Growing up the message I received over and over was to never settle for good enough. On the surface this sounds like excellent advice. Strive for the best that you can be. Do your best always. If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time, not half way. Even reading this now I can feel my head nodding in agreement- YES! Be the best, do the best, don’t settle for less!
The problem with this that I’ve faced over the years is coming to a point in my life where I started to feel that nothing I did was ever good enough because I was sure I could do better. I was sure I wasn’t giving it my all or wasn’t doing my best. Surely I’m capable of more.
The next step was paralyzation. Not doing anything. Knowing I couldn’t do “it” right the first time, so not doing anything out of fear of failure. This has led to so many missed opportunities over the years. Numerous times of feeling inadequate and less than because I knew I couldn’t excel in something out of the gate so I didn’t even try.
I don’t wallow in any of this or blame anyone or anything.
Life is about learning, growing, and becoming the best person that we can be in the moment.
I write this post because I know I’m not alone in these feelings of seeing “good enough” as somehow being a bad thing. That if not striving for perfection, for the best, then somehow it’s settling for less than. But what I’m beginning to realize is that this is not always the case.
Everyone has to start somewhere. And sometimes that start is messy, ugly, full of mistakes, far from perfect…but the starting is what makes it a success.
A start, no matter what how wrought with failure it may be when compared to the ideal, that start is perfection. That start is good enough and in that moment good enough is excelling!
I’ve known this for awhile but wasn’t sure how to apply it. For years if I wasn’t naturally good at something I’d just move onto the next thing until I found something I did well. That worked fine for awhile, but then I wanted to do bigger goals. But was afraid to do them. I couldn’t figure out how to be FABULOUS right from the start, so I never started.
I found my answer in a place I hadn’t anticipated. I decided to train for a marathon (26.2 miles). I had no physical base for this. At the time I was basically a coach potato. It was a big, scary goal, but I wanted it bad. So I found a coach to help me every step of the way. And I did a little bit every day. Some days not. Some days were a disaster with me barely being able to run/walk/crawl a mile. I cried. I was slow…really slow. I had no clue what the heck I got myself into. But each day, in one way or another, I showed up. I did something. I read information. I bought new shoes. I learned to eat better. Sleep more. Trained myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I was done. I slowly became an athlete. Something that I was not a natural at. Something I had never seen myself as. And yet, because I chose to start and settle for good enough each day, at the end of 8 months I was able to run a full, 26.2 mile marathon!
I don’t tell you this story to impress you, but rather to illustrate how any of us, when we choose to show up, be imperfect, but keep moving forward can reach our goals. Some of them really big goals. Settling for good enough can bring you to outstanding, BIG success!
We don’t have to be perfect to be successful, but we do have to show up each day.
This week I challenge you and me to embrace good enough. To see the success in starting. To show up each day and take an action, no matter how small, toward something that is important to you. Little actions = Big results!