How can we be our best all the time? Let's consider these elements.
What Does It Mean, "To Be Your Best"?
In order to explain what I consider being your best, I will take the opposite route. You know how sometimes, facing certain situations, we react in ways that we wish we could take back? After a conversation, we sometimes replay it in our head and we change the outcome. We wish we had said this or that instead. We think about different ways we could have responded, but the words or the idea just did not come out when it was time. We wish we had thought this through before reacting. We more than likely let the emotions blur our judgment and we reacted in a way that was not our best. So here we are, we have just lost patience with a loved one, or, we have made a fool of ourselves in front of our colleagues, or we just passed a great contract but did not think about what we should have said in order to get it. A moment later, now that it is too late and the opportunity is gone, we think about how we should have reacted but it is already too late. We were definitively not at our best.
Let's rewind the situation and now pretend that you acted exactly how you should have. You said the right words at the right time, you impressed or created a great response from the person you interacted with; they understood you and you also listened carefully and patiently for their point of view. The conversation was smooth and productive, achieving the desired results. This generated a great feeling and made you think proudly: ''I nailed it!'' Now that is Being Your Best.
Do We Know What To Do and What To Say?
It is funny how afterwards, it is so easy to find the right words, the right way to say things, the right way to respond. So yes, we do know what to do. We just seem to know it too late. Your very restricted conscious mind, which can only handle about five to 9 things at a time, is mostly busy with listening to what the other speaker has to say, the tone of their voice, how they are dressed, the color of the wall in the room you are in, how they make you feel, why they are annoying you right now, maybe they don’t like you, the answer you think you want to say, the answer you think they want to hear, the answer that you will actually give…. And there it is: five to 9 things and your poor little conscious mind is fully loaded and can’t handle any more.
Your unconscious mind, on the other hand, can handle over 2.3 million pieces of information every second. It is hearing every conversation happening in a public place, reading every single advertising panel, seeing millions of images, remembering every moment of your life, storing them, distorting them, classifying them, deleting some and making your own model of reality. Our unconscious mind is very powerful and it has all the resources we need to respond to any kind of situation. It knows exactly what to do. In our deeper structure, everything is clear and simple. That is why afterward, it is easy to find the answer and the "should-have-said.”
Why Aren't We Our Best In The First Place? Why Wait For Afterward?
The reason why we feel powerless while the situation is happening and can't seem to have access to our resources is because our emotions are playing an important role. They lay on top of our resources and blur our judgment. Picture a drawer with great gems at the bottom and a whole bunch of junk on top. It is hard to see the gems unless you move or at least shuffle the nic nacs that are covering them.
How Do We Access Our Deeper Structure Then?
We can shuffle the emotions and do some clearing simply by relaxing. Take a step back, in any given situation, and make a conscious decision to ask yourself, your deeper self: what is the best way to react? Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and consciously observe the emotions that are blurring your judgment. Let the emotion settle and then formulate your answer by really paying attention and consciously being aware that you are looking for the best response your are capable of. Interestingly enough, you may think that you won't have time to do all this while the interlocutor is awaiting your response. In fact, our brain is able to process information real fast and this whole process can be completed in a few seconds. It is just a matter of having the reflex to think about it.
So What Is The One Tip To "Be Your Best" Every Time?
Take a few seconds to pass through the emotions and get to your deeper structure! Ask yourself: ''How would my Best Self respond to this?'' Trust your ability; everything you need is right there. You got this!