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Being the Best Version of Yourself vs. Just Being Yourself

The age-old advice to "be yourself" often suggests authenticity and self-acceptance as cornerstones of happiness and fulfillment.

While it's crucial to embrace our true selves, this notion sometimes lacks the dynamic aspect of personal growth. Instead, aiming to "be the best version of yourself" offers a more nuanced approach, encouraging continuous improvement and self-actualization.

Here's why striving “to be the best version of yourself” might be a more empowering and effective philosophy than simply being yourself.

1. Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset

"Be yourself" can sometimes imply a fixed mindset—accepting your traits, habits, and abilities as they are. While self-acceptance is not a negative thing by its generally accepted intention, it shouldn't become an excuse for stagnation.

In truly being yourself you should look honestly at who you are: where did I not give my best, where could I have done better?

Aiming to be the best version of yourself fosters a growth mindset. It encourages you to recognize your potential and strive for improvement, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth.

2. Embracing Change and Adaptability

Life is dynamic, and change is inevitable. The concept of being the best version of yourself embraces this reality by promoting adaptability and resilience. It encourages you to evolve, learn from experiences, and refine your qualities continuously. This proactive approach to self-improvement equips you to navigate life's uncertainties more effectively than a static notion of simply being yourself.

3. Setting and Achieving Goals

The pursuit of being the best version of yourself inherently involves goal-setting. Whether it's personal, professional, or emotional growth, having clear objectives provides direction and purpose. Achieving these goals not only boosts self-esteem but also fosters a sense of accomplishment. In contrast, the idea of just being yourself might lack this structured path towards personal development.

4. Enhanced Relationships

Striving to be the best version of yourself can positively impact your relationships. When you work on improving communication, empathy, and understanding, you contribute to healthier and more meaningful interactions. While being authentic is essential in relationships, combining authenticity with a commitment to personal growth enriches your connections with others.

5. Self-Compassion and Accountability

The journey to being the best version of yourself balances self-compassion with accountability. It encourages you to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, celebrate your successes, and learn from your mistakes. This balanced approach fosters a healthy self-image and resilience, helping you navigate life's ups and downs with grace.

6. Fulfillment and Purpose

Ultimately, the pursuit of being the best version of yourself aligns with a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose. It encourages you to explore your passions, develop your talents, and contribute meaningfully to the world. This journey of self-discovery and improvement can lead to a more satisfying and enriched life compared to a static acceptance of oneself.


Every evening look back at what went well for you and where you could have done better.

If you have several things to work on, e.g. eating fewer calories, working out, not groaning when taking the trash out, whatever, then focus on that one thing and make that your one improvement thing for the week. If you fail, get back to it. After a week or two then select the next thing to improve upon.

There are some great resources which will not take up much of your time to help you become the best version of yourself.

There are some great books for developing good habits as you becoming a better version of yourself:

Atomic Habits

by James Clear

This book offers practical strategies to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

Duhigg explores the science behind why habits exist and how they can be changed, providing insight into transforming both personal habits and organizational routines.

Tiny Habits

by BJ Fogg

Fogg’s book focuses on the concept that making small changes can lead to big results. He presents a system for creating new habits by starting small.

Better Than Before

by Gretchen Rubin

Rubin delves into the psychology of habits and offers practical advice on how to change them based on your personality and lifestyle.

The Compound Effect

by Darren Hardy

Hardy discusses how small, consistent actions can lead to significant, long-term success, emphasizing the power of routine and discipline.

Deep Work

by Cal Newport

This book focuses on cultivating the habit of deep, focused work in an increasingly distracted world, offering strategies to enhance productivity and mastery in any field.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

by Carol S. Dweck

While not exclusively about habits, Dweck’s book explores the concept of a growth mindset, which can be crucial for developing and sustaining positive habits.

These books offer a mix of scientific insights, practical advice, and personal anecdotes to help you understand and improve your habits.


While the advice to "be yourself" underscores the importance of authenticity and self-acceptancuue, aiming to be the best version of yourself offers a more dynamic and empowering path. It combines the value of authenticity with a proactive approach to growth, resilience, and self-improvement. By striving to be the best version of yourself, you not only embrace who you are but also unlock your potential to become who you can be.

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