I had to have this conversation with myself not too long ago. I noticed I had gotten into a bad habit of letting the work I was doing be “good enough.”
The truth is, I was being lazy. I was busy and not managing my time very well. I wasn’t bringing my best to the work, and I was letting “good enough” become the acceptable norm.
At some point, good enough is not good enough. Not if you want to excel at what you do.
And who doesn’t want that?!?
The last thing I want is to become comfortable with my own mediocrity. And yet, that is exactly what was happening.
As my old business coach says, “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”
Which means, when I allow myself to be mediocre in one area of my life, I’m allowing it somewhere else too. And more likely than not, I’m letting “good enough” be good enough in the very areas where I want to be excellent.
Here’s what I mean.
I was bringing my “good enough” game to my acting class. “It’s just class.” “I’m busy this week.” “I’ll do better next time…”
These excuses were stopping me from bringing my A-Game to class.
And yet, being a great actor is something that’s important to me. If I’m not bringing my best work to class, why would I believe me when I tell myself “I would work harder on an audition.” “If I had the part, I would do great!”
Waiting for an outside circumstance to change before we will has the process of change backwards.
When we change, the circumstances follow suit.
If “how you do anything is how you do everything,” is true, then to my mind, who you’re being (as opposed to what you’re doing, is the place to begin.
If I want to achieve a level of excellence in my life, who do I need to BE to make that happen? I can BE my best self no matter what the circumstances are. I don’t need to wait for the world to change to bring my A-Game.
There is one caveat here. If you’re stuck in perfectionism, as a sneaky and very cunning form of procrastination, “good enough” can be your friend. In some cases, you just need to begin, to get it out there, so that you can improve as you go.
Think about it this way – if you’re “waiting to get it perfect” before taking action, shake yourself out of that paralysis with “good enough.”
If you’re taking action that isn’t your best work, then push yourself to do your best. Make sense?
I needed a reminder of this in my own life, so I’m hoping it is a timely nudge for you as well.
I invite you to BE the best of who you are this week. I’m committed to bringing a level of excellence to everything I do this week (especially the annoying things like washing dishes and making the bed…I will wash these dishes with excellence!!!)
What do you commit to being this week? Let me know in the comments below!
(The cartoon drawing is by the brilliant + irreverant Hugh MacLeod, Author of “Evil Plans: Having Fun On The Road To World Domination“).