You, Only Better

A blog about authenticity likely has lots of messages about being yourself and accepting who you are, and that’s true here at Authentic Life. But the message doesn’t stop there. Yes, you should “Be You!” and, yes, you should accept yourself for who you are, but that doesn’t mean you get complacent. You can be you WHILE running, walking or even crawling your way towards the best version of yourself. That means that today you accept yourself, flaws and all, while simultaneously trying to be even better. Better by YOUR standards, but better nonetheless.

So often I hear people say, “That’s just the way I am.” And that’s true only for as long as they want it to be true. You can take an accounting of your flaws and then simply announce that’s just the way you are, but that is NOT personal development. Personal development is accepting those flaws while working on those you’d like to change.

The beauty and excitement of life is the journey to trying to become your best you before you leave this earth. The best you during your time here. There will always be another level. A level that will bring you joy and fulfillment. Certainly age will gradually start to physically limit us, although there are plenty of 80-year-olds who run marathons, but our flaws are not limited to our physical bodies. Our flaws often exist in our attitudes, behaviors and perspectives. Neither age, nor time need impair our ability to work on those areas if we identify flaws within them.

Being you, only better, means you look honestly at yourself every day in every interaction. You treat yourself with love and acceptance, but put energy into working on those areas you want to improve on. Do not mistake this for negative self-talk or an excuse to feel crappy about yourself. That’s not developing. Developing means you’re willing to be honest about those areas that are holding you back and be willing to do the hard work to improve. This is also not about seeking perfection. Perfection, as we know it, is a myth. This is about living your life as your best self so you can feel joy, fulfillment, and make a true positive contribution to the world.

The message today is simply to be you, but don’t stop there. If you always strive to be a better you (on your terms), you will be. Being you, but better, means you put the work in. You don’t just chalk up your flaws as “who you are.” You work at it. Henry David Thoreau said, “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.”  Do that. Hammer and forge yourself into the you, you want to be.

Your turn to share some inspiration. What’s a flaw or personal challenge you faced that you overcame through desire and persistence? Share in the comments.

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  1. Great upbeat beautiful April…as fresh and clean and sweet as the month from which your name came.

    I’d love to be able to accept old age with more grace. Vanity (refusing to use the cane I need) has crept in front of graceful acceptance. If you think you might help me out, I’d love to try to be a better example for others.

    • Arlene, you are an INCREDIBLE example for others!! Your honesty and openness helps those around you (myself included) to be better humans! Thanks for sharing your honesty here!!

  2. i LOVE LOVE LOVE this message, april, as i have often wanted to shout from the rooftops “NO complacency!” (haha)

    but in all seriousness, you have summed it up perfectly . . . accepting who we are while always trying to be the very best version of self. yes, put the work in.

    (thank you.)

    • You are so right, April – NO complacency! It’s so easy, but so detrimental to our growth. Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. I also love the message you have delivered in this post – accept who we are but work on improving ourselves. It takes courage to accept our flaws and work on improving it, but yes we can be as the best we wish to be if we forge ourselves into one. Thanks!

    • Thanks for commenting, Erin! You’re so right about it taking courage to accept our flaws while working to improve on them. 🙂

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