A Woman’s Guide to Designing Her Greatest Self
I cringe every time.
Every time I have a Snapchat story come up from a year ago, I cringe watching myself on video. I did not care much about who I was then, or how I presented myself. I can’t believe I went on stages with my hair in a ponytail, no makeup (not that I wear any now anyway, but at least mascara and a swipe of eye shadow make it to my public appearance), oversized clothes and no real love or direction for my life.
I had pretty much given up on caring.
Then…I changed. I decided I was a priority. I decided that designing my best life meant action. And so that’s what I did…I took action!
Designing your best life is not an easy feat, but one that is worth it!
We all want to be the best version of ourselves as we can be. This takes time, self-reflection, diligence, and willpower. You have to take great care in designing your life and yourself. This process can be even more challenging for women, as we tend to struggle in putting ourselves first and taking time for ourselves.
Designing your best self involves a fair amount of self-analyzing; you’ll need to identify and address your faults and be patient enough to handle slow, incremental changes.
This process can’t happen overnight. However, progress is important. These are the things that I learned (and am still learning) along the way…
Be Open to New Things
I was just getting out of an 8-year (mediocre) relationship. I was kind of over the idea of being in another relationship and completely satisfied with the idea of being Miss Independent. But then I decided to be open to dating again and I discovered what true love feels like. I am still in shock that I found love on an entirely elevated level that I really didn’t understand existed.
The first step in designing your greatest self is to try new things. Be open to new opportunities and adventures. You might be surprised at how much this simple act can change you and your path in life. Try new things, learn new skills, meet new people, explore new places; you never know where you might end up or how it might change you.
Take Time for Self-Reflection
In the process of being alone, I went back to my roots. I started playing tennis again and hit the streets with my running shoes! Within months, my brother and I completed a half-marathon in Key West! It felt good to be back in the game!
You’ll never be your greatest self if you don’t know yourself. Taking time to explore who you are as a person, what you like to do, what you want in life is essential to your happiness and success. Take some time monthly, weekly, or even daily to really get to know yourself.
Stay Motivated and Keep Your Momentum
We all have days where we don’t feel as motivated, but we can’t let them get the better of us. If you’re going to design and work on your greatest self, you have to push through the slow period and find your motivation so you don’t lose momentum. Progress is an incremental process.
Know the Good Habits from the Bad Habits
For almost a decade, I developed bad habits. They happened slowly, but eventually took over my life…and my happiness. My eating habits went from paleo to pizza. My workouts went from running half marathons to doing squats in my living room just so I could strengthen my knees, which no longer appreciated the extra weight they were supporting. And my success went from being an over-achiever to accepting status quo.
We all have a mixed bag of good and bad habits with which we deal. It’s important to identify these habits and whether they’re good or bad when designing your greatest self. You should do what you can to maximize your good habits and minimize the bad ones.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Take Control
Most people who know me would never know this, but I used to have an anger management problem. Yep. I was a screamer. And if you really pissed me off, I would tear you down with vicious words. Thank gaaaawd I am not like that anymore. I’ve learned how to keep my emotions (and my words) in check. I write all about feelings in this previous blog postif you feel so inclined to check it out!
While experiencing emotions and working through them are normal and necessary parts of life, allowing them to take control and rule important decisions in your life can be detrimental. It’s important to keep them in check whenever necessary and to identify appropriate times to express them. In order to do this, you’ll have to be in-tune with your emotions to know when they’re taking control and when it’s an appropriate level of emotion for the predicament or situation.
Put Yourself First Sometimes
While it’s important and honorable to put others before yourself, you’re important too. You have to put yourself first every once in a while. It’s a trend among women to always put the needs of others before their own, which is amicable until it becomes detrimental.
If you never take care of yourself, you’ll become too weak and feeble to care for others or yourself. You have to find a balance and be sure to give yourself the time and care you need.
Being your greatest self takes work, diligence, patience, time, and a whole lot of effort. You have to take time for self-reflection and the patience and strength to work on improving yourself. This is not always easy, as you’ll have to admit to and address your faults, but it’s necessary and healthy, as well as the only way to become truly your best self.
Just remember, as you go through the process of designing your best self, change will not happen overnight; it will take time for you to fully implement these changes and start to see results. Be patient with yourself and don’t give up.