Have you noticed how depending on how you’re feeling at the time and what’s going on, you have a few “versions”, like character roles of yourself?
The idea that your mind can have several different potential “characters” or “personas” has been explored in many theories and ideas from psychology and neuroscience.
But I’ve found it very helpful to simplify this understanding to two main personas – your “small self” and your higher/ or “best self”.
In this video and blog post, I’ll explore the concept of these two selves and how understanding this choice can transform your life.
On a recent retreat that I ran, I saw a perfect example of this idea of the two potential selves inside each of us. I’d been teaching about this concept and took the women through an experience where they were able to feel a full, embodied connection with their empowered/ higher selves.
During some “free time” about 6 of us went for a beautiful walk along the coastline, and wore our swimsuits under our clothes so we could also go for a dip in the ocean after. We had a beautiful time, and at the end of our walk, we all got in the water for a lovely swim.
What we didn’t realise at the time, was that for one of the women, it was her first swim in 20 years!
Every day we encounter moments where we can choose to respond in different ways. In its simplest form, we have the option to show up as either our “small self” or our “higher self.” This is especially true in challenging circumstances or situations that may take us out of our comfort zone.
These two versions of ourselves represent a choice between fear and empowerment, self-absorption and love, and limitation versus boundless potential. Every day and in every moment, we have the power to decide which version of ourselves we will be.
The Small Self: Fear and Limitation
The small self is that part of us that often operates from a place of fear, insecurity, and self-absorption. It’s the voice that tells us we’re not good enough, that we should play it safe, and that we should prioritize our own interests above all else. When we allow our small self to dominate, we limit our potential and miss out on opportunities for growth and connection.
Here are some characteristics of the small self:
- Fear: The small self is easily overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty. It avoids challenges and risks, sticking to the familiar and comfortable.
- Self-Absorption: This version of ourselves tends to be self-centered, constantly preoccupied with our own needs and desires at the expense of others.
- Negative Self-Talk: The small self is a master of negative self-talk, feeding us a constant stream of self-doubt and criticism.
- Limitation: It believes in scarcity and limitation, often seeing problems as insurmountable obstacles rather than opportunities for growth.
The Higher Self: Empowerment and Love
Conversely, the higher self represents the best version of ourselves—the one that is empowered, resourceful, loving, courageous, and capable of greatness. This version of ourselves chooses love over fear, compassion over self-absorption, and courage over complacency. When we tap into our higher self, we unlock our true potential and experience life more fully.
Here are some characteristics of the higher self:
- Empowerment: The higher self is empowered and believes in its ability to navigate challenges and overcome adversity.
- Love and Compassion: This version of ourselves operates from a place of love and compassion, both for ourselves and for others.
- Positive Self-Talk: The higher self is a source of positive self-talk, encouraging us to believe in our abilities and potential.
- Growth and Potential: It sees challenges as opportunities for growth and transformation, embracing change as a natural part of life.
Choosing YourSelf in Every Moment
The beautiful thing about these two versions of ourselves is that we get to choose which one we embody in every moment. It’s not a one-time decision, but an ongoing process of self-awareness and conscious choice. Here are some practical steps to help you consistently choose your higher self:
- Self-Awareness: Start by becoming aware of your thoughts, emotions, and reactions in different situations. Recognize when you’re operating from your small self and when you’re in alignment with your higher self.
- Pause and Reflect: When faced with a choice or challenge, take a moment to pause and reflect. Ask yourself, “Is this decision coming from fear or love? Is it aligned with my highest potential?”
- Choose Love Over Fear: Make a conscious effort to choose love over fear, empowerment over self-absorption, and growth over limitation. Remember that you have the power to shift your mindset.
- Practice Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with the same love and compassion you extend to others. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and focus on your capacity for growth.
- Cultivate Positivity: Foster a positive mindset by engaging in practices such as gratitude, mindfulness, and affirmations. Surround yourself with people and resources that uplift and inspire you.
Back to the story I was telling you before. It wasn’t until we were sitting together in circle as a group that night of the retreat, that we found out that our lovely swim was for one of the women, the first time she’d swum in 20 years. Janine truly activated her empowered, or higher self in the moment that afternoon, and as she shared with me later, “every day since”. Janine now knows how to tap into this powerful version of herself at any time. She told me she was surprised at how calm she was in that moment, and how much joy and peace it has brought her ever since.
The concept of our small self versus our higher self reminds us that we have the power to shape our reality through our choices. Every day, we stand at a crossroads, deciding whether to respond to life from a place of fear and limitation or from one of love, empowerment, and boundless potential.
By consistently choosing our higher self, we can transform our lives and contribute positively to the world around us. Embrace the power of choice, and let your higher self guide you towards a life of fulfillment, growth, and love.
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