Being your best, or doing your best?
Let’s start by addressing the key distinction between “being” and “doing” your best.
My view is that “being” is internal – in our minds are we performing from the place where we are truly ourselves and are in “flow”; whereas “doing” is external, it is the outward manifestation of our thoughts and decisions i.e. our behaviour. Crucially it is what others see happening.
Being and doing do not necessarily produce the same outcome – I am sure we have been in a situation where our thoughts were aimed at achieving one thing, but somehow our actions did not achieve that aim, or others perceive the action differently (and may therefore believe our intent was different). But I guess that avenue is a topic for another time. One might conclude that “actions” count more than words (or thoughts).
Best for whom?
So are we trying to be best for ourselves or for others?
If it is for ourselves, then our search has to determine who we really are, and how can we “be” (think and prepare to behave) our best. What is our true potential? What could we achieve? And if we want to get a bit heavy, what is my purpose or destiny?
If it is for others, then surely we have to know what the other person really needs or wants, otherwise we can be in danger of imposing our needs on them, and that could fail to be the best for them. If we don’t find out what they want we are likely to end with a win-lose situation, whereas if we establish what they want we are likely to end up in a win-win (Habit 4 in Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits).
Which takes us to …
Seek first to understand …
The fifth of his Seven Habits is “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” – a marvellous approach where we can truly listen in an open empathic way to understand what the other person really wants and feels; as opposed to when we listen falsely because we are thinking about our own response, our own agenda and our own interpretation.
So if we are trying to do our best for someone else, we have to understand them first, otherwise we are bound to fail.
The need to evolve
Whether we are trying to be our best (for ourselves), or to do our best (for others), one other crucial factor must be borne in mind; the world is changing! Whether it is our minds and thinking, how others think and what they want, or the constant change in our environment, change is happening! It is your choice whether you fight change or embrace it.
So repeating what you have done when you were trying to be or do your best, may no longer be appropriate. Repeating the same old thing may not work.
Most of us want to evolve and grow (playing our own personal part in the changing world); we enjoy learning or trying something new. We may want to stretch ourselves and that can involve moving out of our comfort zones.
Being and doing our best is not a fixed place, it evolves as much as we do.
So how about taking the …
Challenge for today
Can you spend two minutes thinking about ….
What am I thinking or doing when I am at my best?
How do I behave to be at my best for today? Who might my role model be?
Imagine what could happen if you are at your best more often!
So, what are you going to do about being and doing your best today?
Call me if you want to discuss this further.
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Head Coach, Life Coach Associates
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