraged each of us to be truly present in every moment and with each person we come in contact with. Give them the gift of your 100% attention. This is especially important with family members as this total attention on your part is vital to their emotional wellbeing (see last item!). By the way, as quality is usually more important than quantity, you’ll probably find (as many of my clients do) that when you give the important people in your life 100% attention, they will ask it of you less frequently, as they find they don’t need constant “proof” of your affection.
  • Give what you want to Receive
  • When there is something we want from others (emotional or physical, not items), the absolute best way to get it is to start giving it to others. The more you give it, the more you will feel it yourself, and the more people will start giving it back. Incredibly simple, but very effective!
  • Get that you deserve what you want
  • No matter what you want, you DESERVE to have it! It’s just a fact. So many of us feel the need to be punished for something (often something trivial that no one else remembers) and therefore feel that joy is out of their reach. A vital belief to being your best self is “I’m good enough just the way I am”.
  • Take ownership and reject victimhood
  • It is human nature to want to escape accountability, so it’s so easy to blame others for everything in your life. However, ‘eternal’ victims do NOT become their best self or live their life in wholeness. In order to claim the power to change your life, you MUST accept responsibility for everything in it today. All of those ‘people’ are just helping you learn a valuable life lesson. However, accepting responsibility for what happened does NOT change their accountability. Taking ownership doesn’t let them off the hook; it frees YOU!
  • Keep improving 1% a day to Wholeness
  • So often, we try to change too much and become overwhelmed at the prospect, leading us to not change at all! The best antidote to this is to focus on slight improvements each day. While it’s important to identify a ‘SMART’ ultimate goal, we can’t focus on that everyday. Turn that big goal into mini ones. For example, if you want to exercise 30 minutes 3 days a week, do it in small percentages at a time. 1% of 30 minutes is.3 minutes, but 3 minutes is 10%. So, the first week, exercise 3 minutes for 3 days. The second week, double that to 6 minutes. Keep your focus on increasing that amount of time and before you know it, you are at your goal!
  • Focus on Being Best Self
  • Being is more important than Doing or Having. That is so simple and elegant, I don’t think I can add to it!
  • Self Talk shapes our lives
  • The constant chatter in our minds shapes our lives more than all other experiences and events put together. It’s not the teacher who made fun of us, but the daily reminder of it that makes us vulnerable and protective. It shuts us down…. or lifts us up! That is why it is so important to break those negative thoughts, changing them at least to neutral thoughts if you can’t get to happy ones right away.
  • Beliefs CAN be changed
  • All of our beliefs are learned. That is good news because it means they can be changed. There is no off/on switch, however. The process of changing a belief is just that, a process, something you must choose and commit to. (If you’re interested in finding out more about this, please consider a complimentary session, your free test drive).
  • All emotional response means SOMETHING
  • When we have any emotional response to a person, thing, experience, event, movie, book, anything at all, there is a reason for that response on our part. While we may not need to pick apart the happy or joyful responses, there is always value in looking at why you shut down, get angry, want to cry, or feel any uncomfortable feeling, particularly when other people are not responding to the stimulus in the same way.
  • Being our best self takes courage and strength
  • In order to achieve wholeness in our lives, we need to accept that we have the courage to face the worst and the strength to expect and allow the best. Sometimes our fear of the “worst” happening will paralyze us so much that we don’t even know what the worst is! Acknowledging what the worst is (and identifying a few ways we might deal with it if it did happen), allows us to move past the fear. Once we’ve moved past the fear, we then need to work on expecting and allowing the best. For some, this is even more frightening than facing the worst.