There is a lot of pressure these days of being or becoming “your best self.” And there’s also lots of stereotyping and ill-understanding of what this even means.
Does it mean that if you are twenty pounds heavier than the “norm” you are not your best you?
That, if you are sometimes nervous and afraid to speak up, you are chicken-hearted?
That, if you don’t feel like talking to anyone today, you are an outcast and anti-social?
That, if you don’t wear an auto-smile, you are being unfriendly?
Of course not.
Because our best self is simply the one who we feel comfortable with. Who we don’t have to apologize for or defend in front of the world. But when we feel that we do, this is when anxiety and low esteem diminish the best in us.
Our utmost version is not the perfect, polished and shiny facade we are think we are expected to present to the world. It’s not what others think who we should be.
It’s often messy. But this is still you.
It’s your uncoiffed hair when you are running late. It’s your “I-want-to-treat-myself-to-a-cupcake-cause-I-deserve-it”-mentality when you are down. It’s making mistakes but still believing in tomorrow.
Because your best self is who you truly are. Today. No apologies. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, nor be bound to societal stereotypes.
You don’t have to try to be the court-jester in a desire to be liked by everyone. Or the person who blends-in so perfectly that no one knows you, because you hide your real self too well, thinking that this is the road to success—to build an outer shell that is so far from who you are, that you don’t even recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror.
Of course, we all need to strive for self-improvement. Saying to ourselves “I’m great and I don’t need to change” is not the solution either. Self-contentment is good when it equates with self-embracement of our small tweaks and quirks. Acceptance means having an overall positive opinion of yourself. It still involves re-writing of our current scrips, though—but not because someone else thinks we must, but because we want to.
What you need to focus on is that you simply keep moving forward. Even by tiny steps—it doesn’t matter. You’ll know it for yourself only that you are trying, evolving, striving. That’s all it matters. It’s something to be proud of. Something to look forward to. Something to base your worth on – your own progress and evolution.
And this is the perennial secret to appreciating your value—be comfortable with who you are today.
Most of us are average anyway, research tells us—and that’s a good thing. It means that you are no worse than everyone else. But you have a chance to be better than you were yesterday or a year ago—by becoming your biggest supported and by nurturing your self-respect.
By believing that you deserve the life you dream of.
Remember—to thrive is to feel love and acceptance—first and foremost—by ourselves. And if the rest of the world follows suit—well, that will be just fabulous.
But if not—it’s fine too.
Because your best self is the one you yourself learn to love.