How To Live As The Best Version Of YourselfMar 12, 2021
by: John Cunningham
Staying motivated and focused on improvement are challenges that we all face. There may be times that you feel discouraged by a performance that doesn’t live up to your expectations, or you seem to be overwhelmed by a project you are working on. At these times, a sense of failure or doubt may begin to creep into your mindset and you could begin having second thoughts about the direction you are taking.
You begin to wonder if you are moving in the right direction, or if you should take a step back and live within your comfort zone. You may question why you encounter so many challenges or the reasons that you are not skillful in an area you think you should be good at.
Instead of focusing on what is wrong, do yourself a favor and pay attention to your successes. This is the fastest way to make improvement.
Start With a Growth Mindset
To continue progressing your skills and abilities, you will need to reach new heights and that starts with a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset means understanding that there will be bumps along the way to your achievements. Those are not always setbacks. More likely, they are opportunities to refine your skills, enrich your experience, and gain a perspective you didn’t have previously.
I am in the process of publishing my first book. While writing was something I found enjoyable and to have success at, as I started developing my craft and working with editors, I had to be open to feedback. That was a big hurdle. However, as I started to lower the barriers, I learned more about writing, reader expectations, and the value of getting corrective feedback. These lessons made the content I share with the world more valuable than anything I could have created alone and within my own mind.
Now that I am in the editing phase, I have been given even bigger challenges to cohesively link these chapters together into an engaging and persuasive journey for the readers. Struggling through the writing process has made me more equipped to handle these new challenges that addressing editors’ feedback provides. Focusing on developing your strengths will take you to higher heights, too.
As you continue to build on your strengths, new opportunities and challenges that lead to ascension will present themselves. These steps won’t always be easy, growing rarely is. They will raise your proficiency, prepare you for massive growth, and reveal talents that enhance your expertise. Same game, new level.
Delegate Your Weaknesses
Everyone has unique talents. Knowing what your weaknesses are and finding people who are proficient in those areas will allow you to utilize their strengths. Where possible, give those tasks to people with the know-how to do those things at a high level. If that is not possible, seek their guidance to accomplish the tasks at acceptable levels. Then, move on. Usually doing things "good enough" to meet others expectations is enough. It’s not your strength, so set the bar a little lower. Delegating these tasks allows you to leverage the talents of those around you, providing the opportunity for them to develop their strengths as well. Setting lower expectations for yourself in these areas will help you to focus more on areas where your contributions can be greater.
A recent Gallup study has found numerous benefits to developing your strengths instead of working to overcome weaknesses. Some of those benefits include: boosting confidence, increased happiness, strengthening relationships, and reducing stress.
How to Build on Your Strengths
An exercise that can help you to leverage your strengths and magnify their application in your life is the Reflected Best Self Exercise. The RBS uses honest feedback you receive from the propellers in your life to give you a clearer vision of where you thrive. You can then take steps to develop yourself in those areas, making yourself into a top-achiever no matter what your areas of expertise are.
Here is how to do an RBS:
- Create a list of a few friends, family members, colleagues, or other people who know you well. You don’t need a big list, four or five people should be enough.
- Create an assessment questionnaire and share it with them. Ask your group to identify three strengths you possess that add value or make valuable contributions. Then, have them write an example of a time you did this.
The easiest way to share your survey would be to create a simple 6-question online form and send it to your group. You could leave out their names if you want anonymous responses or include them so that you can later thank those who gave their time to help you. You could also use snail mail for a more personal touch.
- Analyze the data - Look for similarities and insights that stand out to you.
- What are the common themes?
- Are there strengths you take for granted?
- Which areas do you have a positive impact on?
- Which are the strengths that give you the most satisfaction when utilized?
- Which strengths are aligned with your values and mission?
- Create a profile - Now that you have a better understanding of how others see you, you can develop a profile that defines the best version of yourself. This doesn’t need to be a long document. In fact, a few paragraphs should be enough to help you visualize an amazing version of yourself. Start with the statement, “The best version of me does…” or “I am achieving my greatest potential when I…”
This profile will not only allow you to see the success you have in your life, but also help you to identify when you could do more in those areas that you are gifted in. The part of the analysis is vital for continuing your development.
- Check alignment - Is your RBS in alignment with your work, relationships, and values? If it isn’t, do some critical thinking about what IS really important to you and how to live as the best version of yourself more often.
Working on your strengths allows you to focus on what aligns with the successful person you were born to be. Take inventory of what your strengths are and how they intersect with your mission and values. Then, make changes that gradually transform you into a highly trained, sharply focused champion. This will make you happier and more successful than you can imagine. Let your weakness go, and instead focus on your strengths.