How do we become the best version of ourselves and what even is the best version of ourselves? Is it the same for everyone? Is there a point we reach in our lives where we are handed a gold trophy and told “well done you did it, you are now the best version of yourself”? No, I do not think that is how it goes even though a gold trophy would be nice.
How do you define the best version of yourself and what does it mean to you? Does it mean you have reached your optimum level or fitness and body mass? Does it mean you find yourself as a person you are happy with and it finishes there? Being that person for the rest of your days?
When I think of the best version of myself, I think back to my vision board. I ask myself what do I want to achieve in my life and what aspects of my life do I want to change and grow in?
My vision board signifies health and fitness. Since my amputation I have struggled to increase my fitness level back to what it was prior accident and I have a photo of a woman jogging prosthetic leg on show. That is what I want when I think of the person I am and the person I want to be. I want to be fit, I want to be healthy and I want to support the normality of bodily function even if I now use a prosthetic.
My vision board signifies wealth, a career built on hard work and success. Where does my career come into it when I think of the best version of myself? Well I want to publish books and I want to give ted talks so on my vision board I have a picture of a book stand of bestsellers in Eason’s and I have a photo of the ted talk stage. The steps needed to achieve this are not what is important. what is important is knowing that is what I want to achieve in my life. That is where I want to be. On that stage educating and helping to change the lives of people around me. To me my best version of myself is a role model. Who has created her on life that she loves and adores, and she wants to help others achieve their life of dreams and ambitions?
My vision board signifies healthy relationships and friendships. I have it filled with photos of loved ones and my partner. I have pictures of a fairy-tale wedding and a family we have built from scratch. Something that keeps me focused on the bigger goal, the bigger picture.
Life is not always a comfortable ride. I have gone through some dark times before I have seen light and I have had to overcome some really shit times to be able to truly relish in the good times. Before the attempt I used to let myself become immersed in the most insignificant of things not seeing the bigger picture. While I was recovering for my injuries, I learned of the luxuries we all take for granted. Waking up in ICU seeing the size and shape of the bandage on my leg and knowing something was wrong. Knowing that I had lost part of my foot/leg and I was not going to get it back. It took me a long time to accept that my leg was gone and some days I still struggle to accept it but I had to look at the bigger picture and say “Katie you’ve just been hit by a train, You just woke from a 9 hour spinal surgery and yet you are here, you are alive and you thankfully are not paralysed”. I recovered from my injuries in record breaking time. Less than five months after the attempt I was back walking down the catwalk with my prosthetic leg. A miracle but a miracle I believed in. Every day I was grateful that I was not paralysed. I was grateful to have another chance. I was grateful that I was breathing again on my own. That I still had a future even if it was different to how I ever imagined it.
I spent a month or two unable to move. Just able to move my eyes and it was heart-breaking but when I finally started to get movement back, I felt this higher power. A higher power to excel. To keep going even if I wanted to give up. To keep pushing myself. The chance to walk again was there and I knew I did not want to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, so I worked hard, and I stayed positive. I stayed believing. And I learn to walk again.
I have not always been the best version of myself, I have been unhealthy, maladaptive, insecure, unworthy, abusive. At times I have even been dangerous either to myself or the people who tried to stop me hurting myself. A relationship ended around the time of my attempt and I knew it was not a relationship I wanted to be in again. I did not want to feel insecure; I did not want to cry myself to sleep. I did not want to feel not good enough, but I always knew I was not the perfect girlfriend. I was able to name my destructive patterns of behaviour and when me and Dylan started seeing each other I made a vow to always communicate with him even if I felt vulnerable. I did not want to lose someone from my life again and I did not want to hurt anyone the way I had hurt others.
When we identify our more maladaptive behaviours and coping skills, we learn to understand them. It might take a bit of thinking, writing, crossing out and thinking again but once we become familiar in what works and what does not, we can change the end result. I learned through my life coaching that if when we communicate with someone, and we do not get the desired result from the other person than it is us that needs to change the way in which we are communicating.
My aunt always told me “Katie the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result.” It is true. To become the best version of ourselves we need to figure out what we desire.
- Who do you want to be as a person? What does the best version of you look like? What does the best version of you feel?
- What do you want to achieve in your life? In your career? What are your dreams and aspirations for the future?
- What actions do you take that always gets you your desired result? What actions do you take that prepare you for your gaols and aspirations?
- What is one thing you do not like about yourself or the situation you are in?
Are you satisfied with?
Your home life?
Your health and wellbeing?
Is there anything you would like to change in the above areas?
To become the best version of ourselves we first need to identify who we are before we can make the changes needed to become who we want to be.
For me journaling is one of the best ways to get out your thoughts, your worries, your desires. If journaling is not your things that’s cool. My other suggestion would be for tonight, when you lie in bed before you go to sleep. Look back on your day and acknowledge your achievements, think about what you want to achieve tomorrow and then let your mind wander on how you are going to go about achieving it. If you get into the habit of showing gratitude for what you already have and you have faith in what is to come next life might become a little less negative, a little less stressful. You just must believe in yourself and be confident in your want and dreams.
Once you know what you want you can figure out how you are going to it.
Once you know who you want to be you can work on becoming that.
To acknowledge, to identify, to change.
Life can be good to us.
We just have to believe in it.
Lots of love Katie xx
- Living Through a Depressive Episode
- The MindPillow crowd funding campaign.
- Learning to adapt to life with a prosthetic leg.
- Finding an Outlet
- Five ways to manage seasonal affective disorder this coming winter