Bringing out your best self is the way to live your life
We are creatures of habits and without realizing, the self you may well be bringing to each day is set on a median within the parameters of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone has been established without your conscious awareness and is formed so we can live our lives without having to think too much about how to show up in the world. This comfort zone can make your best self elusive.
A simple way to determine your own comfort zone is to identify your 5 most predominant emotions, like happiness, optimism, gladness, excitement, whichever are most relevant for you. Next, think about the last five days and determine on a scale of 1 to 10 how positively you felt those emotions. If you are like most people, there will be a common level you automatically adopt, which may well be somewhere in the middle. To grasp this, consider how a person who scores 10 for all of these positive emotions would show up in your life. They’d be pretty noticeable I imagine.
So now you have an idea about how to assess the level of your comfort zone; to get the most out of your days, you might want to consider shifting your energy, and improving the positive level of your habitual state of being. You would be able to achieve this if you built up the following practices until they became automatic. Not only would you actually enjoy your life more, but you would become an amazing, positive influence on others.
1. Be Grateful
List everything you are grateful for until you are feeling the state of thankfulness with a full heart. If you make this a daily practice, it becomes automatic. The art of gratitude is completely underestimated in the world right now. The focus of gratitude makes you notice more and more to be grateful for, and if you can keep in a state of gratitude, your life changes significantly for the better.
2. Be Kind
In every interaction make your mind up to be kind to others. If you’re naturally a tough character this doesn’t mean being a walk-over, it just means you think win/win. Whenever you find yourself judging someone, being annoyed, irritated or even just thoughtless, stop what you are doing and ask yourself “How can I be kind in this moment?” Although this practice will completely transform your relationships with everyone you meet, it is an inherently selfish act, because what you give out in the world is what you get back.
1. Be Mindful
This is about living “in the now”. Keeping your attention focused on exactly what is in front of you right now. If you calculated how much time you spent thinking about something in the past, half hour, or even the last 5 years, you would be astounded. Alternatively, if your inner dialog is always thinking about what’s coming in the next few days, weeks or months, you are equally missing the glory of the present moment. Don’t let the past or future take over your thoughts. Clear your mind and simply observe what’s going on around you. The present is really just that, a gift right now.
2. Live with intention
How often to you ever think about what you intend to get out of your day, the next meeting, the outing with your family? Too often we show up with whatever mood we are currently experiencing, or we believe we know how things are going to turn out because of the past. If you are always in reactive mode, then you will likely experience a mix of good and bad during your day, or week. Instead of walking into situations with whatever mood you are in, or with expectations based on the past, consider intending your day or parts of your day.
A client I was working with was dreading a social gathering with work colleagues, and because of disastrous past similar occasions, she just knew it would be a bad experience for her. When challenged to imagine what the best outcome would be, I asked her to make a positive intention for the best outcome to be her experience. When we talked after the event, her experience had been completely transformed. The practice of intending acts like an SAT NAV and if done properly can program your mind to only notice the behaviors, actions, and situations which fulfill your intention, so you can experience a much more positive time than you may have initially imagined or experienced, and yes, lead you into your best self.