Positive Psychology Intervention #1: Your Best Self

How to be positive and happy?

happy line drawing

Being positive means you are choosing to see the bright side of things, it means that you can recognize that struggle and pain are not the only things out there, even if they are the only things you can see at a time. In this mini series, I’ll be sharing 6 practical mindfulness tips that everyday busy people can work on in your daily life, you do not have to be a monk and meditation in a cave for 75 years to be happy and peaceful.  

Positive Psychology is known as “the science of happiness”, where interventions are one kind of activity used to aid the participant in becoming more self-aware. It brings to life how we can feel good about ourselves and just feel good in general. The interventions are commonly used and very popular. 

Positive Psychology aims to shift the focus to what works; what helps us flourish; what helps us be our best; and what helps us our own potential. It is important to note: A lot of Positive Psychology techniques only work if you’re using them and rightly so. You cannot take a tick-the-box approach to this. 

If you’re reading this, that means you’re heading towards being an advanced level human being, who knows that consistency is key to success. This will become a part of your everyday rituals and will help you to document your experience.

So let’s dive into the first Positive Psychology intervention number 1:

Your Best Self (also known as Your Ideal Self)

Psychologist Laura King developed the “Best Self” theory as a part of a Positive Psychology Intervention, which asks participants to write about: their best possible self in a future where they have actually achieved this by working towards an achievable goal/s. 

The theory also includes writing about the present self to create a formula in order to be the most successful version of themselves in the near future. 

This exercise is designed for us to acknowledge a time when we were at our best and seek to identify the parts of us that created a formula for being the most successful version of ourselves. 

It is very powerful for those of us with negativity bias that tend to mostly filter in seeing ourselves at our worst, so we can beat up on ourselves. It’s really important to start shifting the mind away from negativity bias and start tapping into that part of the brain which is us at our best.

Here are the questions you ask:

  1. Think of a time you were really at your best, when you really amazed yourself and you’re so pleased with how you conducted yourself.
  2. How do you know you were at your best? What were the strengths you brought to life or the values that you lived? What is it that led you to know that that was you being at your best?
  3. Knowing that is your best self, how can you bring that to life even more in your life right now?
Laura King Pychology Doctor

When doing this exercise with your clients ask them at the end:

How does that feel? How’s that sitting with you? What are you noticing?

If you’re doing this with a client and they have something tough they have to face you can ask them:

How can you take those strengths or what you learned there…and apply it to what’s coming up now?

positivity - lowina blackman

A lot of what makes people unhappy can be to do with their own perceived belief in, and of themselves. Because of this fact, the above activity can be a bit of a challenge for some people. 

If you think that you are objective towards something about yourself, chances are that in actual fact you are more likely to think discriminately towards whatever that might be. This is due to the fact that in believing you are thinking objectively, you are actually extremely vulnerable to biased opinions from others. 

This could be when you easily recognize a trait within yourself, or even such as when that trait is hard for you to admit to yourself at all. You therefore need reassurance and a “mirror” to be shown to you to feel better about yourself. 

Of course, your friends, family and romantic relationships will present you in a positive light. This may in fact end up reinforcing any kind of inaccurate self-assessments that you’ve made of yourself because you’re only hearing an echo. They may be subjectively rationalising whatever relationship that they have with you, or expect you to fulfill an expectation or obligation my appeasing your concerns.

Contrarily, the people who you work closely with have a vested interest in improving your overall well-being, productivity, and output. This means that their feedback is only trying to make you better – but may sometimes be difficult to bear! This does not mean that they are not reluctant to tell you the stuff that you don’t want to – but need to – hear. It just means that their dynamic of the relationship with you makes them more prone to be able to communicate those things with you. 

Analysing common themes and creating a portrait of yourself and your strengths through the eyes of others can be helpful. 

Your task: 

  • Reach out to 5-10 colleagues, friends and family members who know you well
  • Ask them to tell you a story about when you were at your best

Utilising this information is a key aspect to neuroplasticity, and helping to form a different perspective of yourself by reshaping who you think and believe that you are. 

The interventions in this video series are from The Coaching Institute where I study coaching, NLP and meta Dynamics from. They are evidence-based and super simple to apply – yet remain highly effective.

You can do these exercises on yourself, or, if you are a personal development coach like myself, you can apply with your clients, expand their awareness, lift them up, empower them and see how they transformed. It is the best gift we can offer to the world.

Thank you for reading this Positive Psychology Intervention series, if you want to know more about it, don’t hesitate to send me an enquiry.

If you haven’t watched my video about this topic, please find time to do so, and don’t forget to like and subscribe to my youtube channel.

I’ll see you next practical tips about “Mindfulness”.