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  • Brianna Paruolo

De-Influencing Mental Health: No, You Shouldn't Be the Best Version of Yourself.

Updated: May 22

It's time to De-Influencing the Best Version of Yourself.

We are flooded with messaging to show up as your best self at work, in relationships, and in that impossibly hard group workout class. Being our “best” during every waking moment forces the unattainable to be chased. We become exhausted, always being “on,” never allowing a moment of humanness to slip through. The best version mentality catalyzes burnout, resentment, and a plummeting sense of self-worth.

No, you shouldn’t be the best version of yourself-and; this is why. The issue with best self-messaging is the implied message that the person we are now isn’t good enough. When we fail to see ourselves as good enough, worthy enough, smart enough, or lovable enough, we simply can never be our best.

The best self mentality is rooted in perfectionism. With perfectionism, you set impossible goals and meet yourself harshly when they are not achieved as expected. The vicious thought cycle might look like this:

  • Carrying the belief that everything must be perfect at all times

  • Motivation stems from the fear of failure, rejection, or criticism.

  • Black and White thinking: you either view yourself as a failure or perfect

  • Avoiding new experiences out of fear of failure

  • Inability to make decisions/ instant regret of the decision made

Instead, I encourage my clients to think of their favorite versions of themselves. This version leads with intention instead of expectation. They are gentle with themselves and don’t pressure performance or results. The favorite person is still motivated by challenges, feels content, and gives themselves credit for all they achieve. The potential for success and happiness motivates their actions instead of fear or rejection.

Here are some prompts to explore your favorite you:

  • What do they look like?

  • How do they feel?

  • Who are they surrounded by?

  • When do they show up?

  • Where are they present?

Once you have this favorite version in your mind's eye, visualize what parts of them can show up in your day-to-day activities. This might look like:

  • Listening to an energetic song during a midday slump

  • Facetiming a friend who you always laugh with

  • Wearing your favorite sweater because it brings a cozy feeling

  • Cooking your favorite meal you typically have during holiday celebrations

I encourage you to create a new relationship with your favorite version of yourself and no longer be influenced by the unhelpful messaging that comes with being the “best.” You are enough as you are at this moment and deserve all you want in life.

About the Author:

Brianna Paruolo is a provisionally licensed therapist in NYC who works with models, athletes, influencers, students, and young professionals in New York City. Together they work to overcome burnout and negative self-talk so her clients can thrive academically, athletically, professionally, and in their relationships. Send her an email at to connect today!

Legal Notice: The content presented in this blog post/Instagram post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to provide mental health treatment. It is crucial to consult with a qualified mental health professional for personalized advice or treatment regarding your specific circumstances. Reading or engaging with this content does not establish a client-counselor relationship, and the author is not liable for any actions taken based on the information provided. It is recommended to seek up-to-date information and consult professionals for the latest advancements in mental health research and practice. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact your local emergency services or helpline immediately.

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