Episode 25: Be the Best Version of Yourself

In this episode, we’re talking about how to become the best version of you. But, what does that actually mean? 

Becoming the best version of yourself means getting back to yourself by learning to recognise and let go of whatever limits your beliefs so that you’re moving forward and finding the person that you really are. 

Here are the highlights from this episode:

{1:05} What do we really want?

{2:49} Are you driven by your mobile phone?

{7:34} Being present and recognising where you are

{10:14} The idea of every day is there for the taking and how this affects your actions

{13:55} Embracing self-love

{15:44} Being kind to yourself and achieving what you want in steps

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Welcome to Dawn of a New Era, the podcast, Chronicles of a Serial Entrepreneur. And this is episode 25. And we’re going to be talking about how to become the best version of you. Now, what does that actually mean? Becoming the best version of yourself means getting back to, ultimately, the quintessential self by learning to recognize and let go of whatever limits your beliefs and things that are keeping you from self-actualization, so that you’re actually pushing forward and finding the person that you really are. And really to be authentic and be true to yourself and to live the best life, you do need to spend some time and step back sometimes to think about; are you really striving towards becoming the best version of you?  Are your actions every day true to that belief? And sometimes, we get caught up in the busyness of work, family, pushing towards things. And we can easily lose sight of what our ethics and beliefs are.

And to be authentic and be true to yourself, we need to get a handle on what it is that we actually want, what it is that we’re striving towards. And not always will the best version of you one year, five years ago, and 10 years ago be true to what is today. And what you need to look at is ways of understanding that there’s a kind of beauty in imperfection. And this is what I love about imperfection. So many of us, and this is true to myself as a control freak, strive towards perfection. We want everything to be the best. We want everything just to go right. But sometimes that can hinder us so much because you need to be thinking about that you are not in competition with anyone other than yourself. You shouldn’t have a desire to play the game of being better than anyone. This is about you and the way that you want to live, and everybody is different.

So living by the ethos that you are simply trying to be better than the person that you were yesterday is a pretty good way of thinking about life. And I would urge you to focus on the moment and be present. One of the things that drives me insane is mobile phones. And you would think, me working in the world of digital marketing and social media, that I would be caught up in all of these. Actually, the opposite is true. I love social media as a platform, and I love it for connectivity. I love it from a marketing point of view. I love it from a community point of view. But there is a time to step back and a time to be present in the real world, not the virtual world.

And the same is true with digital marketing. There is so much in terms of the internet of things that we are caught up in, whereby we are driven sometimes by our mobile phone. Notifications. Emails. And we sit down and one of the things we reach for, unfortunately, is the mobile phone. This is something that really, I would look at how much time you’re actually spending on your phone. And there’s an app that you have on Apple, et cetera, that will tell you what your screen time is. And it’s quite shocking, really, how long you spend on it. Now, I’ve taken the decision that, literally, of an evening, I just leave my phone on my desk upstairs. And I carry on my evening. There was a time where I felt so attached to it and so driven, I was checking my emails all the time. And it causes such anxiety and maybe that you’re not even conscious of.

Now, being attached and driven by your mobile phone means that you’re not really being present in the moment. You’re not really considering where you’re at. One of the things that I really don’t like, and it does drive me crazy, is if I sit down for dinner or a coffee and the other person is on the phone. I once sat down for dinner and the other person I was with, it was actually a work colleague, sat on their phone from the minute I sat down until the minute we left. And you’re not in the moment. You don’t feel that that person is connected or present with you. And I really do think it diminishes the feelings and the relationships that we build. And it puts a screen in front of that real-life, living person.

So when you look at how to be the best version of you, this sounds all very airy-fairy, but it’s about looking at how you behave and how you act every day and how you feel about yourself. Because in several of my podcasts, I talk about how the way that we project our feelings onto others makes us feel differently about others. If at the end of the day, we’re talking positivity, it’s impossible to display negativity to the other person. I think, with the amount of news that we have, and especially with the years that we’ve had with COVID, it’s very difficult to get caught up in it. And taking a step back from things like the news and negativity is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you’re detached from what’s going on in the world and you don’t care. It just means that you’re putting it into a box where you can dip into it and dip out of it.

The media, and especially when you watch the news, it’s on this like spiral and this loop over the same thing again and again. You will find that your state and the way that you feel once you’ve watched that is so different. I find the amount of text messages, the amount of direct messages on social media, and emails that I get is just huge. And any of you who have read my book, Dynamic Digital Marketing, you’ll know that there’s a whole chapter dedicated in it all about the ways I save time because these are honestly things that I don’t want to spend and waste my life doing. Like deleting emails. I have no wish to delete my emails. It’s just a waste of time. There’s better things I could be doing.

We have to keep remembering that we are on this planet once, and once only. Yes, there are beliefs out there that we come back, or we’re reincarnated, whatever. But in this existence, this here and now, we have to be living and becoming the best version of you. And honestly, it is true. What you give out, you get back. And for so long, I’ve struggled with relationships with different people, whereby I’m thinking, “Well, I just don’t feel connected with that person. It’s just not resonating.” And I would try and push and fix it. But sometimes, you just need to step back and think that that’s not your person. That’s not your buzz or your community.

It also could be down to the state that you’re projecting and the way that you are, how you’re feeling. It’s very easy when you are in a positive mode to be thinking about becoming the best version of you. You’re walking every day. You’re looking at your mindset. You’re looking at your motivation. And you’re very inspiring maybe in the way that you talk. But sometimes, when you’re in a low point, or even anxious or depressed, it is very difficult to focus on the best version of you.

Now, I’m pretty sure most people in their life, at some point, have experienced some form of anxiety, some form of depression, and some form of imposter syndrome or confidence issues. And to be honest and true to yourself, that’s fine. We are not perfect. And you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to recognize where you’re at. And you have to recognize what you’re giving out. And being present is a big part of this. And honestly, when we think about meditation, and it’s not something I’ve really got into. I’ve struggled a lot with sitting still for that long and meditating. I like it, but I have my own form of it. I’m not going to be perfect and be one of these people who wakes up at 4:00 AM, meditates for three hours, and does whatever. It’s just not me. But I don’t choose to be that. I just want to be the best version of me and things that make me happy. So getting up and running my life in an authentic, true way that makes me and others around me happy.

And one of the ethos’ that I have, I’m not a religious person, but I’ve always led my life in the belief of do unto others as have done to yourself. And I think that’s a pretty good motto because it does make you think differently. Quite often, though, I do feel that that opens you up for people to take advantage. But one thing in life is that to be the best person and be the best version of you, if I could give any advice at all, one of the things I’ve never done is sought revenge. And when something annoys me, I just have to sort of decompartmentalize it and think about what it is and why the person is behaving. Is it me? Is it them? Is it how I’m feeling? And what does it mean? And then sometimes just stepping back and away from it, you realize why that person did it. It’s a problem on their part.

Getting revenge and doing nasty things to other people has never been the best way. And I do feel that there’s an element of karma in life. You do reap what you sow. Sometimes life can feel pretty unfair, and sometimes you might be thinking, “Why is this happening to me?” But by playing the victim, it means that you’re never going to get past it. You’re kind of in that moment. Now, it’s fine to have a moment where you’re just down, or you have a little wallow in your own self-pity, but you do have to pick yourself up and kind of move past it and kind of think about why it happened.

Now, normally, when we get into the rational side of things and step away slightly from the emotional, we do start to understand what part we play in something. And sometimes life genuinely is just unfair. Someone being diagnosed with an awful illness, or people or friends or family members being taken from us through COVID. Life is unfair and you can’t control those things, but you do have to try and step past it, as hard as it is. And as I said, life isn’t perfect and you don’t have to be perfect. And all you have to do is show up and kind of enjoy this messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey, which is indeed your life.

And I think when you start to understand that every day is there for the taking, that you go into it with a slightly different attitude. Even when I’m having a particularly kind of tired, I’ve just had enough, I just feel a bit kind of spent, you do have to kind of sit down and think, “Well, what would actually make me feel differently now? What would make me happy?” And sometimes just having a conversation with someone does that. And as I say, there is this beauty in imperfection because every single person is imperfect, including yourself. As much as you may think you are, we’re all imperfect. But we’re wonderfully imperfect. And that’s the variety and spice of life. And that’s what makes us all different. And that’s what makes some of the most special connections that you will have.

Quite often, you’ll have partners or friends that are the complete opposite to you, and they have things that they’re better at than you and vice versa. And for me, creativity is imperfection. Because to be an entrepreneur, you can’t be perfect. To be an entrepreneur, I feel there’s a massive element of risk-taking. And there will be things that go epically wrong, and things that have definitely in every entrepreneur’s life gone epically wrong. There’ll be things that they create and you create that will fail. And failing is fine because it’s learning. If you do nothing, you learn nothing. If you don’t take action and you don’t try something, nothing different will happen. You can’t continue to do the same things and expect different results. And as Einstein said, this is insanity.

You need to be thinking about what is the best version of you for this year, for this day, for this week, for this month, for this minute, this hour. What is it that you can do? And being present and being mindful of your own existence and your own surroundings, and just stepping back and stopping will make that clarity come true. Because putting your mobile phone down and disconnecting will have a huge effect. It’s very difficult for you to probably understand as a person, or for us to understand as people, what our attachment to digital does to us. There is a huge bonus, the community, the connectivity. But also, I feel that there’s a negative impact. And many of us will have gone on at some point on social media and looked and got FOMO and this whole fear of missing out because we never had that. I mean, back in my time, I’m, what, 41 now, I remember actually using a payphone. I mean, I got my first mobile phone at 16.

But the thing is, is with emails and this connectivity, life should not be lived through a mobile phone or a digital device. And as hard as it is during COVID, and we have to do a lot of things online, just by stopping and thinking, and maybe putting your mobile phone away of the evening and not sleeping with it in your room and having it as the last thing that you see when you go to bed. That is really quite sad when you think about it. Or putting your phone outside your room so you have to get up for the alarm. I found, even with my Apple Watch, that trying to become the best version of yourself, you’re being ruled by another digital device. So you have to take the bits of life that suit you.

And being perfect isn’t about eating amazingly and going on a diet and walking everywhere and doing all these things. It isn’t. Sometimes, when you’re feeling low, it’s not about taking away. It’s about just settling for those things and thinking, well, if you’re eating too much and you feel that you need to cut back, just change the foods a little bit. Rome is not built in a day. And sometimes we’re just so hard on ourselves.

And I do feel that self-love needs to be something that we really embrace on a day-to-day level. And it’s something that I’ve been really bad with over the years. And I have to really work at it. Because I get so caught up in work and business and multiple activities and projects that I really kind of feel like I’m thriving during it, but I don’t understand how much it’s draining me. And I have to take the time out to be creative but to also be good at what I do. Because I am definitely better in a performance point of view from being a leader or a manager or a marketer, whatever I am in that moment when I’ve had time out and I’m not just rushing and doing all the time.

And so this podcast is about thinking about you’re not perfect. You don’t have to be perfect. And every single day, there’ll be days that you’re not, but there’ll be days that you do. And it’s about striking that balance, that nine times out of 10, that you’re kind of leading the best life you can, if that’s possible. And there will be days that it goes astray. I mean, homeschooling, how on earth can parents cope with these challenges on top of their normal working day that was hard enough already? People’s existences are impacted on things that they can’t control. And this will happen to us all. But put the day behind you. Start again tomorrow.

And this is the great thing with time, that it’s not infinite in terms of how bad that day is going. We have a close off. That’s the great thing about having 24 hours. The next 24 hours can be different and you can make subtle changes. And often, by just focusing on micro-goals rather than these huge epic goals like at the beginning of the year, New Year’s resolutions. I’m going to lose a stone. I’m going to take up running. I’m going to do things. Just maybe, I’m just going to eat better today. I’m just going to eat more nourishing food today. I’m going to go for a walk today. And if I feel like running, I’ll run. Just don’t be too hard. And don’t push yourself to the max where you feel that you’re failing. To be the best version of you is about achieving what you want in incremental states and knowing that you’re making a difference in whatever the difference is, to other people, to yourself.

So I hope you enjoyed this week’s podcast. And I hope it’s made you think about the whole essence of life in terms of this being present. So if you do nothing else, please, please, please take some time away from your mobile phone, step away from your laptop or your computer, and be present with that person and be fully immersed in that moment. And just notice the difference that your relationships are, the conversations that you have. And honestly, it’s truly, truly magical when you are connecting and you are fully present in that time. And you will feel different.

So have a good week, and I will see you on next week’s podcast, if not in our free group. Take care.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. And don’t forget, I’m going to be with you each and every week. So download and listen on dawnmcgruer.com, or on iTunes, and come and join us in our Facebook community, too. All the details are on the website. And I’ll see you next week.

 

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