So many health gurus, coaches, websites and sel-help books talk about how to be your best version so you can live your best life.
I tried so hard for years to build up this best version of myself. I made decisions after answering the question:
“What would the ideal version of me do now?”
I ended up with taking up on too much, forcing myself to do things I didn’t feel like doing, overexcercising and always trying to be someone I was not.
Being my best version might sound really good and inspiring but it can be overwhelming and sometimes toxic, too. In fact, not being able to fully live up to that version of me just left me with a feeling of being a failure, not being good enough and with the anxiety of not being able to achieve my dreams.
Once I stopped chasing this idealized, romanticized version of myself and just “let my hair down” not giving a f*ck about anything and anybody, a new question arose every time I was about to make a decision:
“What would feel good now?”
Living by this threw me on a new path of self discovery and a more confident, fulfilled way of life where I no longer break my back to be my best version – instead I learned to balance between being my favorite Self and my best Self.
What’s the actual difference between your best and favorite self?
Your best Self is what you do to become a better version of yourself. It’s idealized and perhaps even rooted in societal expectations. You’re favorite Self, or authentic Self as some people call it, is what comes naturally to you. It’s more of a wild and undomesticated version of you, before society tells you who you should be.
For example, my favorite Self likes to relax on the couch after work, eating pizza and watching a movie that makes me think for days or read a book at night. My best Self however would go for a jog after work, cook a healthy dinner, clean up the whole kitchen and dining room afterwards and might never even watch TV.
Trying to be our best Selves can be a saboteur. The pursuit of self-improvement is basically your best Self trying to kick your favorite Self’s lazy ass. Good news though that our best Self can be used as an inspiration for your favorite self when it comes to balancing their qualities. But for that you have to ask some questions to yourself and honestly answer them.
Take a journal and a pen and write down everything about your best Self that comes to mind. Then take a look at what you wrote again and examine it.
Are the qualities of your best Self really aligned with your belief and value system? (Might be good to journal about your beliefs and value system as well, you might be surprised.)
Are these qualities based on your actual wants, needs and help you to reach your goals?
Or are these based on societal expectations?
Are you actually comfortable with your best Self?
Do you try to live up to others expectations of you or try to please others by the image of your best Self?
Or does the idea of your best Self really serve you and your purpose in life?
Also journal about your favorite Self and write down everything about her/him.
What are the qualities of you favorite Self?
Does your favorite Self hold you back from growth in any ways?
Take another look on how you’re best Self sabotages your favorite Self or the other way around?
For example, my best Self would go for a jog after work but not because I loved jogging so much but rather because sitting on the couch made me feel like I was lazy and I have these ideas about how a yoga teacher and holistic health coach have to look like and live. My idea of laziness was based on what society made me think. My ideas of a health coach and yoga teacher were totally off. Once I really examined my beliefs I realized that I don’t actually consider that behavior as laziness. I redefined my ideas about yoga teachers and health coaches, too based on real life expectations and not Instagram-realities. After that realization I noticed that the feeling of being guilty vanished and I was able to enjoy my time on the couch. When I made peace with this part of me I started be more productive on the couch as a result of restored balance between my best and favorite Self.
Work on creating a best Self vision that is really based on what is best for you and who you really want to be. Then you can work creating balance between the best and the favorite Self of you so you can thrive in every area of your life without feeling guilty or burning out.