2 Steps to Become Your Aspirational Self And Still Be Your Real Self

Growth is becoming your aspirational self, not languishing with the façade of authenticity.

Don’t turn from challenge or opportunity with self-affirming nonsense like, “It’s just not me,” or, “That’s not who I am.”

“Authenticity” is self-sabotage when it prolongs inaction, incompetence, and pitiful self-satisfaction.

The question to ask about opportunity or challenge is how does it give expression to your aspirational self?


The people you admire reflect the person you hope to become.

How to become your aspirational self:

#1. Define who you aspire to become.

Make a list of people you admire. Three will do, but if you have time, list more. Beside each person’s name write the distinguishing quality or qualities you admire about them. I did this with a leader this morning. He listed three names and three qualities.

  1. Mother Theresa – loving.
  2. Winston Churchill – courage.
  3. Steve Jobs – vision.

We explored what he admired until he distilled their admirable quality to one word. (It’s not necessary to limit this exercise to one quality per person.)

I looked at him and said, “This is who you aspire to become.”

When coaching, you could be less direct by asking, “How do these people reflect who you aspire to become? The next question(s) convert this exercise from insight to opportunity.


How does this opportunity give expression to your aspirational self?

#2. Engage your aspirational self.

  1. With your aspirational self in mind, what’s next?
  2. How would your aspirational self handle this situation?
  3. What would you like to do today with your aspirational self in mind?
  4. How does becoming your aspirational self inform the way you would like to show up today?
  5. Which decision best reflects and satisfies your aspirational self?

The people you admire reflect the person you hope to become.

Tip: While performing this exercise, don’t focus on the accomplishments of admirable people. Focus on character attributes.

Who do you admire?

How might the people you admire reflect the person you aspire to become?