There is nothing at all at which I am the best; I’m not the smartest, not the best critical thinker, not the most patient, which has me questioning whether I am a failure. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that I don’t throw myself in feet first and bring all my effort to every endeavour, but no matter how hard I try I don’t ever meet those lofty expectations of perfectionism that I set myself. But do you know what? I think I’m finally OK with it.
It reminded me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s article in November’s edition of Red. Discussing a childhood memory of desperately wanting to win best in show at her local country fair, she said:
“I’m not the best, but I am the most.”
After entering two thirds of the submissions into said country fair Elizabeth (unsurprisingly) didn’t win best in show, but she did win most in show. She didn’t win but she certainly tried. This has resonated with me and has become a somewhat life-affirming mantra by which I measure myself. I don’t have to beat myself up over the perfectionist standards set for me. As long as I am learning, evolving and putting my all into my life I can hold my head up and be proud.
I still may not be perfect but I’ll get as close as I can. Already I’m more confident, lacking my fear of failure and genuinely happier. Give it a go, you might be surprised at what you find.