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Self Development – Bestselfology https://bestselfology.com Be the best version of yourself Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:33:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 81660203 What does being the best version of yourself mean to you? https://bestselfology.com/what-does-being-the-best-version-of-yourself-mean-to-you/ https://bestselfology.com/what-does-being-the-best-version-of-yourself-mean-to-you/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 05:25:38 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1070 ‘Your ultimate goal in life is to become your best self. Your immediate goal is to get on the path that will lead you there’ ~ David Viscott   Here at Bestselfology, we cover many topics, but I’m aware that everyone’s journey is different and being your best self can look completely different for each person. Over the last 4 or 5 […]

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‘Your ultimate goal in life is to become your best self. Your immediate goal is to get on the path that will lead you there’

~ David Viscott

 

Here at Bestselfology, we cover many topics, but I’m aware that everyone’s journey is different and being your best self can look completely different for each person.

Over the last 4 or 5 years, I have been on a personal journey of becoming the best version of myself. During that time, I have studied extensively what this means to me and how to achieve it. I have become extremely clear on what is important to me, and what I am aiming for. The research I have carried out has helped me to identify what makes me happy and what makes me unhappy. Due to this, I can now make decisions about what I should do both more and less of. I have also become clear about where I want to spend my time and what I want to focus my energy on.

For me, being my best self is not something to be ticked off. It’s not that I can say I have now achieved it and I can stop and move onto the next thing. Rather, it is part of an ever continuing journey of learning and self discovery.

As a result of all my research, I am pretty clear about what my best self looks like. In addition, I am equipped with the tools to achieve the results I want. This is something that I continually work on implementing and perfecting.

If you are not fully clear on what being your best self looks like for you, I have 2 recommendations you can use to try to achieve greater clarity:

1) Create your own personal Book of Life

This was one of the most powerful exercises I have ever done. This document captures all your thoughts, beliefs and principles that you want to live your life by. It is an ever growing document that you can constantly refer back to and update. Creating your own Book of Life helps you to arrange your thoughts about how you view the world. It captures all your beliefs in one place. It can be powerful in reminding you what is important to you. The way is it split into many subsections supports you to analyse each aspect of your life and identify what is important to you in each area.

2) Identify your role models

You can learn so much from amazing people. I have a number of people that I look up to and learn from. I follow people’s blogs, listen to their podcasts and spend time observing the people I come into contact with in my life. Many of my ideas have been borrowed from other people and then tried out on myself.

I am constantly learning from others. Since I spend much time researching personal development, I come across many people that I admire and as a result have identified many role models. Some of the people I have learnt the most from are:

Tim Ferris and his 4 Hour Work Week podcast

Gretchen Rubin’s books and blog

Laura Vanderkam’s books and blog

Tony Stubblebines CoachMe VIP Programme

These are some of my role models and the people I most admire and learn from. Identifying your own role models should provide you with inspiration and ideas about how you can become your best self. Following their journeys and listening to their advice can result in helping you to clarify what is important to you in your own journey of becoming the best version of yourself.

 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below about what being the best version of yourself means to you and any role models that inspire you in this jounrey.

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7 ways to implement Micro Bravery to become the bravest version of yourself https://bestselfology.com/micro-bravery/ https://bestselfology.com/micro-bravery/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 05:20:11 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1778 ‘Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death’ ~ Omar Bradley I’ve recently got back into listening to pod casts whilst I run. I find that it helps me to forget I am running as it provides me a different focus. It also makes me feel like I am multi […]

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‘Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death’

~ Omar Bradley

I’ve recently got back into listening to pod casts whilst I run. I find that it helps me to forget I am running as it provides me a different focus. It also makes me feel like I am multi tasking like a boss, which I love! On a recent run I listened to the Tim Ferris podcast with his guest Caroline Paul talking about Micro Bravery. I love this concept.

We often set ourselves huge challenges and then feel so overwhelmed by them that we don’t know where to start and maybe put them off altogether. The term Micro Bravery refers to the idea of teaching ourselves to be brave by taking small steps of action. Due to the fact that bravery can be learnt, to get good at it, we need to practice.

When I was younger I faced lots of anxiety and didn’t feel brave at all, quite the opposite in fact. I was scared of talking to big groups and giving presentations. I was anxious travelling to new places, meeting new people, going into situations I was unfamiliar with and trying new things. The people that know me now, wouldn’t even recognise the person I was back then. What changed was taking small steps every day, getting to know my fears and learning how to manage them.

These ideas can support you on how you can implement micro bravery in your own life:

1) Get to know your fear

Understand what it is that you are fearful about. As Seth Godin says, ‘Dance with it’. Embrace it and get used to having it there. Don’t view it as an enemy, don’t run from it. Get comfortable with the fact that there are things you are afraid of, and be OK with that. Consistently move forward with these things. When I was younger I was anxious when I went somewhere new for the first time. I was able to deal with this better when I admitted it, I talked about it and I found ways to manage it. I got to know my fear. Now one of the things that excites me most is travelling to new places.

2) Do something outside your comfort zone every day

Identify small things that you can practice every day where you need to use courage. Find something you can implement each day that over times makes your fear start to be much less daunting and more natural for you. For example if you get anxious speaking to new people, try to speak to one stranger each day, even if it is just to say hi. You’ll be amazed how quickly you start to feel more comfortable with it.

3) Chunk it down

Being brave is much more manageable in small pieces. If there is something overwhelming you that you are scared about, try chucking it into small steps.  If you are scared of giving presentations to large audiences, try practicing it in the mirror, then present it to your mum or partner, then try it out in a small group, then build up slowly to a larger audience. This can be much easier than tackling it one huge step.

4) Accept perfection does not exist

If you constantly strive for perfection, it can result in you being more afraid of failure. This is due to the fact that you may not achieve the perfect outcome you have built up for yourself in your mind. If you drop the notion of perfection and instead aim for the best you can be, failure can stop existing for you and as a result lessens your fears.

5) Learn to recognise the difference between excitement and fear 

At times it can at times be difficult to identify the difference between excitement and fear. They can both feel quite similar in sensation based on the fact that they’re chemically similar. Once you practice micro bravery, you can start to develop an understanding of the feeling of fear versus excitement and therefore stop any confusion between the two. You can then embrace them both in their place.

6) Transfer your bravery

If you learn how to be brave in certain situations and you practice that, this should help you out in other areas of your life, because it is a transferable skill. Once you get more familiar with being brave and practicing micro bravery in general, this can be applied across any area.

7) Work out your bravery muscle

Finally, being brave takes practice. You can think of it like a muscle that you need to work out. Like lifting weights at the gym, it’s not something that just happens overnight, it is something that needs to be built up over time and continually practiced in order to get better at it.

If you are brave in the small moments, they will all add up, so that you can be brave when it really counts.

 

I’d love to hear any experience you have had at overcoming your fears and being brave.

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How to live in the moment using your Experiencing Self https://bestselfology.com/experiencing-self-vs-remembering-self/ https://bestselfology.com/experiencing-self-vs-remembering-self/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 05:53:45 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1765 Living in the moment is being aware of the moment we are in. If our minds are in the past or future, we are not truly alive in the present.” ~ Satsuki Shibuya I sometimes find that I enjoy the build up to something I am looking forward to immensely. Let’s think about a holiday. […]

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Living in the moment is being aware of the moment we are in. If our minds are in the past or future, we are not truly alive in the present.”

~ Satsuki Shibuya

I sometimes find that I enjoy the build up to something I am looking forward to immensely. Let’s think about a holiday. I spend the run up to the holiday feeling excited and day dreaming about how good it will be. Then I look back on the holiday with really fond memories. I love reminiscing on the great time I had. But whilst I am actually on the holiday itself, I sometimes find myself looking forward to the next thing, as opposed to really living in each moment as it happens. Something I want to get better at is enjoying each present moment, rather than looking forward or backwards on an experience.

I recently read some research by Daniel Kahneman which really resonated with me. He received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his work on decision-making. His work shows that we have two mental operating systems, an experiencing self and a remembering self.

The experiencing self:

This self is us in the present  moment who live through each event. It is us in our life, moment by moment, whilst we are living it, rather than us thinking about it. Our experiencing self is intuitive and operates in an unconscious mode of thinking. It’s us focusing on the quality of our experiences. As each event takes place, we will forget the experience in that moment and instead create a memory of it.

The remembering self:

This self is us writing history. It is a conscious mode of thinking. It tells our story of our experiences. It’s how we think about our experiences rather than being in them.

Kahneman argues that decisions are made based on the remembering self’s view of what happened in the past rather than the actual experience. As each event takes place, we forget the experience in that moment, instead we create a memory of it, but is that memory always exactly the same as the actual experience was? Often the experiencing self and the remembering self don’t have the same view on what happened. I know with myself, I often look back with a more positive spin than the reality of what happened or how I felt in the moment.

Khanemans research shows that our memory colours an experience with 2 things. The ending and the intensity of an experience. He states that our brains are hard wired to remember intense negative experiences, more than positive, even when the positive experience is a much greater volume or length of time. This is why when we have a situation that ends negatively, it can colour your entire perception of the experience itself.

Think back on previous jobs, relationships, holidays and other experience and try to think whether your memory of them matches the reality of being in them. It can be tricky to remember in enough detail the reality of being in the situation, especially if the ending was bad.

So, how can we live more in the moment: 

1) Be conscious of your experiencing self

Now you know we have an experiencing self and a remembering self, pay more attention to the experiencing side. Focus in on the here and now and be conscious about whether you are enjoying each moment as it happens. Try to enjoy the present moment, rather than creating a memory for later.

2) Take in your surroundings with awe 

Focus on really being present with your environment as you are in it. Take interest in all the small details. Soak in the surroundings, the smells, the sounds, the atmosphere. Slow down and take time to observe and experience.

3) Stop thinking about what’s coming next

If you are always thinking about what’s coming later, it will be hard to focus at all on what’s happening right now.  Try spending dedicated time for planning things for the future and then when you are not doing that planning, focus on what you are doing right now instead. This is not to say that you can’t get excited about something coming up, as this is part of the fun, but try not to focus only on what’s happening at a later date at the expense of experiencing what is happening right now.

4) Focus on one thing at a time

If we stop trying to multitask and really focus our energy on what we are doing right now, we will be able to experience it more thoroughly. One of the mains ways to do this is to stop being distracted by technology. If you stop all distractions, you can aim to achieve what Mihaly Csikszentmihaly refers to as a state of flow, where you get so into the task at hand that you lose yourself in it and get totally absorbed in what you are doing. This is a way to truly live in the moment.

 

I’d love to hear from you about how well you are able to live in the moment and any techniques you use to do that successfully.

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7 ways a 30 day challenge can help you develop a habit https://bestselfology.com/7-reasons-a-30-day-challenge-helps-habit/ https://bestselfology.com/7-reasons-a-30-day-challenge-helps-habit/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 05:04:18 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1822 ‘You’ll never change your life until you change something daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine’ ~ John C Maxwell   One of my passions is examining different techniques used to form habits. I’ve spent the last 4 years experimenting on myself and those around me (with their permission!) to identify […]

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You’ll never change your life until you change something daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine’

~ John C Maxwell

 

One of my passions is examining different techniques used to form habits. I’ve spent the last 4 years experimenting on myself and those around me (with their permission!) to identify the best ways to implement a new habit or to change a habit. One of the things I have found to be highly effective in certain circumstances is taking part in a 30 day challenge.

Most recently I’ve used a 30 day challenge to form a yoga habit. I’ve been trying for ages to get a consistent yoga routine going. Every time I go to a class I love it, but until now, I’ve not been able to stick to a regular routine. That is until I came across the 30 day yoga challenge as recommended by my brother, Dan. OK, so it might be a bit premature to share this as a success story just yet, based on the fact that I am only on day 17 as I type this, but it certainly seems like it’s going in the right direction and I feel like a habit is forming and I’m loving it. I’m at the point where I am waking up and looking forward to getting started as the first thing I do each day.

In terms of forming habits, Gretchen Ruben talks about 4 tendencies. These tendencies distinguish how people respond to both outer and inner expectations. Outer expectations include requests from a 3rd party or an external deadline and inner expectations are those things we set for ourselves like sticking to a new eating plan.

Ruben believes that people fall into 4 different categories when it comes to how we respond to expectations:

  • Upholders: Respond readily to outer and inner expectations
  • Questioners: Question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obligers: meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  • Rebels: resist all expectations, outer and inner alike

If you’d like to find out how you best respond to expectations, you should take the quiz. I am an upholder. I set goals for myself and then I stick to these goals. Some of my friends think I’m a bit mad setting myself all these goals and rules to live by, but I know it is the most effective way for me to be my best self and it makes me happy.

For an upholder a 30 day challenge works a treat. You have committed to the challenge, there is a clearly defined task that you have set out to complete and so you get it done.

There are loads of debates online about whether a 30 day challenge is helpful or not and whether they can help you to create a habit. They might not be effective for all people in all scenarios but here is how they can help:

1) The goal is really clear

A 30 day challenge is usually a very clear and straightforward goal. The clearer the goal is, the easier it is to stick to. This way you know exactly what it is you are setting out to achieve. Setting yourself a clear and simple goal will help set yourself up for success.

2) The effort required is low

The beauty of a 30 day challenge is that although you are embarking on a goal to implement something everyday, the effort required to do this is usually quite low. If you are setting out to follow your goal every day for 30 days, the less effort required to do this, the more likely you are to be successful.

3) The goal is meaningful for you and what you are trying to achieve

If you embark on a 30 day challenge, to have more chance of success it should be something that is meaningful in your life. Maybe it’s something you have been trying to do for a while but for a variety of reasons haven’t managed to stick to (like my yoga practice) or maybe it’s something you have dreamed about doing, but have never known how to get started. The more meaningful it is for you, the better chance you have of sticking to it.

4) A routine quickly forms which stops taking much thought

The key benefit of undertaking a 30 day challenge is that it usually stops taking much effort and use of willpower and becomes a daily habit. You have committed for 30 days and so you just get into the routine of carrying it out each day without much thought required. The further you get into the 30 days, the more of an automated action it becomes.

This happened with my yoga challenge. The first few days I needed to use all my willpower to get started, but very quickly I got into the routine of just doing it. This is why 30 day challenges can be so beneficial as they remove the amount of will power required to implement a new habit. The idea is that once the challenge is completed, the habit will be formed and you will continue to practice without needing the challenge. I have every intention of keeping a daily yoga practice going once I have finished these first 30 days.

5) If you are an all or nothing person (I am)

I recently carried out Dry January which is a 30 day challenge to have no alcohol. I’ve found that for me, it’s much easier to be tee total than to drink in moderation. I find it easier to eat no meat than less meat, to exercise every day rather than 4 days a week, to do 30 days of yoga, rather than once a week practice. I am a full blown all or nothing person.

If you too are an all or nothing person, you might find a 30 day challenge works brilliantly for you. If you prefer taking more time to build up slowly to things, then possibly you would find it more challenging.

6) The goal can be easily shared and tracked for external accountability

If you need external accountability (for example if you are an Obliger) you can share the challenge with friends and keep them posted on your progress. You can promote your progress on social media. You could share a picture on Instagram each day to show your success. You can track your challenge on the CoachMe app. I swear by this to keep accountable for your goals. You could use an accountability coach to keep you accountable each day for following the goals you have set for yourself.

7) Progress is visible relatively quickly

It can be amazing how far you can come in 30 days. Even after 17 days of my yoga practice I can feel improvements. My breathing is more natural, I can feel greater flexibility and my focus is stronger. I have also done an Ab Challenge in the past and found the same thing that I could see the positive impact of carrying it out for 30 days. This is very motivating and makes continuing with the challenge and beyond much more appealing.

 

If you fancy joining on the 30 Day Yoga Challenge, try Yoga With Adriene, it’s free on YouTube, easy to follow and slowly builds your yoga practice over the 30 sessions.

Let me know what you think about 30 Day Challenges and whether you have ever been successful using one to start forming a habit. Are there any good challenges out there worth sharing? Have you found that they help you implement a habit after the 30 days is over?

 

Picture: Designed by Freepik

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5 practical ways to slow down in this crazy fast paced world https://bestselfology.com/power-noticing-little-things/ https://bestselfology.com/power-noticing-little-things/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 05:16:21 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1818 Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh How do you drink your morning tea? Are you downing it in big glugs as you are […]

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Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

How do you drink your morning tea? Are you downing it in big glugs as you are rushing out the door, or are you sitting down and savouring each sip? The answer to this question can be an indication of how you live your life in general. Are you constantly rushing around, on the go, multi tasking and always looking to the next thing, or are you calm, considered, balanced and in control?  Do you feel like it would be good for you to slow you pace down?

I’ve noticed that my pace has calmed down quite a bit recently. Rather than always rushing around at 100 miles an hour, I’ve started feeling a lot more balanced and calm. I am taking in the present moment a lot more that I used to. This change is partly as a result of me feeling more content with life and in part due to me being more considered about living in the present moment.

The change in pace feels good and I wanted to share some things that you can do to slow your own pace down:

1) Disconnect from your phone

To focus on really being in the present moment and not always trying to do a few things at once, try to have time apart from your phone, especially if you are with friends. If you are out with your mates, try leaving your phone in your pocket or your bag to resist temptation of checking it. I’ve still not perfected this, but I am definitely getting better and as a consequence am feeling more connected to the present.

Next time you are with friends, try leaving your phone away. If you can, don’t get it out and look at it for the whole time you are there. See how you feel. Hopefully you’ll feel more connected to the now and less distracted.

2) Notice what makes you happy

One of the things I have noticed is that small things make me feel really happy. Often we don’t spend enough time thinking about these things. We can be caught up living our lives and not take any time to acknowledge and revel in these small things.

Some of the things I have noticed recently that make me happy are:

  • Waking up early at the weekend and reading my book in bed
  • Taking a long soak in a bubble bath
  • Feeling the sun on my face
  • Spending time with the people I love
  • Getting into my freshly changed bed
  • Getting up early and achieving loads before I get to work
  • Perfecting a new recipe

Try making a list of all the little things that make you happy. (Making lists also makes me happy!)

3) Breathe

Focusing on your breath can be so powerful. There are many ways to do this, you can do it through practicing yoga, meditation or just quite simply standing outside and taking big gulps of fresh air. It sounds very simple, but the impact can be immense. It works on really calming your energy and slowing you down.

Next time you feel out of control or anxious, try taking 5 minutes out and taking a few really deep breaths. Notice the impact it has on your energy.

4) Observe your surroundings

Last year I decided to do a walking tour of Budapest, where I had lived at that point for over 6 months, what I saw on that tour horrified me. The tour was of the street art of the city and it was on streets that I had walked most days for the past 6 months and yet I had barely noticed any of it previously. It seems that I’d been walking around with my eyes shut, no doubt half the time distracted on my phone. Now I try to take extra effort to really take in my surroundings as I walk.

Next time you leave the house, pay 100% attention to everything. Observe everything around you. Did you notice things you’ve not seen before? It can be scary to realize how little you took in before.

5) Enjoy your tea

This doesn’t necessarily have to be about tea! (although it works great if you love a brew!) Basically, enjoy whatever you are doing right now. Be in the moment. Be present. Slow down. Savour it. Do one thing at a time. Stop rushing.

Whatever you do next after reading this article, try taking your time and really enjoy it. Focus all your energy on that one thing and notice how it makes you feel.

 

Do you live your life at 100 miles an hour? Try following the 5 tips above to see if it helps you slow down. What works for you? Do you feel better at a slow or a fast pace? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Share with anyone you know who might benefit from slowing their pace down.

 

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How to get back on track when you’ve lost your way https://bestselfology.com/get-back-track-youve-lost-way/ https://bestselfology.com/get-back-track-youve-lost-way/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:28:19 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1813 “No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.” ~ Barbara De Angelis  Sometimes we can find that our lives seems to be going swimmingly. We feel totally on top of our game. Everything is going to plan and […]

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“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.”

~ Barbara De Angelis 

Sometimes we can find that our lives seems to be going swimmingly. We feel totally on top of our game. Everything is going to plan and we feel good. At other times everything can seem completely out of control. We can’t catch a break, our luck is down and we can’t get into a positive routine.

Loads of crappy things can happen to us every day that are outside of our control. Always remember, when we are dealing with these things, we are fully in control of how we respond to them and what actions we take. When we get to a stage where we can’t find our rhythm, there are a few key things that can help us get back on track:

1) Spend time with people who inspire you

As Jim Rohn states ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’ With this being the case, spending time with people who inspire you can have a huge positive impact. If you are feeling a bit low, out of sorts, or you can’t get into your usual routine, spend time with people who will get you back on track. As Opera Winfrey says, ‘Spend time with people who will lift you higher’

When I am out of my routine and can’t get back into my usual habits, surrounding myself with positive, inspiring people, always helps to get me back into my flow. Give it a try!

2) Hire an expert

If you are trying to conquer a specific goal, it might be worth hiring an expert to support you with this. If you are trying to start a fitness plan, get a trainer, if you are trying to implement a new diet, consult with a healthy eating expert, if you are trying to start a business, hire a business coach. These people can offer their expertise and help you with how to tackle your goal.

If you are trying to implement new habits into your life, life coaching can be a useful strategy to help you succeed. CoachMe offers accountability coaching which is one of the most affordable ways to receive support with achieving your goals.

3) Reconnect with your vision

If you have lost your way, then there is no better technique to get back on track than to reconnect with your life vision and goals. Remember what it is your are aiming for. Try visualizing what it will be like when you are living it. Have your vision board printed out so you can get attuned to it every morning as you wake up.

If you have written your Book of Life, go back and re read it and remember what it is you stand for. Immersing yourself in the vision you created for yourself and the goals you have for your life is a great way to help you get back on track with achieving them.

4) Look after your health

Health is the foundation to everything. The better condition you are in health wise, the easier everything else becomes. Focus on getting enough good quality sleep, follow an exercise routine and eat a healthy diet. If you get into the flow of caring for your health, you will find that everything seems easier to manage.

I have written previously about the Sleep Cycle of Awesomeness. I have found that sleep has a huge impact on health and productivity. If you don’t get enough sleep, the rest of your routine can very easily get affected. If there is one thing you can do to get back on track it’s focusing on getting great sleep and addressing any reasons why your sleep might be being impacted.

 

I’d love to hear how you pick yourself back up if you’re out of sorts. Have any of these methods worked for you? Let me know in the comments below.

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8 ways to make your mark on the world https://bestselfology.com/8-ways-to-make-your-mark-on-the-world/ https://bestselfology.com/8-ways-to-make-your-mark-on-the-world/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 10:50:29 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1614 ‘Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way.’ ~ Barack Obama   Many people long to make a real difference in the world.  The list of inspiring visions […]

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‘Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way.’

~ Barack Obama

 

Many people long to make a real difference in the world.  The list of inspiring visions is endless, but the number of people who act on these dreams are much less.

Most of those people who are making an impact on the world achieve it by helping others to live, work, feel or think better in some way. Maybe you have a clear understanding of how you would like to make your mark (if indeed this is something that is important to you) or maybe you want to make a positive contribution but you are not quite sure how. Alternatively of course, you may be more than happy to go through life without worrying what contribution you have made, in which case this post probably isn’t for you!

If making a difference and contributing to the world in a positive way appeals to you, then read the tips below of how to make it happen:

1) Decide what you want to be known for

There is a powerful exercise in Stephen Coveys book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where he encourages us to ‘begin with the end in mind’ and visualize our own funeral. I realize this might sound a bit morbid but it can be very helpful for defining what we would like to be known for. By imagining the end of our time on earth, it can help us think through what we would like to be remembered for when we look back at our life and ensure we are on the way to implementing this.

There is no right answer to this exercise, every person is totally unique and so different things will be important to each of us. Defining what they are will help us to ensure that we are on the right track to achieving them.

2) Create strong relationships

Having fulfilling relationships and a good social network is one of the most profound experiences we can have in our lives and helps us to feel healthier, happier and more satisfied. The better able we are to create strong connections with other human beings, the more impact we will likely have on those around us.

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that strong social relationships with others predicted greater life satisfaction. With this comes a more positive evaluation on how our life is currently going and how it will go in the future. This positive outlook allows us to achieve more and make a more impactful mark on the world.

3) Be passionate about what you believe in

Most people love to be around others who are passionate about their beliefs. It can be highly contagious.  I’ve got friends who are interested in completely different subjects than I am, but they are so passionate about them, I love to feel their energy, even if the topic is not that relevant to me.

Passion can often be witnessed when discussing or carrying out an activity or responsibility that we love and are fascinated with. It’s the feeling when we can’t get enough of something, we want to keep learning and discussing it. Nothing seems out of reach, everything becomes possible.  We might not have all the answers, but we have such an overwhelming belief in what we are doing and want to share that with those around us.

Without passion, it’s pretty hard to find success in what we do. Great change comes from passionate people.

4) Have a vision

In order to get what you want from life, you have to figure out what it is that you want. Creating a vision can help you to achieve this. Without one, you might make progress, but it will more than likely take you longer to achieve things if you are less clear about your goals. Once you have your vision, believe fully in it, commit to it and follow it. An important part of a vision is adapting it to changing circumstances. Maybe it won’t turn out exactly as you thought it would initially. There are lots of things outside of our control, so be prepared to adapt it over time. It’s not something that should be set in stone but something that evolves.

5) Be kind

Being kind and compassionate is just general good advice! Being known for being kind is something that is desirable for most people.

Research has shown that kindness can be a major contributor to the levels of happiness we experience, so as well as providing an emotional uplift for those we are kind towards, selfless acts of kindness also result in an increase in our own happiness. A simple smile, a word of encouragement, or the offer of help will go a long way to improving both our own day and that of the recipient of our kindness.

6) Explore

Travelling provides so many amazing benefits. The more we get out and explore the world, the more people from different backgrounds we will meet and the more experiences we will have that will open our minds and broaden our perspectives. We’ll learn about different cultures, explore different places and hopefully meet some amazing new people.

As we travel and explore more of the world we can start to feel more gratitude to the amazing experiences we get to enjoy, the beautiful nature we experience, and the diverse range of people we interact with. Each of these experiences and people we interact with will help us grow as individuals and support us to make a more impactful mark on the world.

It’s not necessary to go far from our homes to explore, meet new people and take in new experiences. There is often plenty of opportunities to explore waiting on our doorstep.

7) Do things for yourself, not for show

We are living in a time where many things we do can be driven for the benefit of others, or for the photos or updates we share about them on social media. It can get to the point where we struggle to actually differentiate whether we are doing things for ourselves or for show.

A recent of example of this was on a holiday I was on in Brazil. I was asked if I wanted to go hang-gliding in Rio. My immediate thought was that it was something that I ‘should’ do if I was in Rio. Then after consideration I realized this was crazy. I should only do something if I want to, if I’ll get enjoyment from it. So I decided it wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to do.

A good technique I have recently started using is to consider whether I would do something if no one else knew about it or witnessed it. I find this helpful to differentiate what I actually want to do versus what I think I should do. To make an impact in the world, I believe it is important to be taking part in things that are important to you, not what you think the ‘right’ thing to do is.

8) Learn from failure

Rather than looking at something as a failure, it can be more beneficial to reposition it as purely an opportunity to learn and grow. Maybe it didn’t work out exactly as we’d hoped this time, but we can identify what we can take from the experience that will help us for the next time. Rather than focusing on the negative and viewing things as a mistake, we can try looking at them as an opportunity to learn and develop and ensure that we change something to be more successful next time.

If we don’t try things out and make mistakes, it is likely that it will prevent us from growing. Therefore it can be helpful to embrace the things that don’t go as expected and rather than calling them failures, call them learning opportunities.

 

I’d like to be known for someone who is passionate about helping people on the journey to becoming their best selves. What would you like to be known for? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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What is your life script and are you happy with it? https://bestselfology.com/life-scripts/ https://bestselfology.com/life-scripts/#comments Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:38:04 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1750 ‘A life plan is made in childhood, reinforced by parents, justified by subsequent events and culminating in a chosen alternative’ ~ Eric Berne In our lifetimes we have all written at least one story. Our own. We’re probably not even aware that we’ve written it! We began writing it from the day we were born and continued […]

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‘A life plan is made in childhood, reinforced by parents, justified by subsequent events and culminating in a chosen alternative’

~ Eric Berne

In our lifetimes we have all written at least one story. Our own. We’re probably not even aware that we’ve written it! We began writing it from the day we were born and continued it throughout our childhood. By the time we were four we had the first draft version, then when we turned seven the entire story was complete. From this point on we continued to refine and polish it throughout our adolescence.

This story is otherwise known as our life script. The theory of life scripts was developed by Eric Berne in the 60s. According to Berne, each of us have a life script although most of us are probably not aware of it. These scripts are created in childhood through the transactions between us as children and our parental influences. They partly programme our behavior in later life. Often we are not aware of where they come from or even that they exist at all.

These scripts have an unconscious effect on how we live our lives. They impact our decisions and influence what we believe we can achieve. They shape the image we have of ourselves. Depending on our particular script we can interpret an event in a number of different ways. This is one of the reasons why two people can view the same event completely differently.

Whatever role we create for ourselves in our script, we can begin to perceive it as set in stone. We can even allow our script to shape the way we expect things to turn out in the future based on the role we are playing.

Where do these scripts come from?

According to experts, our life scripts come from the messages given to us by our parents and other key influences in our earliest childhood, both verbal and non verbal. They form the framework to which our main decisions are made. In Transactional Analysis scripts are seen as coming from 4 different sources in childhood:

Modelling: Observing how to others behave and being shown how to do things

Attributions: Being told as a child what we must be, being provided with what is expected or wanted of us. This can come in the form of labeling. ‘You’re just like X relative,’  ‘You’re… clever, naughty, the best, clumsy, strong, different, awful’

Suggestions: Indirectly being given messages through hints and encouragement.

Injunctions: Demands from our parents in our childhood aimed at stopping us from doing something. They are related to our parents desires, fears, worries and angers.

All of these things informed the life scripts we created in our childhood, which we have taken with us into adulthood.

Common Life Scripts:

Do any of these sounds familiar to you?

  • Everyone else is better than me
  • I’m unlucky, bad things always happen to me
  • I am a loser
  • I’m always the victim in situations
  • I can’t make friends easily
  • I’m terrible at learning languages, I can never pick them up
  • I’m too fat and can’t lose weight, I won’t be content until I’m slimmer
  • I’m unlucky in love, I never meet the right person
  • People always leave me
  • I won’t be happy until I meet someone
  • I’m not good enough
  • I can’t do it on my own

These are all examples of life scripts. There are positive scripts that can be empowering, but there are negative ones that can severely limit our lives if we let them shape our future behaviour. We can start to believe them and let them define us and how we live our lives. If history always seems to be repeating itself, maybe it is because the same script is playing over and over.

The 6 script processes:

Everyone has their unique script, but Eric Berne observed six key patterns in the scripts. Never, Always, Until, After, Almost, and Open-ended. He argued that these patterns are common to everyone.

Never: These people cannot do or get the things they most want to do or have. They feel that everything they desire is out of their reach.

Always: These people ask themselves ‘why does this always happen to me? They repeat the same mistakes, over and over again.

Until: These people believe until they have carried out some particular task or outcome, they can’t have something else.

After: These people believe they will pay the price in the future for doing something fun in the present.

Almost: These people are always one step away from getting what they want. Even if they do achieve their goal, they will not be satisfied with it, but immediately look for the next one.

Open-ended: These people reach a certain point in their lives and find themselves lost. They might have looked forward to something in the future, but when it happens, it does not give them happiness.

 

What can I do with this information?

The greatest power of understanding our script patterns and how they might be influencing our thoughts and behaviours, is the ability this gives us to change them.

Once we have recognized what we are doing, it gives us the opportunity to consciously take a different course of action where we can legitimately expect a different outcome.

1) Identify your life script

Your life script is individual to you, to uncover it it’s necessary to identify the patterns in your life, particularly if you feel that they can be destructive. To analyse your current life script try observing yourself and reveal the beliefs that you hear yourself repeating that cause you to make certain choices. Look for recurring patterns relating to your beliefs, desires and decisions.  You will probably want to start this with the things that leap out at you, that are easy to identify, but keep adding to it as you notice patterns that you were not originally aware of. I have added my own life script to my Book Of Life.

2) Rewrite your script as an adult

Being aware of your script gives you an opportunity if desired to change it. You inherited your script from your childhood. If you were starting to write your story now rather than when you were 4 years old, how would you write it? From your current script, decide which elements are not helpful and identify how you would like to change them. Consider what you want to let go of from the old script and what you would like to replace it with. Rewrite your script based on what you know now as an adult rather than what you learnt subconsciously as a child.

3) Practice your new script

Changing our scripts means retraining our brains, this takes practice. The brain is like a muscle that needs working out. Understanding the theory is the first step, but practicing it is key. Continue identifying when you acknowledge that your script is at play and exchange your thoughts and behaviour with your new script.

 

Can you recognize any element of your current life script? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below and whether you have had any success changing anything about it.

Image: Designed by Freepik

 

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10 practical ways to win at life https://bestselfology.com/10-practical-ways-to-win-at-life/ https://bestselfology.com/10-practical-ways-to-win-at-life/#respond Tue, 14 Mar 2017 05:13:48 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1601 ‘Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen’ ~ Michael Jordan Life can throw all sorts of challenges at us every day. At times these challenges can start to feel too much and we can get into a situation where we start to feel overwhelmed and unsure of the way […]

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‘Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen’

~ Michael Jordan

Life can throw all sorts of challenges at us every day. At times these challenges can start to feel too much and we can get into a situation where we start to feel overwhelmed and unsure of the way forward. What we must remember is that whatever comes our way, however tough it is, we are in control of how we respond. It can be empowering to understand that although we can’t control what happens in our lives, we can control how we deal with it.

To win at life, try following these tips:

1) Be confident to be you

Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Often we judge ourselves by considering other peoples views of us. Your own thoughts and opinions are what matters. Try not to be a people pleaser. Know what you stand for and who you are and stay strong to that.

Try defining your own personal principles to be clear about what it is you believe in and take comfort in staying true to yourself.

2) Face your fears head on

Most people carry around with them a heavy burden of unconscious fears. These fears can prevent us from reaching our full potential and living a life without worry. Tackling your fears head on can help to minimize them and keep them under control. You can do this by carrying out a fear inventory.

A fear inventory is the process of moving all the subconscious thoughts and fears that we have roaming around in our heads, into our conscious minds. When we carry out a fear inventory, it enables us to bring our fears to the surface, allowing us to see them more clearly and to deal with them accordingly. When we see them written down in front of us, we should find that it creates the space to address them and makes them seem less significant and overwhelming.

3) Take action

Don’t spend your time living in hope, wishing and dreaming that things were different, instead take action. Stop feeling that the world owes you something, instead make things happen for yourself. Follow your passion. Don’t expect it all to come easily, you need to put in the hard graft.

Rather than waiting for things to happen, make them happen. Take the first step towards your goal,  no matter how big or small, its a step in the right direction and that’s what matters.

4) Let go of toxic relationships

There are some types of people in life who I like to call “Dementors.” You know the ones I mean, the people who suck the life out of you when you spend time with them, and drain away all your positive energy.

Learn to remove those people from your life and focus on surrounding yourself with awesome people instead. This should have an amazing positive impact.

5) Embrace change

Stability can create a feeling of comfort. Although this can feel safe, it can also keep you stuck where you are, without moving forward. Instead of staying static, plan change, initiate change and drive change. Don’t let things happen to you without your say so, be part of the change, shape it and embrace it.

6) Focus on your circle of influence

There are things that you can control in your life and those that you can’t. Analyze your circumstances to identify what is in your circle of influence and what is outside it. Try not to waste energy focusing on that which you have no control over. Instead let go of those things and focus all your effort on the things you can do something about. This is a much better use of your energy. 

7) Make the most of now

Live for the present. Try not to dwell on the past and what might have been. Learn from it, but don’t live in it. At the same time try not to obsess about the future and what might happen at a later date. Try not to constantly look forward to a future time when you think you will be happy. Instead, live in the moment and make the most of now.

8) Practice gratitude

It can be hugely motivating to feel gratitude for everything you have in your life. Rather than feeling sorry for your self, or grumbling about what’s not going right in your life, practice being grateful for what you do have. Write a list of everything that you are grateful for, keep it accessible and then look at it when you need to.

You can make this into a daily habit and start a gratitude diary. Gratitude doesn’t always seem to come as easily as complaining does, but when you focus your energy on it, it can be hugely powerful.

9) Learn from your mistakes

When you do something that you wish you hadn’t, don’t spend unnecessary time worrying about it, or justifying your decisions, instead accept responsibility for it, learn from the experience and ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. Think about what went wrong and how you can approach it differently next time to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

It take’s guts to admit you are wrong but it’s a critical step in learning and developing yourself. If you are courageous and take responsibility for owning your mistake, you can turn it into a learning opportunity rather than viewing it as a disaster.

10) Spend time alone

Spending time on your own, is different from being lonely. Learning to be comfortable with your own company can help you to clear your mind and gives you time to think and focus on what is important to you. It also allows you to spend your time doing exactly what you want, rather than pleasing others.

Anxiety of being on your own can come from your worry about other peoples perception of you being alone. Don’t worry about what other people think, make time for yourself and use this time selfishly to do what you enjoy. Be with your thoughts and focus on yourself. Use this time to grow, learn and develop.

 

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below about how you win at live and whether any of these tips help you.

 

Picture: Designed by Freepik

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How to be perceived as interesting without giving your own views https://bestselfology.com/percevied-intersting-without-talking/ https://bestselfology.com/percevied-intersting-without-talking/#respond Tue, 28 Feb 2017 06:39:29 +0000 http://bestselfology.com/?p=1634 ‘The way that you become world class….. is by asking good questions’ ~ Tim Ferris Most people aspire to be thought of as interesting. It feels good when people enjoy spending time talking with you. Being perceived as interesting doesn’t have to come from talking about yourself and airing your views. Research has shown that people […]

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‘The way that you become world class….. is by asking good questions’

~ Tim Ferris

Most people aspire to be thought of as interesting. It feels good when people enjoy spending time talking with you.

Being perceived as interesting doesn’t have to come from talking about yourself and airing your views. Research has shown that people are perceived as most interesting when they are interested in others.

There are two key ways that you can be perceived as interesting without sharing any of your own thoughts; asking great questions and listening with fascination.

1) Asking great questions

Most people love to talk about themselves. In fact, research from Harvard University has shown that about 40% of everyday speech is spent telling others about how we feel or what we think. It revealed that talking about ourselves triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money gives us.

The simplest trick to be perceived as a great conversationalist is to ask lots of questions. It sounds very basic and straightforward but asking great questions like any other skill, takes practice. When you master it, you should find you will have better quality conversations.

Try to ask open ended questions to get real insights. Questions with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “how,” or “why” lead people to share much more information. Avoid closed questions with “would,” “should,” “is,” “are,” and “do you think” which often all lead to yes or no answers. A good open-ended question is non-judgmental, shows interest, and is likely to lead to a more full answer.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of asking a question and then when you hear the answer to start talking about your experiences or views based on what the other person has said. To become great at asking questions, instead of immediately sharing your views, wait for the response and then use follow up questions to find out more.

Asking too many questions could make you come across as a bit intrusive, so it is important to consider the way you are asking them so you appear interested, friendly and non-threatening. You don’t want people to feel like you are interrogating them!

Asking great questions takes practice. Give it a try and you’ll find yourself improving this skill over time.

2) Listen with fascination

It is highly likely that you know already how to listen, it’s not hard right, you sit there and let the other person speak. Wrong! Actively listening is actually a much harder skill to accomplish, but it is critical to great conversation. It’s not a passive activity, it’s a highly active process that takes much focus and skill.

Listening with fascination is about believing you are going to be interested in everything the person says to you and actively listening to them without intention. When you are listening to someone have you ever found yourself doing any of the following?:

  • Thinking about your view on what is being said
  • Thinking about the next question you want to ask
  • Finishing their sentence for them
  • Thinking about what to have for dinner later
  • Sending a text!

It is very common to listen with intention. As someone is speaking we are usually processing what they are saying and making it relevant to us, thinking about our opinion on what they are saying, whether we agree or disagree with them, thinking what else we want to ask them about the subject.  Try really listening to what they say without interrupting or evaluating.

If you go into an interaction with someone with the belief that what they are going to say will be truly fascinating and that you are just going to listen without responding or giving your view or opinion, you will find that you start to listen at a different much more powerful level.

When you are listening with fascination you will pay attention to the words they are saying as well at the non verbal messages. It’s about noticing what is left unsaid, their body language, their facial expressions and the tone of their voice. It’s about truly understanding the message they are conveying to you.

Notice the voice in your head that is talking to you when you are listening to someone else. The more dialogue going on in your head, the less well you are able to listen. Practice how to quiet this down. The less conversation you are having with yourself in your mind, the better able you are to listen.

Try not to interrupt the person you are talking to, however excited you are about what they are saying. It can give the impression you don’t value their input. It can also stop their train of thought and steer the conversation in your desired direction, not necessarily where the other person was taking it.

 

By learning to ask great questions and taking the time and interest to listen with fascination, you are laying the foundations for more fulfilling, and intimate conversations. You can make an excellent impression by saying amazingly little. The people we like the most often say the least.

Try out asking great questions and listening with fascination and I’d love for you to share the outcome in the comments below.

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