Do you want to become the best version of yourself you can possibly be? First, I must warn you that going through a huge personal transformation is no easy task. It requires zeal and utter dedication to reach your ambitious state. Note that you should become the best version of yourself because you wish to do so, not because your friends tell you to or because some random stranger at a bar thinks you’re different.
People who normally succeed on this journey of personal transformation, are the ones who have a real reason to change. It is often that those who realize they lack in certain areas of life that have the biggest drive for success. They are tired and afraid of being held back in any way shape or form. Some of the general examples of areas to improve in are; health, finances, confidence, relationships, intelligence.
So what can you do to make sure you are on the right path of change? Before you jump in gung-ho, I advise you to take a step back and make a plan.
1)Think, devise and execute a plan
When you think of the areas in your life you wish to improve in and become the best version of yourself, you must first sit down, take a pen and paper and write down your shortcomings. I want you to be completely and brutally honest because you are fooling no one, but yourself. Personally, I suggest no more than 3 drastic and 5 moderate or mild changes at a time, depending on what you find challenging.
Here’s an example of some of the traits and qualities to improve:
- Socialize more
- Eating healthy
- New hobbies
Now that you’ve got a clear understanding of what to work on and have set realistic goals, it’s time to set a date. If you have children in the house and they are preventing you from picking up a good book you’ve been meaning to read, or perhaps it’s been ages since you went hiking with your friends, now is the time to organize your life and dedicate it accordingly to your desires. If your friends and family have the same goals invite them on this journey, because as you know, there is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition.
By being prudent and organized you reduce the risk of interferences as well as any unpredictable delays which could cause setbacks in your progress. Become the best version of yourself by organizing your plan of action ahead of time.
3)Motivation and determination
Since you are striving to increase your capabilities and become the absolute best you can be, it is time for you to find your mojo. Realize what empowers you and gives you inner strength. I personally recommend using the “5 why technique” with which you get to the root cause of the problem. You cannot become the best version of yourself if you don’t know the real reason why you want to change.
For example, let’s say you have a constant inner battle with finances which just won’t go away. With this technique you ask yourself “Why” the number of times necessary to get to the cause of the problem:
I am out of money (identifying the problem)
- Why? I spend it very quickly
- Why? I enjoy shopping on eBay
- Why? I love the thrill of opening packages
- Why? Because it makes me feel good
- Why? Because I never got any gifts as a child (the root cause)
When you’ve identified the root cause, you should now determine what drives you towards your goals.
Two types of motivation
- Internal – motivation that comes from within. This includes doing something for yourself, such as playing the guitar, riding a bicycle, going to the gym.
- External – motivation that is strongly reliant on external factors which are in most cases short-term. Some of the external motivators include money, fame and even love in many cases.
We want to make sure we have the right source of encouragement pushing us towards our ambition in life. To increase our chances and persevere when challenges arrive along the way, our internal flame will be there to push us to the limits. You can’t become the best version of yourself if you don’t have the proper motivation.
If you’ve come this far, I can almost guarantee, you are 50% done. Even if it took you merely a day or two. Why and how you ask? It’s quite simple really. The thing that most people lack isn’t some sort of ability to overcome difficulty. They lack passion, dedication and desire to keep fighting when life takes an unexpected turn (which it does for everyone at some point in time).
As Vince Lombardi, an American football player said: “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.”
This is the mindset you need to be in. This is the determination that will keep you going. Position yourself in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and acknowledge the fire within!
You have been following these guidelines, you are doing well until suddenly life drops the bomb on you. An obstacle the size of The Great Wall of China materializes in front of you. You cannot climb or go around it – you are stuck (or at least you believe so). Panic takes over, confidence levels drop below 0 and the mind gets cloudy. You convince yourself there is no way out of this predicament and start acting accordingly to your beliefs and emotions (which is never a good thing). Thinking inside the box has reduced your ability to concentrate and absolutely shattered your expectations. “What do you do when you find yourself in a tight spot,” you ask?
What I personally do to get my mind back in thinking order is to reaffirm myself verbally (yes, I literally tell myself) “I can do this, I am great, I am happy, brave confident, strong”… you get the idea. This can have both short and long-term effects. By sending strong positive signals to the brain you overwrite negative emotions in your subconscious mind. Repeat these messages out loud in front of a mirror and really mean it! You are what, and who you believe to be.
Becoming the best version of yourself requires conscious, constant effort. People have 65.000 thoughts a day and more than 80% are considered to be negative. Positive emotions are 2.5x more powerful,f and by affirming yourself, you calm down your emotions and transition into a peaceful state of mind. Here’s a video I watch often that helps me increase my confidence.
Taking appropriate action
“Why do I feel as if it is the end of the world? ” First of all, it is completely normal to feel anxious and distressed. Human beings are by nature problem solvers. We create lives to our likings and when things go awry, the emotions kick in. Negative emotions serve only one purpose – to find what you do not want in life, so you can shift your attention to positive thinking instead.
“What can I do?” What I find extremely convenient is to not worry at all. This is where self-control is of absolute importance for your well-being. “Ok, but how do I stop worrying and feeling anxious?” Before I get into that, I strongly advise you to read Dale Carnegie’s book called “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” Hopefully you will give that book a serious go as it provides readers with practical examples and tips on what to do when we reach “a dead-end.”
What I learned from the book and started implementing on a daily basis:
- Live in the present, this very moment and not tomorrow.
- Plan the future, don’t obsess over it.
- Ask yourself:“What is the worst that could possibly happen if there is no applicable solution to the problem. Will I die?” I strongly doubt it.
- Prepare for the worst, accept it and improve upon it.
Another great book from the same author is How to Win Friends & Influence People. This book will teach you how to make friends, be a successful leader and influence others, develop proper communication and much more. You can’t become the best version of yourself if you don’t influence others.
We decide how we feel, not others
Remember that we are the ones who decide how we feel. Quoting Anthony Robbins “Nothing in life has any meaning, except the meaning we give it.” The importance we give to people, objects, animals, etc. strengthens our attachment. When we lose them we suffer immensely due to separation anxiety (sort of like a drug withdrawal.)
As people we analyze things and subconsciously put a value on them. To break free of this habit we must first be happy with ourselves, before considering others. I am not saying to be selfish and inconsiderate. By all means be friendly, helpful and reliant, as long as it does not consist of sacrificing your health for someone or something.
Feeling worried, fear, anger goes way back into the roots of human biology when men hunted and were being hunted by predators and other deadly animals. When one finds himself in a life or death situation, fight or flight instincts kick in. This gives people extraordinary strength for a short amount of time. “How do I utilize this? ” Unless you find yourself stuck under a crashed car or get attacked by a buffalo, this information will not help you under normal circumstances.
Set daily and weekly goals and reward yourself when you achieve them. Treat yourself by getting that massage, update your wardrobe, go on vacation… Remember to take breaks as you do not want to burn yourself out. Find your own pace and stick to it! Remember that consistency is the way to success.
6)Stretching the comfort zone
For most people, this is the hardest part to follow as it requires godlike courage, confidence, strength, determination, and an efficient game plan. Stretching your comfort zone is absolutely necessary to become the best version of yourself. I’m here to tell you that the challenge can be pretty easy when you have a good reason to do it. In other words, the bigger your motivation, the higher the chance of success to become the best version of yourself.
For example, you’ve been wanting to quit smoking for years, but could never get yourself to begin the process of quitting. Maybe you stop for a few days and then start again. What do you do? You get your oxygen-deprived, cancer-fed, full of smoke lungs to the doctor and prepare for “the speech”. The doctor will tell you if you don’t quit smoking, you could be facing some serious health issues months or years down the road.
What this causes in you is fear and if you have any self-respect towards your well-being, you will most likely take action.
Human beings operate under the fear of loss and tend to be more open to change and be prepared to take action when they feel threatened. Is this truly the best way to finally get a job, before you are evicted for being late with rent? No, but it works like a charm.
I’m not saying to scare yourself to death to take appropriate action, but be aware of the consequences which could result in your demise. I want you to take every negative encounter and turn it into a positive. Below are two examples of how you can turn things around.
Using the opportunity
Your partner leaves you.I know, it absolutely sucks. Your world comes crashing down and you feel like doing absolutely nothing. But did you know that this is a great opportunity for you to act and improve your life in areas where you find yourself lacking?
Let’s say you were left behind because you lacked ambition, education, job, confidence, self-esteem… anything really. Give yourself time to grieve and when you are feeling better, devise a game plan to improve. Because your fear of loss has your heart, mind, and soul going crazy, this is a great opportunity to do something about your shortcomings.
The loss of a partner creates emotions so strong, it can easily compare to the death of a loved one. Since you are going through something so unbelievably painful, other issues in life become sort of “joke” to you.
All of a sudden every problem you used to worry about diminishes. You no longer care what your boss says, what others think of you, how you’re going to meet the deadlines and so on. You never finished high school? This is the time to re-enroll and finish what you started. Always felt insecure about your weight? Sign up for the gym and start eating healthy. Were you too stubborn, angry, needy in a relationship? Start working on yourself and become the best version of yourself, your soul allows you to be (not saying there is a limit).
Getting an in/curable disease. I feel truly bad for those who are going through that and I cannot even begin to imagine what it would feel like. I have met quite a few people and heard stories of how terminally ill people who had a limited amount of time left to live, experienced more in a single year than some people do in a decade. They realize life is too short to worry, so instead, they take action, create a to-do or a bucket list and get to crossing off activities off the list on a daily basis.
These people truly begin to appreciate life and stop taking it for granted. No matter how short our experience on this planet is, we should make full use of every waking moment.
We don’t have control over everything that happens in life, but how we choose to react can either make us or break us. Next time you go through something painful, see if there’s a way to cut yourself some slack.
Know that the sun always shines after the storm.
Click here for an in-depth guide on “how to get out of your comfort zone” the good ol’ natural way.
7)Develop healthy routines and break bad habits
To become the best version of yourself, you must use this time and contemplate how to increase your productivity. Here are a few habits and routines you can start working on right now.
- Wake up early with a positive outlook
- Nurture yourself
- Eat healthily and exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Develop new hobbies and attend social activities
- Socialize with your friends, family, and strangers and make new friends
- Less gaming, Netflixing, Facebook chatting. Instead do more reading
- Decrease time spent online and have face to face conversations
- Stop constantly checking your phone, biting nails, cracking knuckles
- Go easy on the alcohol, smoking and anything self-destructive
To establish new habits we must go through a process of self-transformation. Some habits can be developed without much effort, while others take time and dedication.
For example, you want to drop a few pounds, but lack the proper motivation to do it. What you need to do is make a game plan and escape your comfort zone. This is a process of forming a new habit so you must take the right approach and be consistent with it. Be prepared to put in enough time (min. 21 days) otherwise you will regress.
8)Be an avid learner
Never stop improving, learning and inspiring. Your past mistakes don’t define you. Instead, they encourage you not to dip your toe in boiling water the second time and become the best version of yourself.
Best ways to increase knowledge:
- Reading is one of the best ways to improve your knowledge. It can be anything from newspapers to self-help books. As long as you are open-minded, you are a magnum for information.
- Watch documentaries
- Attend seminars
- Travel the world
- Socialize with friends, family, and professionals
- Take notes and write in a diary
9)Become the best version of yourself!
Becoming the best version of yourself takes time and discipline. Some scientists say that making or breaking a habit takes 21 days, while others say it’s closer to 66 days. Whichever the case, once you have achieved your goal you must keep at it, otherwise you could regress.
- Honestly think about what to improve in
- Come up with a plan of actions and stick with it
- Decide on a time to start (the sooner the better)
- Find inner strength and motivation
- Persevere and stay positive
- Reward yourself and take breaks
- Push past your limits by stretching the comfort zone
- Break bad habits and form new healthy routines
- Never stop learning and don’t conform
How will you become the best version of yourself? Write your game plan in the comments section below.