How to Live Your Best Life; A Reality Check
So how do you live your best life? Let’s start here…..
Live your best life they say…….every other meme and inspirational quote you see encourages you to step out and embrace a full and rich life. And I confess, helping others to “live your best life” is at the heart of what I do.
I was chatting to a fellow coach the other day and we were talking about our reasons for being in this line of work and I mentioned this “live your best life” stuff and she said, “It’s just a bit ‘coachy’ isn’t it” – and I know exactly what she meant. I agree.
“Live your best life”, it’s cliché, a bit twee……I think it’s also wracked with pressure. I mean, aren’t we all trying to do this anyway? Nobody sets out to do a bad job, right?
The problem is, many of us haven’t got a clue what it is to “live our best life”, and if our life isn’t literally THE BEST does this mean that we’ve somehow failed on this quest?
Well, let’s bring a dose of reality to the discussion and let me shed some light on what I consider this “best life” stuff to be about.
Having dedicated my career to helping people discover theirs in one way or another I think I have some stories to share that could help you on your path to discovery.
1. People living their best life still have s**t days
I think I’m starting strong here. Social media portrays an unfair image of people who claim to be living their “best life”. Everyone has down days, hard times and rocky patches. That’s the “life” part of living your best life.
So if you’re out in pursuit of your “best life” my top tip is expect some bumps in the road. I consider myself to be one of the crew who have found their “best life”, but let me tell you this. When my 3 kids are hungry and tired and doing their best to injure each other the minute I’m out of the room, it doesn’t feel like it, or when I need to spend 3 hours on the phone to tech support to fix my broken operating system (true story) it doesn’t feel like it either.
Do not search for perfection. You will be bitterly disappointed. Instead you want your best days to far outnumber your worst.
2. Your best life doesn’t mean you get to put your feet up!
In my opinion, once you find “your best life” it doesn’t mean you get to sit back enjoy the endless fruits of your labour. Some of the most unfulfilled people have the most wealth, I know this, because I get to coach them – to find their best life!
When you know what to look for and you discover your best life it sets you off on a path of endless motivation, energy and drive. You could say the hard work only just begins – but it doesn’t feel like work because you’re loving what you do.
3. Your best life isn’t the same as someone else’s
What you want and need to feel whole, fulfilled and inspired, is not the same as anybody else. The comparison habit is a soul destroyer. Don’t put yourself through it.
Stay in your own lane. Focus on what you want and need and when you find yourself looking longingly at someone elses Instagram profile, make sure you’re asking yourself “how can I use what I’m seeing here to best help me” not “I wish…….”
If you know you’re prone to the comparison habit, take a look at an earlier blog article I wrote on how to stop comparing yourself to others.
4. You will almost certainly have to make choices.
I’m a big believer that you can have it all. You just have to decide what your “ALL” looks like.
When it comes to designing your best life, you are going to need to make tough choices.
One of the conflicts I face, and am forever managing, is the desire to be there for my family, and invest time in my business. In the time I’ve been running this business I’ve had 3 children. It’s just a fact that I have not been able to apply myself to my business the way my old, childless self would have. My childless self had no responsibilities and all the time in the world. I have made choices to ‘run’ my life the way I do, it doesn’t mean it comes easily to me. I constantly have to manage the boundaries and the frustrations between my role as mother/wife and business owner, but I think I get the balance right (sorry hub, if you’re reading this and disagree!!!)
These are known as values conflicts, when 2 things that are significantly important to you clash. It takes a high level of self awareness to recognise what’s going on and to make rational decisions that support your needs. If you succumb to the emotion of the conflict, you’re going to feel like you’re coming from a place of ‘lack’ or ‘can’t’. This is not the mindset of someone designing their best life.
So that’s enough of the dark side. How do you live your best life?
For me there are a few key things.
1. Know your values
Values are unconscious needs that guide your decision making and influence your behaviour. Your values are what’s important to you and what need to be met in order for you to be fulfilled.
Knowing your values is a shortcut to designing your best life. You values gives you a list of ingredients that must be met in this “best life” and when you know what they are you can make conscious decisions to take action to bring you more of what you want, and less of what you don’t
2. Heal old wounds
We’re all wounded in one way or another. For many of us we can live our lives well, unaffected by our wounds. We may have some scars, but they are healed and no longer causing us pain. For others, they’re open sores that get in our way on a daily basis. Or we have flare ups that prevent us from grasping hold of the life we want to have.
You don’t have to sit with your wounds. The mind is a powerful tool. Seek out the help and support that you need to enable you to be free of your wounds and embrace the life you want to lead.
3. Invest in yourself
Invest time and money into yourself.
From reading an inspirational story, to knowing how to set goals to investing in your skills, education or mindset, you need to treat yourself as an investment. Your mind is the greatest asset you will ever have, it is all you need to live your best life.
- So go on that course you’ve been eyeing up
- Buy a journal and start sketching out your thoughts
- Book that time in your diary so you can reflect and set goals
And I would say this woudn’t I……..
Hire a coach who can help you find the way, breakthrough your mindset blocks and encourage you to take action
And if it’s me you want to work with then sign up to my community mailing list because I will shortly be launching my “Unlock your Career Clarity” course, a short course designed to help you uncover your values so you can design a career around your specific wants and needs. What’s more, it’s only going to be £99 – an absolute bargain.