I’m moving on from this whole best self bit. It was one thing when Oprah was talking about it in her We’re giving away cars! voice. Bringing in everyone from Brené Brown to Cameron Diaz to teach us how to maximize our potential, or be our best selves. But that was ages ago. Oprah has since gone back to making movies, leaving the best self to fight for its relevance in every self help site online. (Yet surprisingly it does not have its own Wikipedia page!)
But just because I’ve moved on from wanting to be my best self, please don’t think for one second I’ve given up on maximizing my potential. Au contraire! I have simply pivoted my focus to becoming my most self.
See, the best self is nice and all, but this is exactly it…it’s too nice! Where is the rest of me? The components that contribute to my best self are only nice. Or, in my case nice may not be an appropriate attribute. I’d probably go more with strong, creative and inspiring. So when I’m embodying these traits, I’m at my best? Where’s the rest of me? I understand that edgy, impatient and judgmental aren’t exactly best-self qualities, but they’re still me! I don’t want to act as if these parts don’t exist.
In Buddhism, the negative states of mind have antidotes. Our work is to transform these negative qualities rather than ignore them. To do this requires both practice and self awareness. So when I’m feeling impatient, rather than act it out, I can acknowledge what’s happening and practice more acceptance. This is how to be the most me. I must own my sh!t.
Also, our genius usually lies in our eccentricities which may not be deemed best self material. My edginess can easily be seen as restlessness or impatience. But it’s also the foundation for my creative nature. It keeps me on my toes and in touch with fresh ideas.
So instead of striving to be your best self, consider embodying your most self. Start to see your quirks as strengths, and keep practicing so all parts of who you are — the good, the weird and the ugly — can coexist in balanced harmony.