“Just do your best.”
There’s nothing that gives me anxiety quite in the way that little phrase does.
Just my best, huh? Is that all?
When was the last time you really did the absolute best job you could on anything?
Maybe I’m just a big slacker, but I can’t think of a single occasion.
Did I do my best in school? Absolutely not. I BS'd my way through tests, speeches, papers, and presentations most of the time.
Do I do my best as a mom? No. I could do so much better.
Did I do my best in athletics? No; I could have trained so much more. Same with musical instruments - I never, ever practiced, so no way was I anything close to my best.
But what is my best? Using all my free time to practice day and night? For those of us who aren’t aspiring olympians, that just doesn’t make sense.
I tend to think in extremes. I can always find a way to do more and do better. And certainly iif I am watching Netflix, eating ice cream, or lying on the couch scrolling FB - and I do plenty of those things - then I am definitely NOT doing my best. Leisure and “my best” (whatever that is) feel mutually exclusive. Which is why I don't think "do your best" is always a helpful exhortation. It's certainly confusing for anyone trying to understand balance. Ahem.
If the idea of *just* doing your best creates more pressure, paralysis, or exhaustion than freedom and motivation for you, here are some new phrases to try:
Just get it done.
Just try something.
Just do what you can with what you have right now.
Or here’s a really radical one: Just have fun.
Wanna try a few of these with me this week? I’ll do my best. 😆