The desire to become your 'best self' and reach your 'highest potential' is as buzz-worthy as it is ambiguous, as trendy as it is indefinable. While self-help heroes take over Instagram feeds and are self-publishing their ideas, and I'm as hooked as the next gal on finding the secret to being who I am...and making loads of money...and being happy... And this is very good news for a culture in multitudes of turmoil, because bringing about social change starts with personal change. World peace, after all, starts with personal peace and grows outward from the soul of one to that of many.
I believe that one of the most valuable pieces of self help advice I have ever come across is this: We're always working toward something, even when we don't always realize it. Motion is our constant state, even as I sit eating heaps of chocolate bars on the couch, seemingly sitting still while hurling around the galaxy on a huge rock that spins around a ball of fire. Even in moments it seems I'm doing nothing, we're heading toward old age, and in the case of my chocolate binge: weight gain. Just as time and evolution and our age and everything in this universe is, we are always moving toward one thing or another. Even denial is working toward something (numbness). Our every move, every thought, every decision and every choice makes an impact on what will or won't come our way. When we let negativity exist in our minds, we're working toward depression and self sabotage. When we are diligent about staying positive, encouraging ourselves along the way, and believing in our own power, we're working toward a life that feels supported and strong, and reflects our purpose. Big or small, in everyday habits and one-time actions, they all work together, linking somewhere along the lines of our life story.
So if your heart has been begging for clarity, or you just clicked on this article because the title both confused and intrigued you; if your mind's eye has become clouded and blurred, or if your carrying the strange and disruptive feeling that your soul has been sedated, it's your duty to your soul to start asking questions.
And this is a great one to start with:
If you're not working toward better: better health, deeper relationships, bigger joys, brighter contributions; what are you working toward? If your not striving to be your best self... what version of yourself are you working toward?
These are tough questions. The kind of cringing question that makes one really analyze what kind of missteps your committing each and every day. It requires that you become responsible for your life, the life you're living right now. It requires that you be so honest with yourself, you see the gore and the glory, the rips in the canvas and yet the entire portrait of your own beautiful life. But answering is the only way to get where we want to be, because it's the only way to get a clear, honest and truthful assessment of how you're living, and whether it's serving you. You can't know the answers if you never ask the question.
This is the kind of cringe worth every bit discomfort. Don't shy away from this kind of self-improving work.
10 Questions For Self-Awareness:
You want answers? Just ask:
For Friendships, Relationships and Colleagues:
Am I being (in thought, action and intention) the kind person and partner in my relationships that will inspire others to be better versions of themselves?
Am I acting with integrity and love in my decision-making that will give me peace at the end of the day, no matter how things turn out?
Do the people I've chosen to work with and commune with people make it clear that my well-being is a priority to them, and do I make it clear that their well-being is a priority to me?
For Work, Contributions, Hobbies:
Does the way I use my time and energy leave a legacy I'm proud to have contributed to after my tasks are finished?
Am I creating more beauty in the world with what I say, think, make, and share?
For Health and Body Confidence:
Am I being respectful of my body's needs and essential phases as a living organism rather than a tool for vanity?
Does how I treat and talk to my body come from a place of love or judgement; if it's judgment, what would I have to do to see my body through a lens of love and gratitude?
Does the communication between my body and mind feel good, pleasurable and symbiotic?
For Self Expression and Creativity:
Am I willing to be brave enough to let my desires for my life path unfold through me?
Am I acting as a willing tool for my passions to come to fruition, or am I trying too hard to control the outcomes and reactions to what I offer in my work, personally and professionally?
Make no mistake, these are not questions easily answered with a yes or a no, though a simple answer usually means you're tapped into the internal guidance system that can help you live a life that's fulfilling, purposeful and aware. The reason that asking yourself these topics as questions is helpful is because the gut-reaction answer that brims to the surface the moment you ponder the question is more easily acceptable. It's your starting point. If in answering whether the communication between your mind and body feels pleasurable or not, you felt a knot in your throat and your stomach tighten up, you can be sure that maybe that connection could use some strengthening. Is that a bad thing? Not in the least, now that you're aware of it. Enjoy the process of growth through your own awareness more than you do the outcome, and the journey of self discovery will be an exciting one.