Have you felt pressured in your life to be the best? The best daughter or son? The best friend? The best employee? The best husband or wife? The best artist, writer, singer, or musician? The best cook? The best housekeeper? The best athlete?
I’ve been thinking about all the shows I’ve been watching lately that are focused on someone being named the ‘best.’ At end October I watched the “Best Halloween Baking Championship.” And this week I’ve been binge watching Project Runway, a show that pits creative designers against each other until one is named the ‘best.’
Does It Seem Like Life Is Just One Big Competition?
And who decides if you, or I, are the ‘best?’ And what does it mean? Does it actually mean anything?
Especially when you consider creativity, how is it even possible that someone can be ‘better’ than someone else. If you have ever found yourself wandering through an art museum, then you know what I mean. You may stand adoringly in front of one painting for minutes and rush past another the next.
The ‘best’ it seems is highly subjective once you’ve left school and measured tests behind.
So, if this idea of being the ‘best’ is difficult in terms of what you do, imagine what it means in terms of who you are. When it comes to who you are, being the ‘best’ may mean denying the uniqueness that makes you, well, YOU.
Recognition and validation are wonderful things to receive, as long as you don’t really need them. What I mean is that your sense of self and your self-worth can be easily diminished if you rely on how others view who you are and what you have to offer.
You didn’t come into this world to be measured against some invisible scale of ‘enough-ness!’
So, can you be motivated and strive for your goals and let go of this idea of being the ‘best?’ I highly recommend it and here are three reasons it’s OK not to be the ‘best:’
1. If you struggle with perfectionism, then you also struggle with forever feeling that you are not good enough. And feeling not good enough robs you of the ability to enjoy the moment. You can literally miss being present to the precious moments of your own life if you are overwhelmed with the pressure to excel. That pressure takes you out of the present moment and into a future that has not yet happened. Letting go of the need to be the ‘best’ gives you back those precious moments just to be you, wherever you are at in this moment. And that feels good!
2. If making a mistake leaves you feeling shamed or less than another, then you have forgotten what it means to be human. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. Life is a process of trial and error. Embracing that process and embracing your mistakes is incredibly liberating. If you can do that then you have the foundations of someone who knows the meaning of self-worth. And you get to laugh at yourself in the process. So, ask for help. Learn. Grow. Enjoy this complex experience called life; and know you have a place in it that is uniquely yours.
3. Think about ‘giving your best’ rather than ‘being the best.’ Giving your best means you bring all that you are to your life – whether at work, at home or at play with your friends. Your talents and gifts shine when you give your best and you feel a real sense of satisfaction in giving all you can in the moment. Giving your best keeps you fully present and that is one of the keys to happiness. Not all days will be great, but some will be. Some won’t be. But that is just how life works.
Always remember that you are an unrepeatable expression of Divine Love and Light. You are just the right amount of ‘enough.’ And together you, and I, form threads in a tapestry of diversity that is the highest form of art.