How-To: Be Your Most Genuine Self
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 22:10
What exactly does it mean to be your best self? This can be tricky, as we all have many aspirations, and many different things we hope to accomplish in life—especially at the university level—but being the best “versions” of ourselves can take many different shapes and forms. In my opinion, being the best you can be starts with what I like to call the “ground up” mentality. When something “bad” happens to you, or you hit a rough patch in your days or weeks, it is important to consider this notion when it comes to building yourself up to where you were, and even further, to where you want to be. Whether it’s an unexpected detour in your current trajectory, or simply the notion that you want to be the person you know is inside of you, this perspective, and a few of these simple tips will surely help you to get there.
1.Take a look around. At your life. At your surroundings. At the people in it. These are a few simple yet key things that help make up the course of your every day, and in turn, the course of the life you are living. We are all on different tracks, comprised of different people, experiences, and journeys … yet ultimately, we are the ones in charge of our success, and our ability to carry through the God-given (or Universe, whichever you believe) talents and abilities we have been presented with, and thus, called upon to foster. What about your life are you pleased with? What would you change? Though this notion may sound simple, it is worth taking a look at.
2. Listen to your instincts. With what you say you want or what you say you want to or hope to do. These desires and aspirations are there for a reason … embedded inside of you for some deeper purpose, whether it is simply something fun to do to relax, or something more profound that might lead you to another, even more wonderful facet or opportunity in your life. When these feelings come knocking, whatever they may be, make sure you listen to them.
3. Follow through. So often, especially in college, we say we are going to do something and never actually end up doing it. Time after time, we find ourselves making ‘to-do’ list after ‘to-do’ list, but amid the piles of highlighters and notebooks, our little yellow post-its of ‘to be’ life accomplishments get lost in the shuffle. I urge you to take back this ambivalent disregard you have placed on the importance of actually getting things done, and re-focus your mind to the tasks at hand. Whether they be school related and academic, or simply for fun and pleasure, I cannot stress enough the importance of following through with the things you plan—and especially, the things you want. Do yourself a favor, and prove to the world that you not only have the ability to plan, but also the ability to accomplish. These things wouldn’t be on your mind (or written in ink on your list for that matter) if they weren’t important to you. Follow through with it. Your stress-level will decrease upon checking-things off, your mind will be clear, and it will be just another example of you at your best. If there’s a question, more often than not you’ll be happy you finished whatever it was.
4. Don’t think so much. We all do it, but what I have discovered in 23 years is that thinking—and I mean over-thinking—can be extremely detrimental. When I think about the times in life when I have been the happiest, the most successful, and the most carefree, everything that comes to mind reflects one commonality—I just wasn’t thinking so much about it. Whether it had to do with a fun night out with friends, or even studying for an exam or doing a paper, the worst and most stressful times were when I overanalyzed everything. This, I assure you, will delay and prohibit your dreams, and thus your “best” self. Tone down that hyper brain and think about what is in front of you, the task at hand, and always keep in mind the perspective of the bigger picture. So often in life, the matters we make huge are in fact minuscule on the big scale. Let go of this worry, take time to focus on the good and the possibilities around you instead of the stress and what’s holding you back.
5. Pay attention to the people who care. Surround yourself with positivity in your everyday life. Listen to the people who care about you, and though it may sound ruthless, kindly and gently forget about the rest. People come and go, but the ones who are true will remain. The important notion in this idea is that the people who love you and take time for you truly want the best for you in your life—and they see the person you are working on and hoping to become, even when you don’t. The friends and family we surround ourselves with become mirrors, propelling us forward to do the things we want, and to live the sort of lives we are destined to be living. No one gets to where they are going alone, and in the end, when we become our “best selves,” who we have to thank are ultimately the people who supported us, believed in us, and loved us along the way.