What Keeps You From Being Your Best You?
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 We all strive to do our best, whether it is the job or business we have, our family relationships, raising our kids, or any number of actions we take each day. Our best, however, may take on different meanings to us for each task, and go unfulfilled as well. Defining your best may not be straightforward and seem distant to you.

 People often use the excuse “well, I did my best”, when something doesn’t work out the way they had planned or when someone is not satisfied with the outcome. Doing your best takes planning, patience, and perseverance; these qualities are not present in most tasks we do in this busy world.

 In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says that doing your very best will change day to day, mood by mood, and takes action. Well yes, I guess it will change; the thing is, it can change a lot less if we learn some things about ourselves. Learning to focus on doing our best depends only on one thing: Being our Best Selves.

 Since Don Miguel mentioned ‘action’ as one of the things that you need in order to do your best, I will add it to the other three mentioned above. So in addition to being your best self (more on that follows), you will need to pay attention to planning, patience, perseverance, and taking action. Seems like a lot, I know, but when you are doing the kinds of things I write about in my articles, it should be just a matter of focus.

 While I don’t think the word ‘mood’ is mentioned in the ‘Do Your Best’ chapter of The Four Agreements, Don Miguel’s description of why you wouldn’t do your best points to the kind of mood you are in. From this we could say in general that if you are in a lousy mood, then don’t work on something that requires you to ‘do your best’. If you are at your job and are required to do your best, then you need a way to get into a better mood.

 Getting into a better mood may depend on what put you in a lousy one in the first place. There are ways to quickly change your mood, which is caused by your emotions, through one of the ‘quick stress relievers’ I have in the first chapter of my Inner Peace Revealed eBook. Taking a couple of deep breaths with your eyes closed and focusing on peace or love, is one way to change your mood quickly.

 I have written a number of articles relative to what could cause your mood to shift and how to bring yourself into a better one relating to:

  • Taking things personally
  • Judging/complaining
  • Holding a grudge/resentment
  • Not taking responsibility for your actions
  • Being attached to an outcome

 There are other aspects of your emotions shifting quickly, all related to the same thing as the above; your beliefs. If you have been reading my articles for awhile, you are probably getting tired of ‘hearing’ about beliefs causing all of your troubles. Since beliefs are at the crux of your ‘pain’ what else can I tell you? “Change your thinking, change your life” is what Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind, said decades ago. What are your thoughts about? Mostly, your beliefs; or at least they stem from your beliefs.

 Getting back to ‘doing your best’, what comes first, the plan, persevere, and be patient part, or changing a belief? That is like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. Being your best You as I mentioned above, will always serve any project or action the most, but to plan, persevere, and have patience (tied to a belief) is still necessary. After all, you don’t delete all of your destructive beliefs at the click of a mouse like you would on your computer.

 So what does ‘doing your best’ have to do with ‘Being your best’? They work together. If you are Being your best, you will undoubtedly Do your best. If you are Doing your best, really, honestly, and fully, then you will Be your best in the moment. Since you are a subscriber to my newsletter, I would hope that you are doing something each day to Be your best. This action alone will put you in a place of peace, if only for a few moments, each day.

 I have found through my coaching and teaching work that ‘taking things personally’ and ‘judging other people’ are the most prevalent emotional challenges. Your responses to these situations are at the heart of not being the best you or doing the best you can. When you are emotionally charged from someone saying something that offended or insulted you, you cannot do your best.

 If we assume you are working on being the Best You daily, then let’s look at doing your best in whatever you do.

  • Planning
    • If the task is simple, then planning can be dismissed, but if it is either lengthy or complex, planning is a must. Lay out the steps you think you will need to take in order to complete the task, and any sub-tasks involved. Include an intended timeframe for completion.
  • Perseverance
    • Keeping at something until it is finished or to the point set during your planning, will provide great satisfaction to your work. Being able to slip past challenges during your activities will spark the Being aspect of you.
  • Patience
    • This may appear to be similar to perseverance, but differs by depending solely on beliefs. You can persevere all you want, but if it is perseverance due to anger or ‘come hell or high water’ type of emotion, it isn’t going to be of much help from the Being standpoint.

 You could actually look at ‘doing the best you can’ as a practice to ‘being the Best You’. It provides a measure of how well you are doing in your spiritual practice each day. The results of ‘raising you vibrations’ through spiritual practice shows up during a project you are working on.

 It is obvious that ‘being the Best You’ you can be takes practice. Without some kind of daily practice, the task will get harder and harder. This is not something to put off until you have the time, for without it you will never find the time.


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