“Be as you wish to seem.”

One of the podcasts I listen to (Inspire Me Today) had an interview with a fitness/weight loss coach who was talking about how she helps her clients lose weight & get in shape. While I’m not really interested in that aspect of it, the woman gave a really cool tip that stuck with me.

She doesn’t tell her clients “eat this, don’t eat that”. She doesn’t demand that they “wake up early and work out”. She never forces them to “run a mile a day” or anything like that. She lets them come up with their own plan of action by asking them one simple question:

If you were the perfect version of yourself, what would you do?

Does the person you want to be sleep in until noon? Does the perfect version of yourself eat Chex Mix until they get sick? Do you want to be the person that stays on tumblr for 4 hours straight?

If you want to be that person, and if that is your idea of your perfect self, then that’s awesome! You’ve already gotten the habits down. (I’m not even saying that sarcastically; do what you gotta do to be the best you.)

For me personally, I don’t want to do any of those things (though I have in the past). The perfect version of myself would not stand for that. What you do, you become.

“Be as you wish to seem.”

— Socrates

Act like the person you wish to be! It sounds so easy, but when I learned this it was like a revelation. First step is to realize what the Best You would be doing.

Asking myself this question has helped me a lot with taking steps forward and becoming the person I want to be. I have:

  • started meditating
  • been more open about my feelings
  • written more often
  • gone to bed & woken up earlier
  • put more effort into my appearance
  • cleaned my room more often
  • kept in touch/rekindled old friendships

This method really comes in handy when you’re indecisive about things. For example, my default response whenever people ask me to go out is Nah. But the person I want to be, she’s always down to do whatever. So I’ve been hanging out with friends more often, seeing people I haven’t seen in years.

I don’t want this whole method to get misconstrued, because I don’t want people to think that they are not perfect already. You are! And my mom told me this recently and it was so wonderful that I’m going to tell you guys now: DON’T CHANGE FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. Change is not always a bad thing if you’re doing it for you and you’re going in a positive direction. Also very important: you have to create your own vision of your perfect self. If you are modeling your actions after what someone else wants you to be, then you are just digging yourself into a deeper hole.

Take time to envision the person you want to be. NOT what you think other people would like you to be, NOT what you think will make you the most attractive/whatever. The person you, deep inside, genuinely want to be. Kind of like having a role model, but your role model is you. When you take steps to be the best possible you, happiness and wonderful things will follow because you’re listening to your inner wisdom.

If you have dreams that you want to make a reality, or you have habits that you want to stop, just ask:

What would the person I want to be do?

You can be the person you’ve always dreamed of being starting today!


Erin Ford is a public relations account executive and has been blogging for many years. While attending Penn State, she discovered a love for Women’s Studies, which she found empowering and illuminating, and graduated with a minor in the subject. Since then, she finds fulfillment in speaking up about issues impacting women and girls, and believes that through honest conversations everyone can be empowered to do the same.

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