Sometimes a B- is better than an A+

Raise your hand if you’re a perfectionist. I think most of us fall somewhere on the perfectionist spectrum. Some of us have extreme cases, and others are on the more mild end of the scale. Sometimes we want to be perfect because we want other people to see us a certain way, and other times we are just attempting to live up to our own standards.

There is nothing wrong with pushing ourselves to become better. In fact, that is essential to our progression and evolution as humans. But it might shock you to hear that it can also be counterproductive. Sometimes what we envision as our best is unattainable yet we keep struggling for it. It is sort of like a Chinese finger trap; the harder you try, the harder it gets.

Other times our “best” is attainable, but the cost is exceptionally high, like paying like paying $6,000 for a pair of shoes you really really love. I don’t know about you, but to me, there are no shoes worth six thousand dollars, not even if they have rocket boosters attached. And yet some of us try to scrimp and save and sell our most prized possessions for those shoes because the only things we can think about is how good they will look. Have I lost anyone with this analogy? Can anyone relate? We get so focused on what we want that we don’t even consider the cost.

In real life out perfectionism costs our health, our relationships, our identities, our time, etc., and what do we gain? Is it worth the cost?

I was sitting in therapy the other day talking about how stressed I was about some upcoming work events. It felt at that moment like my life hinged on being able to blow the participants away with the incredible experience I was going to give them. The success or failure of those events was going to determine my value as a coach, my earning potential, and so much more. As I sat there explaining this and then continuing on to explain all of the other emotionally exhausting things that were happening, I realized a couple of things. Number one, that the cost was too high to invest the time and energy needed to create an A+ event and number two, even my B- is still worth the price of admission.

Creating an A+ experience would have meant taking F somewhere else in my life. There might be times in life where the cost of an A+ is high and still worth it. It is just not today. Today I am getting solid Bs across the board; housekeeping, dinner prep, homework, best friending, writing, business building, etc., and you know what, I am okay with it.

With all of the things happening in my life right now, a B- is the best I can do. I am not a procrastinator. I am not lazy (most of the time), and I am not a superhuman (though I do think I am a super human). I am riding the waves. There will be moments when my best resembles an A+, but when it doesn’t, I am going to honor myself and my family by staying present and by not getting distracted by every $6,000 pair of shoes that catch my eye.

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