Past decisions coming back to haunt us and indecisiveness when it comes to future plans are equally responsible for us not being happy with who we are. Whether it is reflecting back on all those times you walked past that homeless man at the subway or not stopping to help an injured dog at the side of the road, we have all made selfish decisions.
Dwelling on the past is not going to change anything. Sure, the decisions you made then were major determinants in shaping who you are today, but what is the point of harping on stuff that you can’t change? Let the past go, release all that weight and you will find that being the best version of yourself is not impossible, and neither is it too late. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited about the future]
If you are ashamed of the things you have done, then why not make a conscious effort to change the future? It’s never too late to start doing the right thing. I know that it’s not easy switching off the world and going against the flow. Society has taught us that money is power, and if doing something is not going to bring us either, then it is pointless to even think about it. Snap out of that mindset! [Read: How to master the art of positive self talk]
How can you bring out the best in yourself?
Even if it takes you forever to change, it will be worth it. No matter the circumstances, here are 13 simple yet very inspiring ways to bring out the best in you.
#1 Appreciate the present. Being appreciative for all that you have here and now is very important. The only way to be truly happy is to be appreciative for all that you have accomplished, the people around you, and all that you have. Happiness comes from within and one of the simplest ways to tap into this positive energy is to be grateful for what is in front of you.
#2 Improve the future. What you do today will lend a hand in bringing out the best in yourself tomorrow. Do what you can today to ensure that your future is protected. Whether it is doing something practical like taking out health insurance, or working out and eating right so that a year from now you will look and feel fit enough to grace the cover of Maxim, improve your future by working on it today.
#3 Accept others. One way to bring out the best in yourself is to accept others for who they are. Whether it is accepting people who have different religious beliefs, political views or skin color as you, it is important that you accept people for who they are. Each person brings something unique to the table of life, and you have to realize that all the little pieces fit together to create a wonderful image. Hence, bring out the best in yourself by recognizing, respecting and accepting everyone else.
#4 Be comfortable in your own skin. Accept who you are and be yourself. Don’t be afraid of being different from others. With more than 6 billion people on this planet, why would you want to be like everyone else? Carve out your own identity and don’t worry too much about what other people say or think about you. Only when you are happy with yourself will you be able to let the best part of you shine. [Read: 5 steps to see yourself in a better light]
#5 Allow yourself to fail. Don’t be afraid to pick yourself up and try again. Failure allows you to eliminate the numerous ways to not do something, and that brings you closer to the right way. Think of all the rewards that will come to you when you eventually succeed. Never sell yourself short, and you will find that the positivity you project will pay off in a big way, if not financially then at least in terms of your self worth, which is what matters most anyway.
#6 Be honest. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then who can you be honest with? If you are not happy, then admit it and make changes to improve your well being. If your relationship is going downhill, man up and admit it so that you can change it. Trust yourself to tell the truth, not just to yourself, but to others. Just be careful not to insult anyone in the process. The best version of yourself is the one that faces the truth and lets it guide you. [Read: 6 excuses that will get you nowhere]
#7 Practice kindness. Everything comes back around, so practice the ‘pass it on’ concept. Whether it’s buying coffee for the person behind you in line, or making an extra sandwich for the homeless man who lives on the corner of your street, do what you can to be gracious and kind to others. Kindness is a wonderful virtue to practice and not something to shy away from. The more you do it, the happier you will be.
#8 Enjoy the little things. Great joy can be found in the simplest of things. From a sunny day spent at the park to basking in the smiles of strangers, enjoy the little things in life. There is no need for million dollar cars, private jets and pink champagne to make a person happy. Sure, they are a ton of fun, but you have to realize that life is not about the materialistic things. Mold your virtues after Bono and not Kim Kardashian, and you will find that it is easier bringing out the best in yourself.
#9 Surround yourself with goodness. Expel all the toxic people from your life. Whether it is friends who keep leading you on a downward spiraling path, or even your mother who always makes you feel bad about yourself, minimize contact with these people. Instead, surround yourself with inspiring, motivational and happy people. Their positivity will rub off on you, and whatever positivity you have to share will rub off on them, as well. [Read: How to recognize and end toxic relationships]
#10 Hone your skills. One way to bring out the best in you is to further develop and hone your skills. For example, if you have a passion for writing, you should do all that you can to focus on your dream of one day getting published. If you have always wanted to learn the guitar, sign up for classes or go through the myriad tutorials available to you online. No matter what you enjoy doing, take the time to hone your skills and indulge in your passions.
#11 See the good in everything. No matter how dark the clouds in the sky are, there is always a silver lining. You need to change your mindset and focus on the good things in life. Do not harp on the bad stuff, because you will never be happy. If you can somehow convince yourself that something good will emerge from the bad, the road to happiness is a much easier one to traverse.
#12 Set your goals and stick to them. To bring out the best in you, you have to succeed. Nothing brings greater pleasure and satisfaction than accomplishing something that you have worked hard for. Whether it is losing 10 pounds or securing your dream job, you should set realistic goals for yourself and do whatever you can to reach them. The payoff will be fabulous and you will have no one to thank but yourself, making the success even sweeter.
#13 Don’t dwell on what others think of you. Once you stop being so concerned about what others think, you will be a happier person. If you live your life worried about what other people are going to say about you, then you are going to be miserable. People have ridiculous standards when judging others, so even if you are the happiest and most fabulous person in the world, you will still be criticized. Let the haters be haters and stop caring about what their little minds think. [Read: 5 ways to keep judgmental people from affecting you]
It all comes down to being happy with what you have. Although there is no harm in reaching for the stars, you have to realize that life is still a wonderful gift to be treasured even if you fail. Never give up on yourself, strive to be a kind hearted soul and you will find that bringing out the best in you will be the simplest thing in the world.
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