Recently I watched a "discussion" unfold on Face Book regarding what was best; being your true authentic self or being your best self. It was interesting to see that there were two very separate and equally vocal groups on the matter. One group argued that being your true authentic self was a far more noble cause to pursue and of course the "being your best" group argued that their pursuit was best!
I didn't think much of it at the time, I think I had a few chuckles, and it wasn't until a week later that, whilst listening to the Finding Mastery podcast, the person being interviewed mentioned "being your best self", and "showing up as your best self" a number of times, and that got me thinking...
Here's my take on the argument; I believe that the two pursuits can and should exist equally together and work hand in hand to enable us to be our best selves and most authentic selves. Let me explain...
Being Your Best Self requires a commitment to show up as your best on any given day and in any given situation, to be the person you truly want to be now. It's an Intention backed up with Action. Being your Authentic self, requires you to be committed to being Authentically You, in essence the version of yourself that is most wonderfully you, lived from your core values on any given day and in any given situation, and again it's an Intention backed up with Action.
What are you actually striving for when you say you want to be Your most Authentic Self? Are you not actually striving to be the best version of yourself, who you really are at your core when you're living from your highest values and vice versa, at that moment in time? When I think of being authentic, I am kind, generous, caring, giving, loving, fun, etc, (living from my values), I am not putting on a "front", just being myself (the best version of myself....) AND if in that particular moment my best version of myself falls short of my mark, that's OK because soon there will be a knock on my mental door and it will be my authentic self saying "come on, time to pick up the pieces and get back up", and, yes you guessed it, vice versa!
I truly don't believe these two states/pursuits are exclusive; If we are being our most authentic self, then is that not by default the best version of our self? Are we just arguing semantics?
The bigger question for me is; Why would you want one without the other, are both not worthy pursuits? Imagine you are about to give a speech, a keynote address and you are scared out of your mind, racked with nerves and anxiety, feeling like throwing up, your authentic self in that moment is struggling, yes?. Now would be the time for you to intentionally tap into you best self, your highest values, the reason, the why of giving that speech and find the courage (part of you best self) to go on stage and deliver your speech as your most authentic self. There are so many situations everyday where together, authenticity and being the best version of ourselves inspire us to keep moving forward on our chosen path.
Lets not argue over whether being your best or most authentic is the right path to take, let's just do both, consistently and everyday and in doing so with intention and action, live a life of our choosing, as our best most authentic self!
Living from a place of profound authenticity involves being rooted in your deepest beliefs, values and truth and living a life that is a true reflection of them. It is about being true to yourself through your thoughts, words and actions. Judith Johnson.
The previous quote sums it all up for me, profound authenticity is rooted in your deepest beliefs and values (your best self), and these determine who your authentic self is!!!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, comment below...