Becoming Our Best Selves
Lately, this has become an important subject matter for me! Why you may ask? Well because I find that nowadays more and more women are in the process of becoming their best selves and that includes me. The only challenge is that as much as we may say that we want to become our best selves, we aren't doing the work to successfully reach that goal. We cant preach that we are becoming our best selves if we aren't changing! We aren't on the path of becoming our best selves if we aren't taking deep dives into what hasn't worked in the past and/or what has or continues to hinder us from doing what we have set out to do.
Have you ever heard the saying, "the sky's the limit?" This saying implies that we can do all things as long as we propose it; however, it also implies that there is a limit, which puts a cap on our capabilities and how far we can go. I have also heard others say, "people say the sky's the limit, but there were footsteps on the moon." I love this quote! It confirms that we can do all things; however, there is no limit. It suggests that there is more to life and a whole lot of room for possibilities. There is so much more than we ever thought possible; however, we cant access it because we are stuck in a rut! Something else that is always mentioned is that in order to succeed, change our circumstances, elevate, in essence become our best selves, then we have to do things that we have never done! While this holds true, how can we engage in things that we have never done, when we continue to have the same mindset. A mindset of limitations, a mindset of defeat, a mindset of negativity, you get where I'm going with this. We continue wanting to remain the person who we currently are! I know crazy right?! Not really!
In order to elevate ourselves and move into the next part of our lives we have to BECOME someone we have never been! Just because our past selves (ex: behaviors equaling protection) has helped us get to where we currently are doesn't mean that there is no room for change or that there is any guarantee that those same traits will help us get to the next best level of our lives!
You may be asking, "Well Nikki, aren't those two concepts one in the same?" The answer is NO! Becoming who we have never been takes work, time, patience, dedication, deep dives and most importantly, intentionality! I truly believe that the majority of people would love to change their undesired situations or would change them if they knew how; however, tend not to do the work. Some may start to do the work and become discouraged when sacrifices need to be made and when those changes involve costs, such as losing people/relationships, habits, etc. Intentionality is one of the most important characteristics needed to make change because once we make a conscious decision that change needs to happen, then we have to be purposeful about making it happen.
The reality is that despite us wanting to make changes, the world around us continues as is! The world doesn't slow down to wait for us to catch up. It continues to happen around us. We continue to have situations that interfere with our growing phase, we deal with familial situations, marital issues, our own MIND, to the say the least! But through it all we have to stay the course, keep pushing through and moving toward doing the work required to make the changes wanted for our lives. The point is that things happen because life doesn't care, and while we may slow the race because we get derailed, we have to continue to stay the course in the race and be intentional about getting back in range of motion.
Becoming our best self means something different to every one. We have people that are in different stages in their lives and as long as they are moving forward and making strides in their lives toward being a better person in whatever capacity that may mean, then it's a win.
So what are three strategies needed to help us on our journey to becoming our best selves?!
Be Real with Yourself!
This may be one of the hardest things to do! I can say from experience. It doesn't come easy to, not only see who we are, but to admit who we are being in that moment. Who we are and who we have been has a direct impact on where we are in our lives. Some of us have behaviors we engage in that we don't recognize or we may know they are there, but don't acknowledge them because they it becomes real. Behaviors can range from needing to be more disciplined around an area needing improvement in your life, such as with eating or saving money or procrastination. I can say that most of my life I have been a procrastinator! It was one of those behaviors that because, in the past, it didn't directly impact me, then it was okay! I remember being in college and waiting last minute to write a paper, or study or read. Although, I knew it wasn't right I did what many of us do and rationalized to make myself feel better, by saying things like, "I work better under pressure" or "I'm still getting good grades."
I have to be transparent and say that I sometimes still fall into this habit! The only difference is that because I'm more intentional and more aware of myself, I'm able to see when I'm playing myself! I acknowledge the behavior and work on correcting it. Additionally, if I can be more transparent with you, even with launching All Things Bold, I experienced or better yet engaged in a lot of procrastination. This time, for something completely different and that was this notion of FEAR. Fear that is accompanied by self limiting thoughts and beliefs, essentially lies that I tell myself. Many of us have these behaviors/habits which greatly impact our ability to be great, but we have to be willing to SEE them! Until we can acknowledge those problem areas, it'll be difficult to make lasting change or change at all.
Admit the Need to Change and Do It
Lets talk about this because it isn't enough to know that there is an issue. We need to admit the need to change. There are people who know that there are issues within themselves who refuse to change because they don't see the need for it! If this is you, I encourage you to spend sometime with yourself and explore why you really don't want to change those behaviors.
So, how do we create this change? This may sound cliché, but we have to be tired of being tired! In addition, sometimes making a change requires us to see that WE are the problem! Yes, yes, you read that right! Sometimes we are the problem Queen! Coming to this realization doesn't come easy. How many times have we gone through life blaming other people for our problems? How many times have we accused others of treating us wrong, being funny, or trying to play us? I have something to propose. Can that be our own "stuff?" Sometimes, due to past issues, our sensitivity radar is heightened and we may perceive attacks that really aren't present.
I’ll tell y’all that I have had to make so many changes within myself, its not even funny! One of the biggest changes I have made was learning I don’t have to say EVERYTHING that's on my mind. I have always been very outspoken; however, I used to say things that may not be received well. Although, I still speak my mind, I am now cognizant as to where I am and who I am with. Honestly, some may think that I speak my mind too much, but, they don’t know where I came from AND if only they knew the things that I DO NOT say lol. I have made extreme growth. I had to find the harmony in being “myself” but knowing what was needed to grow and become my “best self.” The happy medium was still speaking my mind, but also knowing when to say the things that were on my mind and being cognizant on whether it needs to be said or whether I am saying it just because I want to. Many times we speak to make a point to someone, but I have learned to have some humility, not everything needs to be said!
Another way to identify changes needed to happen is when more than one person is saying that a specific behavior/habit is an issue. One person is okay, but two or three people saying the same thing, then Houston we have a problem! Lets be brave enough to identify the issue and even braver to change what isn’t working!
Sometimes we have to just find the harmony in whatever is that we are doing or the “issue” that we seem to have. So, for example, one of the issues that I also had (and am still working on) is the need to be in control and tell people what to do! Sounds bad right? When you put it that way! Although, I try to be helpful, the reality is that people don’t like to be told what to do and depending on who we are speaking to they may not want to hear it from us for one reason or another.
So, what I have been working on lately is not giving feedback or advise when it isn’t asked for. One, again, people may not want to hear it and two, you won’t be disappointed if the feedback isn't taken in the way it was intended or if it's taken out of context. Lets save a headache and grow simultaneously!
Celebrate The Small Victories
This one is short and sweet! When it comes to change, expect road blocks and expect to fall sometimes or maybe often. It is just the reality of how it works! There will be times when we will get discouraged because hiccups pop up or seem to continue to pop up! Lets celebrate the little things. A small victory is a stepping stone for the greater journey!! Do me a favor and think about something you can celebrate right now as you read this.
I encourage you all to identify at least one thing that could use some changing in your life in order to grow and get to the next level in your life. If you have already identified one or two in the past, remember we are always changing and evolving so find something else that you can work on for further elevation.
The abovementioned strategies aren't the end all be all and there are many out there, but lets start with these.
Remember that we can be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time!
Please feel free to email me or leave any comments! I hope y’all enjoyed!