Always Strive to Do Your Best
The pressure of perfection is something that so many of us carry the weight of. Whether it’s being the perfect worker, partner, parent, child, or friend, we feel the need to be flawless. But as I have mentioned before, there is no such thing as perfection – it is unattainable. As someone who used to be obsessed with being perfect, let me tell you, it is an extremely exhausting and relentless pursuit with no end.
In fact, measuring ourselves to this impossible standard actually harms our mind, body, and soul. By focusing on the pursuit of an unattainable goal, we deplete our energy and we subject ourselves to self-flogging, frustration, and doubt.
So instead of perfection, I now focus on doing my best – no more, no less.
I learned this concept in one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. In this fabulous book, Ruiz offers a practical guide on how to avoid limiting ourselves and to alleviate suffering. The fourth agreement, “Always Do Your Best,” stuck with me right away and is now a mantra, and a mindset, that I live by. It emphasizes that by giving our all to everything we do in life, not only will we be productive, but it will also help us to live a more committed, whole, and rewarding life.
Many great leaders and influencers also sing the virtues of doing your best. Prolific spiritualist Marianne Williams emphasizes the importance of this in her highly popular book, A Return to Love (which I also highly recommend!). In her book, she writes, “Serving three people is as important as serving 300.” As a public speaker who is focused on empowering people to be their best, I put the same effort into delivering my message, whether it’s to three or 300 people. If I can influence those three people as a result, I am on the way to accomplishing my goals, which brings joy into my life. It doesn’t matter the number of people we reach; the point is to put all our efforts into the quality of what we are producing!
When we do our best, we are more aware of ourselves, which allows us to learn from our mistakes and grow as individuals. We’re also more open to feedback and self-compassion by no longer passing judgment or subjecting ourselves to frustration for not reaching something that was never attainable in the first place. Not to mention, we also feel good and proud of ourselves because we showed up and gave it our all. And remember, our best doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as we know that we tried our hardest.
You will be surprised at how the simple act of giving it your all will make you feel liberated. So the next time you tackle anything, how will you relieve yourself of the burden of perfection?