21 Mar 7 Ways to Become Your Own Self-Expert (So you can be Your Best Self)
My apologies for being a little quiet on the blog as of late. But every rhyme has a reason and the last few months I have been:
- Sharing some new stuff over at Instagram. I admit, I have a gift for gab when it comes to articles and no one has time to hear me bark all day so be sure to check us out there for more, shall I say…concise tidbits.
- I have also spent the past few months working on some outside projects—a keynote I recently gave as well as a writing project—that I am super excited to share with you in the coming months, so stay tuned.
- Most importantly, I don’t only talk about the concepts of Live Your Legend, but I also live and breathe them. So I was off taking some time to revisit Pillar 1 of the Live Your Legend Framework—to become a self-expert.
This is something I do intentionally on an annual basis, but given the major life changes I have undergone the past few years, I’ve revisited this process many times over since September of 2015.
Because sometimes in life things around us change and it would be silly to think that our wants, desires, and needs would remain the same even though the world around us is very different.
Imagine if you tried to still live your life with the values that mattered most to you at 21 years old during your mid 40’s? If you did, you’d not only have a wicked hangover from way too much cheap tequila, but you would also not be prioritizing the things that actually aligned with your current stage of life.
As our internal and external world evolves, so do we because our experiences shape us—and new experiences provide opportunities for new versions of ourselves to emerge.
So, I’ve spent a lot of time the past year or so unraveling the old to make space for the new and shared some of my journey along the way about wandering through Australia, living and working in Italy for 2 months and feeling challenged upon returning to San Francisco.
That was head-down focused work, so I am thrilled to just be back here loving on this awesome community. But figured as I do, I may as well not let all that time go to waste and share some of my main take-away’s from my journey of getting to know myself, accept myself and love life in this chapter.
7 Ways to Become Your Own Self-Expert
- Be Insanely Curious
I am fascinated with why we do what we do. I want to know why I do what I do and why you do what you do. Because I know that how we feel isn’t simply a result of our environment. There are many people who ‘have it all’ yet are unhappy and many who don’t have much, but are.
I know this personally as well through my journey of grieving the loss of Scott. There were times that I would feel lonely around others but other times I would be all by myself and not feel lonely at all. And staying insanely curious helped me to remain an observer of my situation even as I was walking through it. Instead of simply living a reactionary existence, I was able to analyze my reactions through my curiosity.
And in doing so, I found the triggers and things to avoid. I got to know the things that may have worked with my old set of conditions, but no longer work for this new set. I began to recognize when I was just scared, so I could then put on my big girl pants and react more resourcefully. Because at the end of the day, we are all just little kids in big people’s bodies and the more we can channel our inner 7 year old and ask WHY to a point of annoyance the more we learn about ourselves—and others.
- Ask Better Questions
This goes side-by-side with getting curious because curiosity encourages us to ask questions. If you tell yourself what you cannot do, you will see all the things you cannot do. But if you ask yourself what you can do, you might find an answer. You might not, but you’ve got hell of a lot better odds than stopping yourself before you start by saying you can’t.
However, it is important to make sure we are asking the questions of ourselves that lead to an outcome we actually want.
Let’s say you are in a situation that sucks.
If you ask yourself:
Question: Why me? Why does this stuff always happen to me while everyone else gets to post their pretty and perfect lives on Instagram?
If your question sounds like that, your outcome is going to be to find all the reasons to rationalize your feelings. Because there is shitty stuff that happens. And when we are only focusing on ourselves, it does feel like that stuff only happens to us! And, we can find a million people on Instagram with perfect looking lives that will make us feel even shitter.
But….. what is your outcome? Is your outcome is to feel shittier (which, though counter-intuitive, it could be if you aren’t careful) or not so shitty?
If you want to stay in your pity party, you’ve done a job well done. But if you want to feel more empowered, perhaps a better question could be:
Question: What else could this mean? Is there another way I might be able to get what I am after? What is it about this that bothers me so much? What lesson can I learn from this? Is there a way I can take what I have learned here and help others?
I am not saying negative emotions are something to run from, I think they serve a great purpose, but I just don’t think they are a place to get stuck in; rather they are a thing to learn and grow from. And by asking better questions, we start to get better answers that we can digest so we can give back to others rather than stay stuck in a sad party— because, well, no one likes sad parties.
- Get Perspective
If my travels around the world (49 countries and counting!) have taught me anything, it is that we are unbelievably adaptable creatures. Witnessing the world and seeing how many ways there are to exist in it, has sown me that we are a product of our environment.
And because of that, we are often following along a way of life simply because that is all that we have exposure to. We only know what we know—and often times we only know that because the gene pool lottery caused us to be born in a certain place and live life in a certain way. But the more experience you get seeing things from a different perspective or a new lens, the more you start to get data points on who you really are. Getting exposure to new things, expands our respective, which expands our minds, which expands our possibilities.
- Spend Time Alone
I always say: If you can’t enjoy time with you, how do you expect other people to enjoy time with you?
Being alone is only getting harder and harder this day in age with our constant access to technology and the false feeling of being connected to others. In the world we live in today, distractions from ourself are easier to find than an Uber ride.
But I am a firm believer that spending some time in solitude is a tool we all could benefit from. Note…you can choose your own definitions, but I think solitude and isolation are two different things. Solitude is the intentional act of being alone where as isolation often comes from a place of avoidance.
I share a lot of why I think solitude is beneficial in this article. But it comes down to the simple fact that in order to stop simply reacting to the environment around us, we do need occasional periods without distraction so we can step back and find a place of grounding. Funny enough, being in silence is actually when we hear the most; because you open that space for you to hear, not what you have to say to others or what others have to say to you, but what you have to say to yourself.
- Expand Your Mind by Exercising Your Mind
You can either dictate your thoughts, or your thoughts will dictate you. Your thoughts will happen, but you can choose to believe them or not. Whatever form of mindfulness you practice, whether that is meditation, yoga, writing, making music, etc., all of it is a practice of bringing ourselves out of what we cannot control and into what we can in the present moment.
This gives us insight into how and why we do the things we do, because so much of what we do and how we respond is a done without conscious thought. Your mind, just like most things, has a default mechanism. It will continue to default to a certain place until you exercise it enough that it rewires to a new default. Once you start to leverage that power of choosing whether or not to participate in your thoughts, you begin to build up that strength and eventually it starts to become easier.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
Just because something is your default or your nature, doesn’t mean it needs to be your limitation. Perhaps in a certain relationship, you have things that default or trigger you to anger. But as Viktor Frankl so wisely put it, you have the ability to monitor that pause between stimulus and response, and therefore choose a more resourceful response.
- Find Compassion for Yourself
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever been given is to talk to myself like I would talk to my best friend. Thanks Nikki Smith!
Finding Compassion for others is easy but finding compassion for yourself much harder. To recognize and admit all the things about yourself that you not only love but also you wish were different requires you to face your yourself emotionally (and perhaps physically as well!) totally naked in the mirror. Not an easy thing to do…
But that level of self awareness and self acceptance is the only way we can show up in the world not trying to be something that we aren’t. When we start to appreciate ourselves for the things that make us us, we stop looking for external validation and find that within so we can then give our true gifts to the world. Because as I share in this video from our 21 Days to Discover Your Passion Course, the things that make you uniquely you are pretty unbelievable!
7. We will get to number 7 next time because I have already done enough barking today, and that one requires a whole article in and of itself.
So stay tuned next week for one of the very best ways I know how to become your own best friend. 🙂
– Chelsea Dinsmore
P.S. We are always eager to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments below your tips and tricks for becoming your own self expert!
P.P.S. Come join us for the journey over on Instagram.
P.P.P.S. If you are interested in finding out more about our 21 Days to Discover Your Passion Course, click here.