Your best is always good enough

by - March 31, 2019

In a world driven by results, it is easy to get lost in whether you have reached a certain milestone or a particular figure. It can feel like it does not matter what effort or work we put in, if we missed the mark, we missed the mark. It can be all too easy to forget that our best is always good enough regardless of the result. 

I have been feeling the pressure recently to achieve a lot. Whilst I do believe I can, I feel nervous about not meeting expectations because it can be difficult and we all have off days. In my mind, a part of me feels that my best will not be good enough if I don’t achieve what I’m aiming for. That there will always have been more I could have done and so it doesn’t matter that I did my best. 

However, your best means doing all you can within your circumstances. Your best will not always feel like your best. But, doing your best does not mean you will always achieve the highest you are capable of achieving. It does not mean you cannot do better or will not do better in the future. It means doing all you can in your given situation and that is why it will always be enough. Because it will be all you could have done. It can feel like there was more you could have done in retrospect, having new knowledge now, but you cannot judge a past you based on the new knowledge you have now. Plus, you are not a machine. You cannot realistically be working all of the time or do everything and breaks are necessary. 

Feeling like your best is enough can often feel conditional on a result. If we do well, then we feel our best was enough and if we don’t, our best wasn’t enough. But that mentality is grounded in reaching a particular threshold. When we get caught up in goals, we often forget that rather than the result, it’s the journey that matters. Regardless of what happens, and even if we don’t achieve what we are aiming for,  we are taking so much more with us. We are taking away life experience and lessons that make us stronger people and help us grow.

Whether we fail at an objective or not, there are many routes and ways of getting to a destination. What can feel like a big deal now, likely is a stepping stone that a few years from now will not be as significant. Even if we do not end up down our planned path, it will provide us with different experiences and opportunities, which we would have otherwise never had. It can be hard to see this when we feel we have let ourselves down. When I missed by 2 marks an A grade I needed to do biology at A-Level, I was crushed. I knew there were worse situations to be in but I felt very disappointed in myself and that doing my best and putting in so much work hadn’t got me to where I wanted to be. Biology was a subject I loved and really wanted to study. Although I knew I’d done my best, I couldn’t shake off the idea that I simply just hadn’t been good enough. But, the reality was my best was enough, even in a situation where I felt like a failure. Even though it wasn’t what I wanted, it taught me a lot. It taught me how to react and pick myself up when something hadn’t gone the way I wanted it to. At the end of the day, that is so much more of a valuable life lesson than achieving a higher grade. I ended up doing Politics instead (a subject I would have never otherwise considered) and honestly, it was a much better match for me and I am a lot more skilled at writing essays than answering science questions and doing experiments. Not achieving what you set out to can teach you a lesson or redirect you down a route you never even realised you might enjoy. 

In my eyes, you can never regret working hard and doing all you can. It removes the possibility of what if. It stops you thinking about what could have happened if you had done all you were capable of in the moment.  

Your best will and is always enough, even if the result is not what you intended. 💓

failure is redirection quote

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