A simple phrase can help you reframe and improve your life.
You’ve thought about changing your life for the better. Sure you have. We all have.
You wonder about it, because, as a man, you wonder if living this way is all there is. Your life probably looks like this:
You’re in it for everyone else. You are great at being, and doing, what everyone else wants you to be and do. You’re the provider—the non-emotional ‘rock’ of the family. You work hard to succeed. You endure the corporate daily grind to get ahead and to make ends meet. You are motivated to get out of bed in the morning by the long-range end-goal of retirement.
Your identity is based on the roles you play and what you do for others—Dad, husband, son, employee, boss, provider, and bill payer.You feel judged by your financial success you and your material possessions. As a result, you are sentenced to a life with debt—like handcuffs.
You endure stress by coping and escaping: with TV, alcohol, porn or other unproductive mind-numbing habits. You have male friends, but no one you really open up to. You keep things to yourself, and so do your friends.
You’ve been taught that this is how a man is supposed to behave.
And you wonder if this is all there is.
I know, because I’ve been that man. But I’ve learned there is more to life than that.
You can be happier. You can be at peace. And you don’t have to change much. All you need to do is add one phrase to your internal dialog, and use it often.
Here’s what this one phrase did for me, and it do the same for you.
- It diminishes the disappointment you feel for your self. You no longer have to live up to vaulted expectations—from yourself or others.
- It creates lasting self-acceptance.
- It helps you enjoy the moment.
- It gives you permission to reflect on your behavior, and how you’d like to respond differently in the future—without guilt or shame.
- It allows you to let go of the past and look forward to the future.
- Your social and/or financial status becomes a footnote.
- It helps you disregard social stigma—labels and expectations.
- It is easy to use—anywhere, anytime, any circumstance.
- You become kinder, and more compassionate with yourself.
- It allows you to rest easy at night, with a sense of peace that you long for.
And that one simple, powerful, phrase is: “I do my best to be at my best.”
Think about it for a moment. Mull that phrase over. It has the capability to do all the things I’ve listed above.
You already are doing your best each day. That’s one reason why this phrase is so powerful. It will remind you that you are doing your best. When you use it, it becomes a conscious process that builds a new belief when consistently used. It creates a new way of thinking—a new normal.
You are doing your best. You no longer need to beat yourself up for something you did, or something you didn’t do.
It frees you from the self-deprecating game that you’ve been taught. It frees you from feeling judged by others. It gives you permission to reflect and self-evaluate—without self-persecution.
Your ‘best’ will be different from day to day. There are days you will be sick, stressed, busy, or experiencing grief. The key—remember that you are striving to be at your best in all situations.
You don’t have to change a single external thing in your life for you to benefit from this phrase. It will change you from the inside out.
This phrase has the ability to change your perspective on your life—for the better. Because when you do you best, in each moment of each day, there is nothing else for you to do.
Men; do your best to be.
Photo: Getty Images