Why being your best self isn’t the same as being perfect

When I started Bestselfology, it was all in the pursuit of exploring how to be the best version of myself and how to make the most of my time. During that time I received many comments from people advising me that I need to slow down, relax and not worry about achieving so much or I will burn out. It has always puzzled me why people presume that this is the case. I do like to live life to the fullest, but that includes creating lots of opportunity for relaxation and leisure. Also being healthy is very important to me, as is getting enough sleep, so I started to think about why people were worried I was doing too much.

I think there are a few reasons. Sometimes Facebook doesn’t help. When I am doing something exciting and adventurous I will put it on Facebook, but I never post things like ‘Just had a long relaxing soak in the bath’ Or ‘just relaxed on the sofa with a book for a few hours’ so people get the wrong impression on how my time is really spent.

There are also definitely times when I do overdo it, but  I am very conscious at these times to make a clear plan to get some rest and relaxation and take it easier than usual until I recover and feel re-energised.

Lastly, I think that people sometimes mistake me striving to be the best version of myself for being ‘perfect’ which in my view is a label people create for themselves trying to live up to their ideals. Being your best self is not about being ‘perfect’ Does perfect really even exist? I guess it is different for everyone.

For me, being your best self is about:

  • Having a vision of what you would like to achieve and getting on the path to achieve it. That path will look very different for everyone as ‘achievement’ is defined differently to each individual
  • Looking after your health and ensuring you are fit and healthy
  • Looking after your well being and ensuring you are relaxed and happy
  • Having a great relationships and establishing people around you who are there for you and can support you and add value to your life, as well as being a good friend to others, and adding value to their lives.
  • Making the most of your time by knowing what you enjoy and spending as much time as you can on those activities
  • Having a job you enjoy and are passionate about

Being your best self will look totally different for everyone. It is not about putting yourself under pressure to be some sort of super hero and amazing over achiever. It’s not about getting everything ‘right’. It’s a concept that you can adopt that helps to prevent you turning round in old age and feel like you have wasted your life and done things differently.

Some important things to remember about aiming to be your best self:

  • You define what your best self looks like. The whole point is to know yourself, know what you are like, your interests and believes, you wants and desires and work from there. Its not defined by some imaginary ideal from the TV or media or other people.
  • Being the best version of yourself acknowledges that you need relaxation. That comes in whatever form you want it to.
  • To be your best self you need to be healthy, so you need to look at your diet, exercise and sleep patterns.
  • Being you best self involves defining a vision for yourself and then taking steps to follow that vision, the vision is completely up to you and will be different for everyone.
  • Being your best self is made up of making the most of your time and spending it enjoying what you are doing. If you enjoy adventure sports do that, if you enjoy sitting reading a book then do that. It’s up to you, the trick is spend your time doing what you love.

If you are striving to be perfect and it is stressing you out, you’re having to work long hours, not getting enough sleep and feeling stressed or anxious, then that’s the opposite of being the best you can be.

So don’t make this mistake. You don’t need to strive to be ‘perfect’ whatever that even means. Just try to be the best you can be.

I’d love to hear what being the best version of yourself means to you in the comments below.

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