Focus on giving your best

How high are your standards? People who are seeking personal growth generally have high ones...  if you are a Virgo, like me, you likely come by it honestly to expect almost near perfection in everything you do. That is not necessarily a bad thing, until you can't feel proud of yourself or recognize how far you have come. 

As evolving humans, we can only do as much as we can do, with what we have. As the saying goes, "you don't know, what you don't know" so the idea of simply giving your best allows you the freedom (and peace) or knowing you have done all you can, with what you know at the time. Your best! 

I began applying this principle while pursuing my career in sales. I was so focused on getting recognition as I was simply not confident in who I was... that I wasn't "good enough" and getting recognition would prove to the world that I was significant, and valuable.

What I was really trying to do was feel worthy by gaining others praise, and in hindsight, well, we all know... that is a losing battle. No matter how many awards I received, I was left feeling like I needed to do more... especially since the "high" or recognition is short lived...  unless its used as a tool to measure how far you have come, and to see your growth through the accomplishment.  

Society has placed almost impossible standards upon us to be it all. The perfect weight, career, home, organization, marriage, children... OMG... How can one live up to that? Here is a trick I learned in my evolution as a human being... just give your best. It is not everyone elses standard that matters, it is only your own that does.  

With the simple idea of "giving your very best' in any given situation, or at any given time, you can forgive yourself when you need to because no one can do more than their best- right?  

This strategy can be applied to parenting as well. I recall times my kids felt extreme disappointment when they didn't make the top level team they wanted to, or didn't get first place in a sport or activity... it's so hard not being able to "fix" it for our little humans.

As they grew, I noticed that they began to measure their worth based on their accomplishments. I want more for them than that. If they have to gain anothers approval to feel like a success, then they are destined to never feel good about themselves long term. I changed my strategy as I grew as a Parent. I tried to teach them it is your own standard that matters, and if you gave your best, then you can feel good about what you did no matter what the outcome. 

The big question after a test that they didn't get a good mark on, a B side qualifying finish on a sports team, or a less than favorable finish at a dance competition was always... did you give your best? If they said yes, (sometimes with tears in their eyes) then my response was always the same. "well then you can be very proud of yourself, and I am so proud of you too." The odd occasion the answer was "not really"... and another valuable lesson was learned. They would arrive at their own conclusion that next time, they would give their best (practice or study more) so they could feel proud of their effort... and that they rose to the occasion by bringing their best. 

If you really think about it, how can we ever expect anything more of ourselves than the best we have? Focus on giving your best... that is enough... YOU are enough. 

Much love, Corliss