The Important Difference Between Trying Your Best & Trying to Be Perfect
Whether you’re creating a presentation, writing a cover letter or working on the next great American novel, if you’re serious about what you’re doing, you’re going to give the project your very best shot.
That’s great. If you make doing your best your modus operandi, you are setting a high bar for yourself and your work. It shows a strong degree of self respect and respect for the people you share your work with.
Learning to be satisfied with your best
Sometimes while striving for our best, we cross a blurry line and start striving for perfection and then instead of moving forward and feeling satisfied with our results, we get stuck and dissatisfied and we begin to question whether or not we are even good enough to be doing this thing in the first place.
Your best is certainly something you can achieve. Perfection is not because no matter how good something is, it’s never quite perfect. A little more attention here, a slight change there, just a few more hours of work then, and maybe I’ll get there you think. But you can’t.
At some point you have to realize that you have done your best and striving to wring that last bit more out of yourself is keeping you from moving on. If you’re ever going to get anything done you need to have an end date in sight. The search for perfection keeps moving that end date forward.
The unrealistically high bar of perfection
When you focus on doing your best you are setting yourself up against yourself. When you focus on trying to be perfect, you’re creating unrealistic expectations for yourself.
If you’ve done your best, you’ve succeeded. If you can’t reach unrealistic goals of perfection you’ve failed. Demanding perfection from yourself, brings the beast that lives in the fear of failure to life.
The key to moving forward and getting on with things isn’t trying to create perfection. It’s the effort to always improve. To raise the bar on your best with each outing.
By striving for improvement you set yourself up for sustained and continual success.