When Your Very Best Isn’t Good Enough

An honest expression.

Amber Ludwig-VilhauerThis morning I was cycling through a regular feeling I have. It’s one that concerns me. I thought, “No Guts No Glory!” and posted this on Facebook for 2,000 people to see:

Vulnerable moment.

I am way too hard on myself pretty much all the time. Maybe you can relate?

I see the pros (I get much more done and with better result) and cons (less time focused on wins, solidifying limiting beliefs, hyped up, etc).

Any tips to manage this?

I got a variety of comments.

Some suggested I think or write about what I’m grateful for to gain perspective. But no, that wasn’t it. I’m extremely grateful all the time and express that, think about that, daily – multiple times a day. It’s a great practice, but that’s not what the answer was.

Some threw in product suggestions or promos for their own work about letting go and raising your self-esteem. Fair enough, I could step it up in the department of letting go, but I wouldn’t say I have self-esteem issues. So the search continued.

What was it that caused me to give myself a hard time if I couldn’t perfectly keep up with the dishes or laundry? What was it that caused me to give myself a hard time if I didn’t get a perfect result on an email blast or a product launch?

Journaling, surround yourself with proof of your accomplishments to gain confidence, the comments continued. A few good insights came in such as, “I must emphasize that it’s important to carefully monitor your emotions…if it doesn’t feel good, it’s not good.”

Then I replied:

Thank you everyone! I actually have a practice every day where I get in a quiet place, review the day and really give gratitude for the things that happened. But I’ll say I can definitely step it up in learning how to let go more. It’s weird because I do recognize my greatness – it’s more than I think I can always do more, be more. I have this intense urgency to be my best self and to maximize my potential. I feel this urgency like there’s not time to waste. The time is now. I’m not on the planet forever and so I’ve got to do everything I can to make this time count. And that’s where the “hard on myself” comes in to play. I feel this tug of war sometimes where the responsibility of that is so great but it’s what I want too. I just figured you’d be able to relate and thought I’d take a chance putting it out there.

And then it came to me. The zinger I was searching for.

“There is a reason you are such a strong determined woman.. But with that is the ease of always holding high standards for yourself. Forget about perfection and focus on progress! You are making the choice that your very best isn’t good enough. Stop that!!” – John

Busted.

My first thought was, “Who in their right mind would make a choice that their best isn’t good enough?!” I thought of a little kid being told that, or feeling that. I would never want that for a kid or anybody!

So why I was I allowing that for myself?!

In truth, John’s comment also made me think of this AWESOME MadTV skit that is a “must watch”

It’s no surprise to me that my limiting belief is that I’m not good enough. This important “ah ha” came to me (along with sheets and sheets of tears) at a Tony Robbins conference when I was 22 during a board breaking exercise in front of 100 people, thank you very much.

But, to go one step further that my BEST isn’t good enough. Now that was sick and just plain wrong!

So today, I wanted to share that if you also think your very best isn’t good enough this is what I’ve learned:

  • Awareness. If you want to break any habit whether it’s smoking, biting your nails, whatever it is.. awareness is the first step. So in this case, be aware of the moments when you are convincing yourself, or repeating the same old thought pattern, that you’re very best isn’t good enough.
  • Correction. Once you are aware that you are literally hurting yourself with your own thoughts and actions, you want to correct the pattern immediately. Some people tie a rubber band to their wrist and anytime they are aware of the negative habit, they snap the band against their skin. Some would create an action to execute once the awareness hits – such as saying a certain phrase to counteract the negativity, or taking action in the same way.
  • Reward. Your subconscious wants to be rewarded for fixing an old pattern – it wants to see progress. So consider a reward that you could offer yourself if you correct the pattern a certain number of times or during the moment you realize that in a certain situation you normally would have self-sabotaged, but this time you didn’t.

The reality is that if you are trying your very best, of course it is good enough.

Here’s to being a little easier on ourselves, and still making the impact we came here to make.

xo

Amber

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