Last week we took you on a trip into the internal world that is your mind and explored how you tend to approach any given day or situation from two different standpoints – either your Fear Focused Self, or your Best Self.
We all recognise these two places within ourselves. Even coaches like us at Team Evolve oscillate between both as we navigate the adventure that is life. As we always say at Evolve, we’re human beings first, coaches second.
Here’s a snapshot of what these 2 places feel like:
Fear Focused Self
I can’t handle this
I’m not in control
I have nobody to rely on
I can handle this
I can control how I respond
I can rely on myself
OK, so obviously life becomes a lot more technicoloured and fulfilling when we are operating as our Best Selves, but how do we get and stay here?
The best version of You is fuelled not by what others think of you, but what you think of You. Essentially your happiness rests primarily upon the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself.
“Your relationship with yourself is arguably the most important relationship in life. Self-relationship is the foundation of everything else – even altruism.”
Source: Psychology Today
We can travel through life, relationships, and careers convincing ourselves that we feel good about ourselves, not realising that we’ve unknowingly tied our self-worth to external endorsements from other people, labels and possessions.
We can live quite happily like this for a while, that is until we hit one of life’s unexpected potholes.
Yes, they’re enough to make you want to stay in bed feeling sad all day!
Including but not limited to:
Once these external endorsements are no longer there, this outside-in approach to building our self-confidence exposes a large gap, leaving us feeling vulnerable.
Essentially, if we were to get to the crux of how it feels to operate from either mode, it can be summarised as follows…
Fear Focused Self
“I am helpless”
“I am my own Hero”
Psst, we’ve got an important note on Best Self mode’ for you…
Operating as your Best Self doesn’t mean you become immune to experiencing the pain that accompanies life’s challenges. All emotions are helpful information from which we get to choose the future course of action we take.
However, the difference is, when you approach difficult situations as your Best Self you experience pain from a place of power. The ‘I can handle it / I am my own hero’ mindset, allows you to tackle what’s in front of you with courage and curiosity to grow from the experience. Now who wouldn’t choose that option?
Ok, back to this endorsements thing…
If external endorsements offer us a nice but often temporary bolster to our mojo, what is the answer to building rock steady self-worth – the kind that will leave us feeling like our own hero? You guessed it; it comes down to internal endorsements! For example, you need to like and back yourself, no matter what.
Interesting to think that from a young age we are taught the importance of building good and respectful relationships with others. But, nobody ever really taught us the importance of building a good relationship with the one person we spend time with 24/7 and will do for the rest of our lives – ourselves.
“We have unconditional love for our family and loved ones – we need to extend that to ourselves, too.”
The Way Forward
If you want to live your fullest and best life it’s paramount you take up the challenge of being your own hero. This means getting on your own team, and offering yourself words of encouragement, both in good times and bad.
To get to this place invest time loving, trusting and caring about You. Let’s call this a bit of TLC… See what we did there?
Yes, a bit corny we know, but – there’s method to our madness (honest) and you won’t forget it now will you!
Here’s a few effective ‘My Hero = Me’ habits you can work on to get you started.
‘I can handle this….’
- Increase how positive and powerful you feel by repeating the mantra ‘I can handle this’
- Mind map all the challenges you have overcome to date – you’re pretty awesome huh?
- Visualise the best version of You doing your ‘thang’. You can trust that version of you to make everything OK don’t you think?
‘I like me, I’m kinda cool…’
- Spot your best qualities by noticing what positive impact you make upon situations and people
- Start a habit of self-recognition every time you achieve or do something positive
- Say yes to new challenges to reveal strengths and qualities you never knew you had
‘How are you/we doing?’
- Nip negative self-talk in the bud and replace with self-supportive words of wisdom. ‘You’ll be OK.’
- You’re a wonderfully imperfect yet perfect human being like the rest of us. If you make mistakes, be as kind to yourself as you would be to a great pal
- Check in with yourself regularly to see how life is treating you and commit to making any changes required
Imagine how unstoppable you would be if you were to become your own greatest ally?
Worth giving it a try? We think so too