What is the thing that is most holding you back from being the best version of you?
You might be tempted to say something along the lines of ‘time’, ‘energy’, ‘money’ or ‘opportunity’. Perhaps you feel limited by other people?
I have a hunch, which is that a big part of what’s holding you back is your own sense of self. In other words: you might well be limited by your attachment to the ‘old you’ and by your eagerness to be seen as consistent and reliable.
Why Consistency is Overrated
We all have an attachment to who we think we are. We all have a notion of ourselves and of who others think we are as well. For example: you may see yourself as someone lighthearted who is never serious. Or perhaps you see yourself as being a local at heart, who supports the local sports team and who would never leave home.
We like the sense of continuity that this brings and other people like the fact that they know where they stand with us.
We don’t want to do something that is ‘out of character’ and we don’t want to go back on things we’ve said.
But is this really something you should cling to? Maybe your concept of ‘you’ is outdated?
Adaptability is Key
If the dinosaurs taught us one thing, it is that adaptability is the most important trait when it comes to surviving and thriving. If you can’t adapt, then the world will change around you and you will become an anachronism.
With that in mind, what benefit is there for you to actively refuse to adapt and grow?
Have you ever told someone the way you felt and then changed your mind… only to then feel that you can’t go back on what you said?
Have you ever wanted to dress differently, or take a sudden serious tone, but felt enormous pressure from people’s expectations of you?
This is a prison. And the irony is that it is a lie: the truest version of ‘you’ is simply the ‘you’ that you naturally want to be. The best way to be ‘you’ is to drop all expectations and simply act in the moment based on your emotions and your feelings.
And remember: biologically, there is no continuity. The person you are now is biologically completely different from the person you were even 10 years ago. Accept it and move on.