Tough question…Who are you?
You could look inward and think about your most characteristic idiosyncrasies, who you want to be, or even who you don’t want to be. But, that would only consider your relationship to yourself and how you’re perceived as an individual.
Who are you to the people who matter most? You’re a partner, you’re a friend, you’re a child, you’re a parent, you’re a mentor. When considering who we are, we shouldn’t give any less consideration to the roles we play for others.
In the relationships that matter most, are you showing up as your best self?
Your Best Self Starts at Home
What does your best self look like? Should you think big or start small? The big picture starts with small steps; best begins with better.
Our home environment affords us a myriad of opportunities where we can practice being our best self with the people who know us most intimately. As a partner, perhaps being your best means to look for more ways to give than to receive. Ask yourself if you’re stuck in a same-old/same-old rut and then set a goal to take your best a step further than usual.
It’s a fact; you can’t make others change…but before you give up hope, remember that you always have full control over how you act and the way you respond. Rethink the punctuation of your speech: try communicating with gentle, non-judgmental questions- instead of harsh periods, or worse yet, exclamation points!!!
Or, try this… don’t wait to hear the complaint that you’re never thoughtful or romantic. Beat her to the punch by surprising her with a bouquet of flowers, or, for him, choose an activity that he loves and give it your all with an enthusiastic spirit. A recent study from the University of Chicago showed that more positivity in husbands leads to less marital conflict.
For parents, being your best self may mean trying to be more patient, more present, and more forgiving. What about trading your child’s screen time for a story in your lap or making mudpies outdoors? When’s the last time you decorated cookies or made a pillow fort?
We can all think of ways to set small goals to be a better son or daughter, grandchild, or sibling. Call more, connect when you’re together, be patient, be kind, be attentive, ask questions, listen. Being our best self with family sets the stage for being our best self outside the home.
Your Best Self in the World
So, if home is where we practice being our best, we get to go into the world each day and put our best into practice! Keep in mind that while you can’t change who your family is, your roles outside the home do change. Historically, statistics have shown that we average seven career changes in a lifetime.
In the workplace, a well-timed compliment can boost morale instantly – challenge yourself to pay, at least, three compliments to your colleagues each day you’re in the office. As a citizen, vow to pick up three pieces of trash each day in your travels. As a friend, neighbor, or student, find one good deed to do for someone in your world each and every week.
Even with limited time, these changes can be easily implemented and only take a few seconds out of our day. If you’re not showing up as your best self, it’s most likely the intention that’s lacking.
Still not sure if you’re showing up as your best self? Here are the steps to improve any relationship:
- Ask yourself what you might do better.
- Choose one realistic goal to implement the next time you interact with that person.
- Carry out your goal….and be mindful of how it made you feel and how they reacted.
- Decide if it’s something you want to incorporate into your repertoire or try something else!
Don’t forget to evaluate yourself regularly. “Am I doing my best or am I simply going through the motions? Is there something I can try today- just one thing! – to feel like I’ve done better than I did yesterday?”
Attitudes are contagious- use yours to leads others and set higher standards in the world.