What does your “Best Self” look like?
According to the ‘psychological theory of the self’, each of us is in pursuit of our ‘best self’.
Do you remember the old Berocca advert with the caption “like you, but on a better day” while business men and women in suits were running on treadmills in a park, able to achieve much more because they’ve taken this vitamin supplement?
It makes me chuckle, probably because I’m their target market.
This advert captures the sense of ‘striving’ we feel when we’ve got a lot to accomplish and just want to get on with it. The advert speaks to busy people who want to be even more productive.
Working towards your goals
When I first left my corporate job in the financial sector to become self-employed, 2011, I started promoting my ‘productivity’ training workshops for start-up businesses – they were busy people with a lot to accomplish that I knew I could help. My core offer was “how to be more productive with the limited time and resources you’ve got”.
It took me a while to realise that they didn’t need my top tips on how to prioritise or delegate. In fact, many of them were looking for direction, or feeling uncertain about their next decision, or delaying taking action in case it was the wrong thing and they’d waste time and money.
They needed my psychological support so that they could continue to work towards achieving their goal: they needed self-belief. I was ultimately helping them to stop self-sabotaging.
Even though they had the best intentions, they still found themselves outside their comfort zone and inside, what I call, their zone of fear.
Finding yourself in the zone of fear
Have you ever been in the zone of fear? It’s like saying “I want to be fitter”, paying for annual gym membership then feeling guilty for not going. It’s like saying “I’m going to impress that client” but then feel disappointed with yourself for not preparing for the meeting until the night before.
I’m sure you’ve got your own examples. It’s the place where horrible and uncomfortable emotions reside: guilt, shame, anxiety, worry, self-loathing, desperation, avoidance.
Being in this place is almost the opposite of “you, but on a better day” – in fact, you couldn’t feel less effective. You’re not taking any action to achieve your goal, you’re too busy beating yourself up.
Actually, to everyone else, you still look like you’re coping, holding it all together, juggling a hundred things: you’re always the optimistic doer and helper.
But this just makes it worse for you – how could you possibly tell others how you really feel? You can’t let them see behind the mask, you can’t break the 4th wall.
All the while you’d simply like to get on with achieving your bestself, without having to be dragged on to the self-sabotaging cycle.
In pursuit your best self
What career or business goals does your best self want to achieve? Where does your best self go on holiday? How does she spend her time and money? How does your best self have fun?
There are hundreds of ways in which I can help you break the self-sabotaging cycle, from lots of different angles. It’s been a huge part of my own life and re-appears again and again in my client work.
Consider that self-sabotaging is born of the Inner Critic, and closely related to the Imposter Syndrome. I’ve learned so much about my strengths from having experienced these three for so many years (decades).
Do you have the courage to take action?
One of my principles is ‘daring to be more courageous’ – helping you to get out of your headspace and into action. It’s important to check that any action you take is actually in your best interest because that’s the only way to achieve your ‘best self’ (i.e. not self-sabotaging behaviour!).
Questions to ask yourself at any point in your life to help you stay on track with your goals / pursing your best self:
- What am I trying to achieve? (the clearer you are on your goal, the easier it will be to focus on it)
- Is this goal really mine? (and not something I feel I oughtto do just to toe the line or please others?)
- What are the benefits to me of achieving this goal? (job satisfaction, feel happier, have more money or more free time etc?)
- How will achieving this goal benefit others? (if you are happier and more satisfied, your relationships will improve, and you’ll have even more energy, focus and love to give other people in your life)
Two more things you can do
Here are two things you can do today to help you stay focused on your goals:
ONE – Book yourself onto my next One-day Hideaway, Stop Self-Sabotaging & Find Your Focus, 14th September, London – it’s not to be missed if you’re gearing up for this last quarter.
TWO – Join the Tame Your Inner Critic FREE 5-Day Challenge (next Live Round starts soon!) for loads of support and live check-in calls with me every evening
See you soon!