It seems like, from the moment we are born, there is this constant pressure to be the best. From baby crawling contests to shows like Toddlers in Tiaras, it is ingrained into us that second best just won't do.
So where does that leave us when it comes to every-day life? Is it really fair to apply that same standard to every aspect of our lives? And if not, how do we overcome years of being told to "go hard or go home"? Where do we draw the line?
While striving to be the best in all that you do can be an incredibly positive characteristic, it can also have a negative effect. Someone who is constantly obsessed with being the best can easily lose sight of finding enjoyment in the moment and become overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.
Dr. Margaret Jordan, PhD, a clinical psychologist, states, "It's true that motivation to do well is important in achieving a good life, but the problem comes in when there's no such thing as good enough." She goes on to explain that the problem with wanting to constantly be the best is that we are human beings and there will always be some fault in our actions.
In a sense, living with a mentality where you either have to be the absolute best at something or not even bother trying is setting yourself up for disappointment. There will never be a point in time when you will see yourself as good enough, content, or satisfied because the reality is that true perfection is impossible to attain.
Whether we're talking about your career, your family or your fitness goals, the key to true happiness lies not in being the best but in giving your best. Let me elaborate.
When you give your all to something, you can take pride in the fact that you "left it all out on the field" so to speak. We are all given different talents and strengths. When we take these strengths and incorporate them into our lives; that is where true success is attained.
On the flip side, if we have certain goals that are difficult to achieve because they may not lie within our strengths, we should take this opportunity to learn something new. Don't be afraid to ask for help either. Maybe you are intimidated by the weights at the gym. Work with a personal trainer to learn how to use them safely and effectively. Maybe you are struggling with formulas on an Excel spreadsheet. Ask a colleague for some tips. Utilize your resources. Network. Go above and beyond.
At the end of the day, what is important is being able to say you did your very best. Some days your very best is going to be extraordinary, while other days...not so much.
So tell me, are you the type of person who has a "go hard or go home" mentality? Do you feel that if you can't be number one there is just no point in trying at all? What did you take away from this article? Let's continue the discussion in the comments below.