We’re into the second quarter of 2011 of my “best” year, and I have a lot to say on how to be your best. I figured I should report on how to be your best, since it’s something I’ve been studying and applying for the last few months.
1. How to be your best? Listen with new ears.
There’s something I’ve noticed about people who are the best in their fields. They tend to be good listeners and lifelong learners.
They’re not the ones who barge in on a topic saying they know it all already. The business people who truly shine in their industries love learning, it’s like a game for them.
When they come in contact with new materials or ideas, they absorb them like a sponge. And if they are presented with ideas and information that they might be familiar with, they keep an open mind.
Here’s the thing: whenever you allow yourself to jump to the conclusion that you already know something, you shut down the part of you that is willing to grow and get better.
Want to know how to be your best? You need to allow yourself to be a little naive, to be open to hearing things from a new perspective, and to listen with new ears.
One of the worst things you can do to derail yourself from your path is to say: I know that already. Especially if you’re not experiencing the level of success you’re looking for.
The truth is that sometimes we need to hear the same message more than once before it hits home. Other times we need to learn something from a certain teacher, or through someone else’s life story. If you go in thinking you’ve already heard this, you’re not giving yourself a chance to become your best.
I’ve had to remind myself to listen with new ears many times on my own how to be your best “quest”.
The beauty of it is that you can shift your perspective in a quick second, and those “old ideas” can become the solutions you’ve been looking for all along.
Sometimes we might “know” something, but not truly embody it or put it into action.
There are two people who really embody this for me, and you’ve probably heard me talk about them a lot here. I always listen to Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder with new ears, because I know that what they have to say has the power to change my life and business big time.
If you really want to be the best in your field then you’ll want to check out the free marketing training Marie and Laura put together. They’re also releasing their signature program Rich, Happy, and Hot B-school and I have no doubt you’ll learn immensely from it.
Get ready to soak it up like a sponge!
2. How to be your best by choosing to be your best.
This year has been a whirlwind of expansion and business growth. Because I chose to be my best.
As a human being it’s easy to stay in that comfortable space where everything has already been figured out. Pushing out of that comfort zone is like going against mother nature.
Barbara Sher says that mother nature wants to keep us safe by making us fat, getting us to procreate, and staying out of stressful situations. (Basically how to be your best in nature’s terms would be to give in to all your impulses like overeating, never exercising, and avoiding all work.)
While I’m a huge mother nature fan, I think it’s only when you push back against the “safe and easy” path and put some elbow grease into it that you will discover how to be your best self.
My second tip for how to be your best is to simply choose to be your best, by taking massive action.
If you know your skills need a little work then put in some time to practice them. If you don’t have time to devote to your profession or your passion, then make the time. We all have the same 24 hours, it’s up to us to prioritize what’s important to us.
Do you want to be the best in your line of business, or would you rather watch Glee? I’m not saying you can’t take downtime, but I think it’s important to prioritize and think about your long term goals.
You may need to hire someone, or learn to delegate if that’s the stage that you’re at in your business.
When you set your mind to it, you can do anything you want. It’s truly possible, and once you decide to make it happen, you’ll start taking actions that lead you to your best self automatically.
3. Set up your “best self” parameters.
I believe in tracking things. It might be the number of laps you can do at the pool, or the number of new subscribers you get to your newsletter.
If you want to be your best, you need to figure out what “your best” really is. Once you know, you can set your routines up for success.
How to be your best by creating bumpers in your life.
One of the pieces of brilliant advice I gleaned from Laura Roeder’s Creating Fame program is the idea that we’re all little pinballs in a huge pinball machine.
You see, we’re constantly bumping up against things that we’ve set up in our lives, or that became defaults because we never chose them. For example if you live next door to a take out place, your bumper might be to get take out when your fridge is empty.
To reset that bumper you might schedule a weekly grocery trip and always have food on hand. That’s how to be your best in action, by making conscious choices before the situation arises.
Business-wise, setting up bumpers is like a fast-track ticket to how to be your best. If you want to write for your blog more often, set up a bumper by clearing space in your calendar twice per week for writing.
If that’s not enough, set up a system to track all your blog post ideas so that when you’re ready to sit down and write you’ve got a topic ready to go.
I’ve personally used this idea of the pinball machine by surrounding myself with the type of people who expect the best of me. I’ve got a community of people who act as my bumper, always asking me to show up as my best self.
What can you do today to set up some bumpers that will help you be your best?
Being your best means not doing everything.
In order to practice how to be your best self, you need to focus on doing the things that you do best.
Unfortunately as business owners we’re often running around doing 10 different jobs. We handle customer support, admin, sales, marketing, blogging, networking, product creation, accounting, and who knows what else.
What if you were to follow Danielle LaPorte‘s advice of creating a “Do Not Do” list?
You’d find yourself with more time to perfect your craft, to focus on the big ideas, and to really hone in on being your best self.
As an exercise, here is my “Do not do” list.
1. I don’t work hourly. If a client has a custom need I create a package that’s a great fit for both of us.
2. I don’t work with clients that aren’t a good values match. If I don’t feel it, I recommend someone else for them to work with.
3. I don’t reply to emails first thing in the morning, unless I feel inspired to.
4. I don’t schedule anything during yoga time, so I can make it to class regularly.
5. I don’t take guest posts on this blog because it is my place to share and express myself.
6. I don’t take on partnerships or joint ventures with people unless we’re a great fit and the project makes me jump with excitement.
7. I don’t do everything myself, I allow myself to share the workload and delegate. (This is a big one for me!)
So what do you need to put on your “stop doing” list?
What steps will you take to be your best?
I would LOVE for you to leave a comment and let me know which of these steps you’re going to implement right away. Figuring out how to be your best is well worth the time you invest, so take a moment to reflect on what you can do right now.
Let me know what bumpers you can set up, or what you’re going to stop doing now, by leaving a comment below!