My best self

Wanting to be your best self? Have you sat down to think about what that actually means to you? Generally it seems to mean you should always be positive, be calm, joyful and inspired by life – which is usually followed by the sale of a yoga or meditation retreat, or gym membership. It’s a great marketing phrase but I think it only sells a small part of the picture.


When I reflect on what I think it means to be my best self, I think of a number of things. One is relational authenticity. What does that mean? Well I guess it’s about having the ability to tell someone about how I feel about something at the time, rather than letting it sit and simmer over time, or just react. Part of that is being able to tell someone no when I really mean no, and to equally tell someone yes when that is what I’d really like. Not hiding away how I really feel out of fear of not being seen as being ‘nice’ or fitting in with what I think others want or think I should say.

I also think of being gentle with myself. That’s to not have too high expectations of myself; to acknowledge that life is about the process of living and engaging rather than about passing or failing. If something doesn’t work out the way I thought it might or how I would have liked, then usually there is something I can take from it to learn from that will help me try again and get a different outcome or to find another path. It’s about being able to admit when I got something wrong, to say and be sorry, and to offer to make amends.


Finding strength and resilience in myself as well as gaining it through the support of others helps me be my best. Yoga, meditation and exercise are all great ways to self-support (in healthy amounts). They’re ways to help calm yourself down and provide space away from the demands of the world, and help with your health. Asking for and accepting support from others can be difficult at times. The first hurdle is having family and friends who want to be there to help you halve your problems and really listen to you. The second is then getting yourself to actually ask for their help. There are so many clients I’ve had who have said they would whole heartedly want to be there for their friends yet they themselves don’t allow their friends to be there for them! Yes, people have their own stuff going on but they can usually find some time for your stuff too. Also, by opening up to more of your circle, you’re not just relying on one other. Let your friends be your friends.


Having affirmations is a great tool in helping you be your best but you can’t just ignore the rest. Affirmations can help pick you up when you might be feeling down and focusing too much on the negative, but it’s also useful to know what your feelings and negativity is about rather than just trying to get rid of or ignore it. Peering into the darkness can be scary but understanding and acceptance can lessen the anxiety and fear. Talking it through with others is a good way to bring light into the darkness – and even knowing that you’re not the only one struggling with life can make the difference.

I think being your best self is about constantly learning about yourself, evolving and fine-tuning each time. Every time you understand something new, you are changed and then have something new to uncover again. My best self is about facing my truths and acknowledging my fallibility always with the humble intention to be better.