On Tuesday of this week I had a phone meeting with someone with whom I am very attracted to working, and someone who I respect very much. As early as Monday night and throughout the first half of the day on Tuesday, I began by preparing myself how I wanted to show up and be ready to be my best self. Let me walk you through what I think are some key distinctions, from the perspective of a Health Coach, for you to get ready to be your best self.
Here are a few examples of events for which preparation is key. In life, in truth, there are countless other times when it just would not cut it for you or me or anyone to wing it without preparing to be the best version of ourselves possible. I would not, and I recommend that you would not, stumble into these situations neglecting some of the self-care and self-regard concepts I will share with you as well.
- A job interview
- A social date with a desirable romantic person
- Giving a presentation on stage (live) or virtually
- Having a crucial conversation with a co-worker or family member
- Throwing a dinner party or hosting an event
- Attending an event in your honor
- Meeting with a client
- Making a sales presentation
These examples are part of our lives. They happen with regularity. In my experience, the time before the actual event is essential for getting our bodies, minds, thoughts, and spirits aligned. What not to do is to show up exhausted and depleted, tense and stressed, dehydrated, jacked up on caffeine with no food in your stomach, distracted by a personal business that is unfinished, and other ways we can diminish our brightness. The outcome of these events is directly correlated with the preparation that occurred prior to these events. My goal here is to encourage you to connect the dots, become more self-aware, and to take action.
Getting ready to be your best self-entails a consciousness toward your mental and physical health. It involves being aware that you need to rely on yourself to be focused and on task, and to have positive energy and to feel refreshed. My important phone meeting on Tuesday went extremely well. I am certain that being well-rested, having meditated in the morning, having gotten a good workout, and with a healthy breakfast in my stomach all helped me feel good about myself and engage with the other person for a great outcome.
Preparing like this helps you be more present. Amy Cuddy, the author of one of my favorite books, Presence, says, “Our bodies change our minds. And our minds can change our behavior. And our behavior can change our outcomes.” How do you want to show up? I love Cuddy’s words: “Bring your boldest self to your biggest challenges.” Preparation is key. As one of my clients said, it is mandatory.
Here are five ways that you can prepare to be your very best self at times when it will make a huge difference for you to do so.
1. Being well-rested. A good night’s sleep is among your key life hacks to be able to perform at your best. Being able to focus, having a bright outlook, and even being more creative are some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Boosting your health, in particular, reducing inflammation and allowing your body to be restored, helps you feel really good and can make a huge difference when you need to be on your game. If you suffer from headaches or back pain, either one can be a great distraction. Resting your body can ameliorate both of these. Being cranky or unable to concentrate has no place when you want to be your best.
2. Being well-nourished. If you look at my examples of times when you want to be your very best self, imagine the difference it makes when you have eaten healthy food. God forbid you should go into an important meeting at work or on an exciting date jacked up on caffeine without solid nutrients in your body. There is nothing wrong with a caffeine buzz and it is correlated with your ability to focus and have stamina. However, the downside of a caffeine buzz is that there is a potential crash afterward. This can be buffeted with real calories from real food in your stomach. Eating healthy macronutrients (fat, protein, and some carbohydrates) helps soften the letdown from the adrenaline rush that comes from coffee. The food will help level your blood sugar levels, thus the soft landing after the caffeine wears off.
Also, a well-balanced meal provides sustained energy. The key takeaway is that to be your best you should never ask your body to run on empty. Eating real nutritious whole food, and avoiding junk food, will help you focus and maintain your energy. It will also help you be in a better mood, something that is essential for you to be your best self. Here is a simple example. A cup of coffee alone or a cup of coffee with a just a banana or donut will help you feel wiped out just a couple of hours after you consume them. A hard-boiled egg with some blueberries and some Greek yogurt and almonds on the side will help you feel strong in your body, possibly for hours after you eat.
The other significant difference between those two different breakfasts is what happens when it is time to eat again. After the coffee and donut, when your blood sugar drops you are likely to lose focus, possibly become irritable and tired, and even lose your motivation. What happens after the egg breakfast is that when you are hungry in a few hours, your body can tell that it is time to eat, but it will not be perceived as a crisis. This takes practice and know-how. A Health Coach* can show you how to achieve this.
3. Physical movement and refreshing exercise. Don’t leave home without having moved your body. In addition to the all-natural brain power that comes from moving and breathing vigorously, deliberately getting your body to be more comfortable will inform your performance, presence, and productivity. The inverse to this is to allow your body to feel tense, inert, and sluggish. This happens when you live a sedentary lifestyle which can drain the life-force out of you. There are real biological imperatives that point to how essential it is to move your body. Before my important meeting on Tuesday morning, I jumped on my trampoline because I just knew I wanted to be alive, alert, and aware of my meeting. I have fondly nicknamed this state FOE – Full of Endorphins. This is part of my on-going practice to be my best self.
4. Meditation and relaxation. If you want to operate with peak performance, consider taking time to quiet your mind, sense your body, and feel your breath. I love to meditate and I love to write about meditation because it makes a huge difference for me as well as for my clients. Meditation is often referred to as feeding your brain. Being able to respond rather than being reactive will improve your entire persona. Being able to calmly self-reflect in order to express yourself well instead of finding a jumble of confusing or disturbing thoughts in your brain will help you shine. People will like you more because even if they can’t articulate this, your energy is better and more positive when you meditate. Some of your best ideas come from quieting your mind during meditation.
Yoga stretches are easy to learn. They will have a dramatic benefit in how you seem to yourself and how others perceive you. Think about someone you know who is tense and uptight. Who wants to be around someone like this? Do you know someone who exudes a calmness? Have you been around someone who seems centered and grounded? I learned these concepts when yoga came into my life when I was merely nineteen years old. I continue to practice them. They are not only timeless, but they represent a lifetime of opportunity to self-improve. There have been countless ups and downs in my life, some devastating, and I bet it’s the same for you. Life happens. During some of the most difficult periods of my life, I relied on meditation and yoga to help me get through. I am encouraging you to explore this for yourself. Perhaps paradoxically, embodying being grounded and centered makes just as great a difference when you are on top of the world.
5. Surround yourself with positive people. There is tremendous data on the importance to each of us to connect with others, that we get and give help, and that we avoid feeling isolation and loneliness. In the context of getting ready to be your best self, another’s perspective is a godsend. Having someone to listen to your goals and concerns and to give you feedback if you are confused or experiencing self-doubt is life-altering. My husband and I often say to each other, “I just need to say this out loud.” I continue to be amazed by the power of shifting my perspective by moving my thoughts from the inside of my head to where I can hear them and share them with someone. If the stakes are high, and you need to have a positive outcome to something important in your life, employ the love, feedback, perspective, and support of a friend, colleague, or family member. Social media does not count if you want to really change and improve. If you are looking to take a major step forward personally or professionally, don’t go at it alone. And avoid negative people and their crummy attitudes at times when you simply cannot afford to be brought down by your intentions to be your best self.
There aren’t just five ways to get ready to be your best self. I picked ones that feel the key to me and ones I observe others employing for great results for them. Practice makes the improvement. My best self sends love and encouragement to your best self. Let’s be our best to do our best.
*To schedule a complimentary Health Coaching Discovery session, go here. Learn how to eat food that helps you feel lively without crashes to your energy.
Rosie Bank is Board Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and the founder of Health Matters Coaching. She is the author of the book, Health Matters and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Rosie is an international speaker, blogger, and the founder of Health Matters podcast. She is certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant through the American Fitness Professional Association and as a Nutrition Advisor through Sanoviv Medical Institute. Rosie’s partner in nutrition since 1999 is USANA Health Sciences. To learn how Rosie can help you maximize your health and achieve your goals, schedule here. Join our online community at Facebook to keep up on ways to stay healthy.
Interested in having Rosie speak to your organization? Learn more here. Contact Rosie directly at 650-740-9500, or via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
The members of Greater San Mateo Club were most grateful for the stimulating talk you gave yesterday.You are a very effective speaker and educator.Gerry Weisst, President & Secretary Kiwanis Club of Greater San Mateo