There is an old saying that says, “So simple, yet so difficult.” That saying truly sums up the most integral part of being your best: being of your own mind (knowing yourself). People seem to be able to determine appropriate/inappropriate environments and positive/negative people; however, when it comes to being introspective, the ability seems to fade. Looking inward sounds basic, but it is a difficult thing to do. Some people may be in denial of certain things about themselves. Some people may be afraid of self-examination, fearful of finding negatives. Others may have already recognized what lies within, but may be afraid/reluctant to change. Regardless of the “difficulty,” self-examination is needed if one truly wants to be their best. And when examining introspectively, one must take an unbiased approach at achieving three steps: knowing oneself, being honest in knowing oneself, and trusting/believing in what one knows of themself.
Knowing oneself can partially come innately due to repetitive familiarity; however, truly knowing oneself takes a conscience decision to do so. It is one thing to know “what” you do, say, and think. But it is another thing to actually know “why.” There are things that one can control (moods/emotions) that influence what they think, say, and do. Also, things that others think, say, and do can influence you. It is important to know what these influences are, both positive and negative. Knowing your negative tendencies gives you opportunities to minimize them, which increases your potential to maximize your positive tendencies.
Knowing your positive and negative tendencies extends into being honest (pure) about them. Being honest with who you are will allow you to maintain relationships and interact with people without second guessing yourself and without feeling like a fraud. It will allow you to be a natural representation of yourself. If you are a cheerful person, then be cheerful. If you are a giving person, then give of yourself. Denying or suppressing the positive things about you will only take away from the value within your relationships with others and yourself. Sharing the positive things will always add value to your relationships. Managing your “negative” tendencies will, also, add value to your relationships. One must make a conscious effort to recognize negatives. That means you have to be honest and admit that there is a negative. You can’t deny, ignore, or overlook the negatives. You must give them just as much attention, if not more. Managing your negatives strengthens self-control and enriches self-esteem.
Being honest in knowing your positive and negative tendencies extend into trusting and believing that they do add value to you being your best for yourself and your relationships. Knowing your limitations and not limiting your expectations can help strengthen this inner trust and belief. Honestly knowing what is good of you will allow you to know how much you can give of yourself. If you attempt to give of yourself and it is not truly who you are, you can end up feeling overextended and drained. This can lead to shutting yourself down. When you can trust in yourself to be who and what you truly are, you can expect yourself to be better altogether. Having high, but reasonable expectations of yourself will motivate you to be the best you can be in any and all situations. Shortcomings are inevitable, but knowing and trusting in yourself will allow you to make adjustments and improvements in the areas needed with minimal guessing and trial and error.
Being mindful of who you are is, arguably, the most important element in being your best. It simplifies the environment examination and supporting cast selection processes. You will be able to choose appropriate environments and function in them with ease and confidence because you will understand what your true tendencies and limitations are. You will, also, have a strengthened sense of discernment in selecting who you allow to influence who you are. Knowing who you are will allow you to better assess how the influences of others will compliment your efforts in being the best person you can be. Every element of being your best takes a conscious and purposeful effort on your behalf. Your best is waiting on you…