Latest trends now reflect this generation’s attitude of wanting the newest, latest, and supposedly, the best. One of the mostly used motivational phrases to set goals and improve ourselves is be the best version of yourself.
But what’s the true basis of best must we believe in?
A common definition of best is the progress between who we are before and after. We don’t compete against others, but against our present selves.
However, I’m not convinced that improving ourselves has no competition involved. In my own experience, whenever I strive hard towards self-improvement, I realize that the true motives in supposedly becoming the best version of yourself are:
What others want us to become and what we want to prove other people wrong.
Now tell me, is there an absence of competition?
As we can see, pride disguises and drives us to be…
What Others Want Us to Become
Sometimes, just because we don’t want to offend others, they end up imposing on us and we become the best version of they want us to become.
This is most applicable in our families, school, church, and society, where someone has the authority, influence, or power over us.
We normally feel this first with our parents’ expectations on us. They become our first authority figures, and consequently, our role models in actions, words, and beliefs.
But even if some parents guide their children for good intentions, they still go overboard and start to control their preferences, choices, and actions.
As one of the effects, seeing our parents as role models become confusing when we always follow whatever they want for us, even if they’re not too pushy.
There seems nothing wrong with this, but we can’t establish our own decision-making skills and struggle when we’re left alone. We also want to avoid hurting their feelings and follow what we feel would make them happy.
This just shows that our parents’ reactions are our greatest motivations. When we see them pleased with the outcomes of our hard work, we maintain the momentum of their trust. If you don’t want to fail their expectations, then you have to continue becoming the best version of yourself.
We also demonstrate obedience by excelling in academics and co-curricular activities. School is a place to influence and get insights from our colleagues. When we spend time with achievers, they serve as our motivators to do better.
But the academe also becomes our mini arena to show them what we got. Belonging in a group can always spark comparisons, which hurt our ego and pride. As a reaction, we sometimes can’t avoid competing and secretly wishing we exceed their achievements.
This kind of situation goes true also at the workplace. There are those who excel and those who just show off. Either way, we just want to project the best version of ourselves.
What We Want to Prove Others Wrong
When others start imposing their agenda on us, we instinctively oppose.
So contrary to the first point, we become determined to make our own decisions even if others disagree with us. We’re driven to excel especially when we feel other people disliking us.
In short, we strive to prove others wrong on their negative opinions about us that hurt and tire us down.
Being the best version of yourself and proving your success can be your best response to critics, as others would say. After all, we firmly believe that we have different strengths and levels of success.
It’s perfectly okay to try to be successful in our chosen paths, but when pride becomes our driving force, whether we admit it or not, sustaining that kind of life becomes stressful.
What’s Next After Becoming Best
There’s nothing wrong in aiming to become the best version of yourself, but focusing on it too much can be confusing and disappointing.
We must work hard everyday to improve and be better, but sometimes we just forget to allow room for mistakes.
Becoming the best version of yourself is a work in progress, but we falsely believe that best versions always show good faces and smooth-sailing experiences.
But what if we fail now? Does this mean we’re not the best version of ourselves?
Behind the True, Best Version of Yourself
I once believed that I was already at my best when I graduated with honors, landed a good-paying job, and dedicated a time for ministry. But this facade broke down when I faced trials that challenged my intellect and capacity.
I never expected this to happen. I began doubting myself, my identity and abilities as a person. During two years of struggling with my identity, anxiety, and almost bordering in depression. I thought I won’t be able to recover.
Now, we’re settled to think that conquering these hardships would create that best version we crave for. The harder the situation and pain, the better success, right?
Partly true, but a test of our character is only part of the bigger picture.
Recently, I realized that those years of hardships are the best times of my life, because the moments that we’re hopeless, down, and depressed are the best moments to reflect, surrender, and hope on the One who gets us out of the misery pit.
What makes the best version of yourself best is Jesus Christ who also experienced the pains, trials, and hardships we currently face. He faced death, but still resurrected to life.
We may feel useless and worthless as we struggle with our weaknesses, but this is the best time for us to surrender and depend on God who conquered not only our flaws, but also death itself!
The best version of yourself is an everyday encounter and choice of turning away from your sins, embracing surrender, and letting Him bring out the best (and even the worst) in you.
It’s not really about the results, but the journey that matters. At the end of the day, the one you have now is the best version of yourself, which Jesus Christ already settled and paid on the cross. You just have to believe it.