Book Summary of ‘Best Self’​ by Mike Bayer

You are the common denominator to all areas of your life. Everything begins and ends with you being your best self. If you’re willing to do the work and admit that there is work to do, you can become anyone that you want. This summary will help you.

Our genes and our upbringing shapes who we are. Often, people stop learning and questioning themselves at a certain point and simply coast through life. That is not your Best Self.

Create your best and anti selves

No matter where you are right now, you can improve your life in powerful ways. Get a journal and do the following exercises:

Write Your Traits: Write down all the best traits or characteristics of yourself that feel authentic to you. These should all be positive attributes.

Create Your Best Self: Refer back to the list of traits and create your Best Self. Is your Best Self a particular gender? An animal? A mystical creature? Write a full description of your Best Self. Be sure to give some “life coach” qualities to your Best Self character so that he or she can help you look out with clear focus.

Express Gratitude: Expressing gratitude is a great way to connect with your Best Self. Think of ten things that you are grateful for and write them down. Nothing is too insignificant for your list.

In addition to our Best Self, we all have an Anti-Self. These are the sides of us that get triggered by negative things. Identifying your Anti-Self characters is a profound exercise that can help you reduce the amount of time you spend in your Anti-Self. If you know the traits to look out for, you can better control yourself.

Identify Your Anti-Self Traits: Write down the traits that you consider to be your character flaws. Think about the last time you acted in a negative way and write about what happened.

Create Your Anti-Self: Look at your list of traits and create an exaggerated version of that self. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves. Create a clear, complete picture of your Anti-Self so you can easily predict what might trigger him or her to influence your behaviour. The better you understand your Anti-Self, the easier he or she will be to control.

Five tenets for change

There are five tenets for change that will help you prepare yourself mentally for the process you’ll be undergoing. To get you into the right mindset for change, you must be committed to approaching everything with curiosity, honesty, openness, willingness and focus.

Think about the last time you felt truly alive. Think about what charges your authentic battery.  Look at your life and see if the things you are doing in your life match up with who you are authentically. If so, great! If not, that’s okay. You’ll get there.

On any journey, roadblocks are to be expected. Beware of the obstacles that may block you from success. Ask yourself: What are some of the fears that have held you back from making changes in your life?

Other people have overcome your same fears and you can too. Look at your list and identify any patterns. Now, test your fear. Ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is it factually true?
  2. Does it serve your best interests?
  3. Does it generate progress toward healthy goals?

This will help you find your rational, legitimate fear so you can create a plan that you can put into place to prevent that fear from becoming a reality. 

Rituals can be a powerful tool for overcoming fear and feeling confident. Practice positive affirmations. Create a morning routine that starts your day off on the right foot. Make a note of all the things you are grateful for. Think about a mantra that energises you and connects you with your core. Create a ritual around how you say it to yourself.

SPHERES

SPHERES is an acronym that looks at every area of a person’s life to help him or her identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Social Life

There are tons of benefits of socialising. Social interaction can induce feelings of happiness, combat depression and even increase your brainpower. Here are some tips for having positive social experiences.

  • Prepare a few pieces of information you can contribute to a new conversation.
  • Remain present and focus on the people around you.
  • Ask questions. People like talking about themselves.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Maintain open body language. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and remember to smile.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Give compliments.

Think about your behaviours that contribute to a positive social life. Think about your behaviours that are keeping you from what you want in your social life. Think about what you need to do to make your social life feel like a 10.

Personal Life

This section is about the relationship you have with yourself. Make sure you have an abundance of respect and compassion for yourself. Nurturing an authentic, positive self-image will affect all areas of your life.

Our brains and nervous systems change throughout our lives in response to occurrences within the body as well as external events. That means the way you talk to yourself can really change the way your brain functions. Make sure that your internal dialogue is kind, compassionate and encouraging. Often times, we are our harshest critics. Instead, treat yourself like you would a friend.

Pay attention to the thoughts that go through your head throughout the day. Look for common themes and tones in your internal dialogue. Is it generally positive? Or is it pessimistic? When we listen to what we say to ourselves, we can begin to rescript that conversation. The next time you notice a negative thought, imagine an alarm bell going off in your head. Then, choose a new message to tell yourself instead.

Self-care is about being compassionate toward yourself. Take deep breaths when you feel stressed. Try to spend at least 20 minutes exercising each day. Prioritise a healthy sleep schedule. Unplug from technology. Remember that each day you are alive is a gift and celebrate accordingly.

Health

Your Best Self wants you to do whatever it takes to preserve, protect and promote your physical health. If you are unhealthy, you can’t show up fully in any of your SPHERES. The most important piece of a healthy lifestyle is awareness. Close your eyes and take an inventory of your physical body. Now, think about your actions that affect your health. Do you smoke? Exercise? Eat processed foods? You don’t need to have perfect health. Instead, strive to be healthier than you are now.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information out there about nutrition. The simplest way to look at it is to view food as fuel for your Best Self. What you put into your body has a direct correlation to your output. Eat as many whole foods as you can. Try to keep your gut microbiome healthy with fermented foods. Find some exercises that you enjoy and do it daily. There are countless benefits of physical activity for both your body and your mind.

Education

Once you discover topics that excite you, you will love learning. Even if you never liked school, your Best Self is thirsty for knowledge. Your job is to figure out what interests you on a deep level. Write down things that you’d love to learn about. Ask yourself why you aren’t currently spending time on learning these things. Then test your reasoning. Are your reasons valid or true? 

Commit to learning. You can do an online class or listen to podcasts. Education is the driver behind your evolution as your Best Self and an important part of that is learning more about yourself. Self-awareness is key. Check in with yourself frequently.

Relationships

The only person you can control is yourself, and if you show up as your Best Self at all times, your relationships will be healthy and fulfilling. In order to have meaningful relationships, you must start by answering this key question: what are your core values? When you are aware of your own values, you can identify people in your life whose values sync up with yours. Your values can change over time as your priorities in life change.

We learn how to give and receive love at an early age based on our bond with our family. If you did not develop secure attachment when you were young, you can learn to develop the right strategies in your adult relationships. This includes identifying your needs, engaging in healthy communication and setting healthy boundaries.

The media often tells us that something is wrong with us if we are single. That’s not true. Regardless of where you are currently in terms of intimate relationships, the most important thing to think about is whether you are able to operate as your Best Self within that relationship.

Employment

It is equally important to act as your Best Self at work as it is at home. If you can’t be yourself at work, then you are wasting valuable time in your life. Ask yourself: what would your Best Self love to do for work? What type of employment would make you feel like you’re using your gifts and doing your art in a way that is productive and rewarding?

Work isn’t just about money and doesn’t have to be something you dread. You can, and should, make your work fit into your overall authentic life. If you’re unhappy with your current employment situation, consider the possibility that the issue lies with you, rather than the job. Also consider the possibility that you’re trying to work in an industry that just doesn’t match up with who you are.

There are hard days in every career, but every day should not be hard. Make it your mission to create a rewarding career that is a reflection of your Best Self. It can be simple tweaks or it could be a whole employment overhaul. Choose to have an optimistic approach and things will begin to happen that align with that outlook.

Spiritual Life

Your spiritual self is the place within you from which all goodness and light radiates outward. It is where you form your integrity, values and how you treat other people. People tend to neglect their spiritual life, but faith can transform your life.

Here are some techniques for connecting or reconnecting with your spirituality:

  1. Create an intention around your spirituality.
  2. Find what resonates with you and feed your spirit with that type of content.
  3. Look for a quiet within yourself and spend this kind of time with yourself at least once a week.
  4. Keep your eyes open for signs being sent to you and be open to gifts the universe wants to give you.
  5. Take some time to acknowledge the positive things that happen.
  6. Talk to others about your spiritual journey.
  7. Be playful in your quest and have fun.
  8. Pay it forward.

The people you spend time with have a huge influence on your life and all of your SPHERES. The richness and depth of our life is defined by the connections we make with one another. We can achieve so much more together than we can alone. Take a good look at the people in your life and create a team around you that inspires you and encourages you to be your Best Self.

Using SPHERES to get what you want

Now that you have thoroughly examined each of your life SPHERES, you will have a better understanding of which areas are out of balance and are keeping you from your Best Self.

The first step to getting what you want is to understand what you want. So define your goals in terms of specific events or behaviours. Then, express it in a quantifiable way so you can mark your progress. Choose a goal that you can control and plan a strategy that will get you to your goal. Assign a timeline for your goal and create accountability for progress.

Goal acquisition should become a way of life for you moving forward. Keep working and live as your Best Self. We’re all on a journey. Choose to grow and life will open up to you in ways you can’t yet imagine.

Hope you enjoyed this summary. As always leave me a comment if you did.

P.S. I need a business coach (willing to train [at my expense] the right individual with some get up and go / sales/ marketing/ business prowess) to facilitate demand for my coaching business. I will cover all start up costs for the right person. If you, or someone you know, is interested, please click here for more information

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