4 Steps to Showing Up As Your Best Self
When you enter a room, a situation, or a conversation — what energy are you bringing forward? What are you portraying, feeling, seeing, understanding? How are you ‘showing up’?
Simply stated: How you show up is a combination of how you’re interacting with yourself AND the world around you.
Step 1: Understand Self
As we age we form a sense of self. At about 18 months of age, newborns begin to recognize their body in a mirror. Over the years we learn about bodies, voices, thoughts, feelings, reactions, curiosities, fears… you get the idea. But when do we fully understand “self”? Self is/can be ever-changing. It’s important to be willing to question our own behavior, learn where we are now, and be able to take an honest look within ourselves free from any judgment.
To begin to better understand yourself, take some time to answer the following questions:
What am I passionate about?What do I enjoy doing?What do I do well?What do I dislike doing?What skills would I like to develop?What holds me back/what am I afraid of?
Step 2: Accept Yourself
-”Without any judgment” seems so simple. 3 words. Yet most people understand how easy it is to become their own toughest critic. The voice inside your head holding you back, saying you’d make a fool of yourself, the jump is too big, you’re not ready/good enough/etc.. When those voices aren’t speaking, suddenly, there is room for laughter. Breaking free from the negative chitter chatter allows for pure joy. The space of critical becomes a space of compassion. The moments of fear become moments of excitement. The thoughts turn from ‘no way’ to 'okay!’
People are able to best understand and serve others once they are able to stare their own self in the face and feel pure acceptance. How could we ever understand and accepts others if we don’t yet understand and accept ourselves?
If you ever catch yourself being hard on yourself (read: not showing yourself unconditional love), then try to imagine one of these two scenarios:
1) Those thoughts projected on a loudspeaker in a packed stadium 2) Those same thoughts being told to a best friend
^Would this change your dialectic? If yes, great. Change it. No need to get upset with yourself for having a moment of non-acceptance. Step back, recognize what’s happening, and course correct. BOOM! You’ve entered a positive feedback loop.
Step 3: Understand Others
-We don’t need to agree with everyone, nor even like everyone. But as fellow human beings, it’s imperative we continuously make strides to understand one another. Why? Because otherwise, we are just a bunch of two-legged skin sacks running around bumping into each other (metaphorically AND literally). Good news is it’s hard to exist and NOT experience the need to better understand others.
There are plenty of tools to better understand one another. Empathy can be an incredible teacher for everyone involved as it involves the emotional and intellectual identification of someone. Read: understanding others! Our ability to empathize with one another creates social and moral growth by reducing the perceived distance between individuals.
Feelings of connection and empathy → allow for vulnerability and understanding → facilitates stronger social connection → creates higher emotional intelligence, better leaders, partners, family, friends, and society
When people are able to understand others they are able to show up better themselves.
Step 4: Serve Others
-As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Imagine yourself standing on the porch of your mansion in the hills looking out over a city. You’ve got everything you need — shelter, financial security, weekly grocery deliveries, service workers who come to take care of the yard and clean the pools… except, now what?
A cup that’s plentiful will overflow if more is poured into it. Once an individual has their needs met, they become a plentiful cup. There are two options when the cup is overflowing:
Continue to pour — celebration style! (ignore the water damage since you can so easily buy a new Persian rug)Move your cup over a saucer. When the cup is full, the rest will begin to pour out into a dish where others can join in the abundance!
The feelings of security, certainty, and comfort which come from abundance are glorious. Yet, if you’ve ever experienced GIVING someone else those same feelings — those same glorious feelings have the power to multiply tenfold.
When people are in a position where they understand and accept others, serving becomes the next natural step. Why? Because these people know abundance. If someone is able to fully accept themselves, no longer do they project their emotions or feelings onto others. Rather, the person is able to see the other person for who they are without any of their own personal life-filters thrown on top. If we see, recognize, and celebrate each other for who we are, abundance is everywhere.
Ever heard the phrase “rob Peter to pay Paul”? Fun fact: the saying originated prior to the Catholic Church Reformation. The people had to pay taxes to fund both the St. Peter’s church located in Rome AND St. Paul’s church in London. Both churches were built and stand until this day. There was (and still is!) and abundance of resources.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”― Charles Dickens
Sharing gives us purpose. Humans experience a wide range of feelings, two of which are pain and pleasure. When we experience pain we feel vulnerable. When we feel vulnerable we look to others to resonate with. Pain can be healed through sharing experiences and learning from one another. One of the most valuable tools we have to grow from is each other!
How you show up is demonstrating which part of yourself you’re pulling forward at that moment. If you’re not sure how to check-in with how you’re showing up, here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:
Do I understand what it is I’m feeling/doing/being/acting like right now?Do I accept the way I’m thinking, feeling, acting?What’s holding me back at this moment from positively progressing forward?Am I understanding the other person(s)?Am I demonstrating empathy?Is what I’m doing helping others?
There is no way to hide the way you’re showing up. Whether you notice it or not, you’re showing up somehow. Human behavior is observable. Somebody knows how you’re showing up even if you don’t know it yet. So how is it you’d like to show up? Would you like to enter a situation with confidence, empathy, from a place of service, and with feelings of unconditional love and gratitude? It’s possible (and necessary.)
Go forth! Begin to ask questions and create awareness around how you’re showing up. See what energy you’re bringing into a situation or conversation. Strive to progress yourself and humanity alike forward. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We all need to work together to make our link of the chain strong and then look to help others strengthen their links too.
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” — Deepak Chopra
#RCCoachMe, RCOnline Coaching, LLC