Becoming Your Best Self

By: Cheryl Viola, MBA, Executive Director

Becoming your best self requires stretching yourself, trying new things, and breaking free from your comfort zone. Here is the best part. You are AMAZING! You can accomplish great things. Do not compare yourself to others, because you are unique and what you contribute will be different than the person next to you.

The popular children’s book “The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar” shows how uncomfortable growth and change can be, the end result is something beautiful. We don’t see our own potential, and growth and striving to improve each day benefits, you individually, your family and your work/professional life.

Five things to becoming your best self:

  1. Try new things.

Your journey to self-discovery starts with curiosity. As humans, we like to learn and grow. When we seek learning, it fulfills us. Learning comes in many forms, it can be learning new skills on the job, it can be attending professional development seminars or reading professional development books. It can be taking a class on something that interests you or learning a new hobby. 

For me, there are times when my growth has been more individualized and other times it is focused on professional training. Regardless of the type of growth, it benefits all aspects of your life and makes you a better employee and a more well-rounded individual.

Volunteering is a great way to try new things. Be giving back to your community it benefits you as a person which benefits your employer, because anything that strengthens you individually, will strengthen you as an employee.

2. Pursue your dreams.

Meaningful goals drive us throughout our lives because they provide direction and the skills learned can be applied to all aspects of your life.

When one goal is achieved, be sure to set new goals, the biggest mistake we make is once a goal is achieved is that we stop dreaming, and setting new goals, which will leave us without direction. 

Throughout my life, my goals and dreams change. Some had to be put on hold for years before I was able to accomplish them. The goals can be simple like learning to bake or cook. I had a dream of earning an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) degree. This goal had starts and stops and many years the feeling of accomplishment and pride the day the diploma arrived will never be forgotten. I had not only achieved my dream, but I also survived! My children survived the crazy schedule of me balancing a 60-hour workweek, online classes, and being a single parent. My accomplishment was an example to the children and myself that hard things can be accomplished.  

Dreams can be small and easily attained and other times they take longer and more effort. The important thing is to never stop dreaming and reaching for new heights.

3. Sustain your motivation.

What/who motivates you? I saw a YouTube clip with actor Matthew McConaughey. At the age of 15, he was asked who his hero was. His answer was himself 10 years from now. At 25 he was asked if he reached his hero, and he said no, ask him again in 10 years. The essence of the message was that if you set your future self as your hero, you will spend your life chasing your hero. You will always be growing and learning along the journey.

4. Hone good habits.

Admiral William McRaven said if you want to be successful make your bed each morning. He said accomplishing the first task of the day of making your day will lead to your success each day because completing one task leads to another task and another.

Good habits could include, daily exercise, healthy eating, meditation, or self-reflection each day. As Admiral McRaven points out it could be as insignificant and little as making the bed each morning. When I was on a weight loss journey, I read a quote once that “sweat was just fat crying”. That resonated with me. You see I sweat mostly from my head and I found it embarrassing to have rivers of sweat running down my face. After reading that quote, my perspective changed and the sweat became a badge of honor. Proving to me, how hard I worked. Today, 9 years after my weight loss journey of over 100 pounds and keeping it off, my motivation is the endorphin release I receive when I am working out. I love how I feel after a good workout, and just ask my kids, when I don’t work out first thing in the morning, I am grumpy.

Good habits are essential to daily accomplishments regardless of how big or small they are. 

5. Focus on Self-care.

Downtime helps recharge our perspective and creativity.

Self-care benefits your mental well-being but it benefits all aspects of your life, personal, family, and work relationships are better. We begin the days renewed, energized, and more creative and are better able to cope with the challenges and problems that arise. 

Beginning each day with the small and simple task of making your bed, will lead to achieving goals all day long and when the challenges and failures come because they will come, as you chase your future self-down the journey of life – take a moment to stop and look back. You will be amazed at how far you have come. Give back to others, surround yourself with people who motivate and encourage you, look toward the horizon, and keep going. You are capable of so much more than you could have ever imagined. 

References

Lotich, P. (2018, February 28). 4 benefits of an employer-sponsored volunteer program. Retrieved from https://thethrivingsmallbusiness.com/corporate-volunteerism/

McConaughey, M. (2017, February 21). The Hero I’m Chasing. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLMFeqBwm_U

McRaven, W. (2017, August 17). If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sK3wJAxGfs

Patel, D. (n.d.). 5 powerful ways to become your best self. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297635

Sanborn, A. (2020, January 16). 3 reason why your business should be involved in community service. Retrieved from https://www.workitdaily.com/community-service-in-the-workplace