Are you on a hero’s journey, trying to develop your best self? When you look at your life – be it your career or overall life path – you most likely see elements of both wisdom and errors as you’ve aged. Every person I’ve had the privilege to work with as a coach struggles with accepting their failures.
The paradox of the hero’s journey is that when you accept the parts of yourself that you’d rather not acknowledge or share, you gain tremendous energy. As you integrate your whole self you become more authentically you, more of your best self.
While we may never become heroes like Mandela, King, Churchill, or the Dalai Lama, everyone can become more authentic and capable of heroic acts. This requires attention and mindfulness as well as connectedness and compassion.
The journey doesn’t have a final destination. It meanders, so you need to be vigilant, pay attention, stay connected and focus your intentions in order to transform and create a life full of meaning.
Three Steps to Self
How do you become your best self? How do you learn to act like a hero? According to author Greg Giuliano in The Hero’s Journey: Toward a More Authentic Leadership, the journey to self is a perpetual three-part process, abbreviated by the letters A.C.T:
- Attend to Who You Are: First, we pay attention to who we are and where we are right now. This involves being mindful and engaging in honest self-reflection.
- Connect with Your Best Self: Second, we connect with ourselves and recognize when we are our truest and best self.
- Transform Your Life: Lastly, we seek to transform, to be intentional and create the life that is the most accurate expression of who, what, and where we want to be.
A = Who You Are
Can you make an honest assessment of where you’re at in life right now? How do you perceive yourself intellectually, cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, sexually, and spiritually at this point in your life?
Many people find having such conversations with a coach to be revealing and helpful. Sometimes tools such as the Wheel of Life can help elucidate your different roles and how you experience a sense of meaning and fulfillment.
When you find that some of your answers cause sadness or disappointment, this suggests that you want your answers to be different. Ask yourself, “What will it take for me to be able to answer differently?”