What Being Your (Best) Self Means

Teresa Barker

Be Your (Best) Self

The slogan of my blog is “Be Your (Best) Self”. It’s written on my homepage, right underneath my name. Maybe you’ve seen it before, or maybe you’re only noticing now because I’m pointing it out. But those 4 words mean a lot to me.

Those 4 words encompass everything I’m trying to be and everything I’m trying to do with having this blog.

And it also has a double meaning.

“Be Yourself”

If you take out the “best” in parenthesis, that’s what you’re left with. Be yourself.

Growing up, I always struggled with being myself. When I was a kid, I had no problem with it because I wasn’t aware and/or didn’t yet care what people thought of me. I’d play with my neighbors, run around at soccer, go to school, and just have fun and be my goofy nerdy little-Terry self because I didn’t have a care in the world.

Where it all started

It was in about 5th grade when I first remember being aware of the whole what’s “cool” or “uncool” thing. It’s also in 5th grade when I remember I first started to care what other people thought of me.

It sounds so silly now, but I went to Catholic school in 5th grade and we all wore these ribbons in our hair. It was the only way we could really express ourselves, since we had uniforms. But, I remember caring way too much about getting my side pony justtt right. About having the perfect ribbon in my hair. I remember there were these handful of girls who were “popular” and always had the best ribbon (yes it’s as dumb as it sounds). I used to beg my mom to take me out and get ribbon like these popular girls had, because mine wasn’t good enough. And trust me when I say that now I understand 110% why she would always be puzzled and go “It’s just string, Ter.”

Then, that same bad habit of overthinking small things and comparing myself to other people carried forward all through middle school and a lot of high school. Eventually, I realized that constantly trying to be someone else was exhausting and unfulfilling . So I started to just try and be myself, which turned out to be harder than I thought.

It’s challenging to try and be yourself after trying so hard to be someone else for so long

And, that’s kind of what this blog helps me do. Of course I have a good idea of who I am and what I stand for, but I still feel like I have a lot of self-learning and self-loving to do. This blog is a way for me to have this space where I can write freely, share comfortably, and explore creatively. Plus, if you’re someone like me who tends to have self-doubt or over-think things about yourself, it’s a really effective way of forcing yourself to stand in your own truth. And so here I am. On this blog. That’s titled after literally my name. Sharing my truth.

“(Best)”

The second meaning of my phrase “be your (best) self” comes from that little word in the middle, “best”.

I couldn’t very well work on improving myself until I was comfortable with being myself. But, now I’m way more confident and filled with much more self love than I used to be. Therefore, self-improvement has become a huge part of my life

As much as I’ve molded my life around the idea of being as “me” as possible and loving who that person is, I’ve also focused it on the idea of bettering that person, both for myself and for everyone else. It’s important to love unconditionally, as no one is perfect. But I really love the idea of always being able to be better than I once was.

If I don’t 100% love something about myself – like how anxious I can get – there’s ways to improve it. So I meditate, read self-help (lowkey hATE this phrase, but we can talk about that later) books, and try to breathe &use grounding tools. And that’s just one small example, but the point is that figuring out a way to both love who I am and also want to be better has saved me, because it’s created a perfect balance internally.

Be yourself, but also work on being your best self

I always want to be learning, growing, & thriving. The only way that happens is if I embody my whole motto. I need to both love and embrace who I am, but also be looking for ways to better myself. That way, I can become an even better version of myself who I can love even more.

There you have it

If you’ve ever looked on my blog and wondered what it meant to be your (best) self, that’s really what it comes down to.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for supporting me doing me and working on being my best self. 

Much love for ya.

❤, Teresa

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