A TO Z CHALLENGE - X FOR XCELLENCE IN YOUR EFFORTS

#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and X for Xcellence in all your efforts

MY A-Z CHALLENGE - X FOR XCELLENCE IN YOUR EFFORTS

The next letter of my A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama) is X for Xcellence in all your efforts. The Dalai Lama cheated a bit with this one - but hey, no-one's perfect and if he can cheat then it's okay for me to go along for the ride and write about Xcellence and aiming for the best in everything you do.

PERFECTIONISM VS EXCELLENCE

I think the key point for this one is the difference between being your best and being a perfectionist. For most of my life I've aimed at perfection - when I failed to meet the standards of being perfect I'd be annoyed and disappointed at myself. It flowed over to others as well - if they were less than perfect I'd be let down and disillisioned by them not meeting the expectations I had for them.

Hitting Midlife brought with it some new discoveries for me - one of those revelations was that Perfectionism is not something to be aimed for, it's not the ultimate achievement, it's completely the opposite. Nobody can be perfect all the time (even being perfect most of the time is pretty exhausting!) You set yourself up for failure when you set goals that are pretty much unattainable - and the question becomes "Why do that to yourself?"

Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life.

BEING YOUR BEST "YOU"

Aiming a little lower and making your goal to be the best you can be in whatever you undertake makes so much more sense. Nobody likes someone who quits at the drop of a hat, or who only makes a half-hearted attempt at whatever they set their hand to. For me, giving 100% (110% if I'm really on the ball) is the least I can do when it comes to my work, to my family, to my friends, and to any commitments I make to others.

I want to be a person who people can rely on, but at the same time I don't want to set impossible standards that I'll ulitmately fail to reach. Aiming to do my best and to be happy with having invested myself wholeheartedly is something I can rest easy with. If I fail, it was for a reason and I can live with that. If I succeed or excel then that's the icing on the cake. What it boils down to is having given it my best shot.


WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you aim for excellence in what you do without having to be perfect in everything? Can people rely on you to give your best to whatever you take on? Is it too much to expect someone to be consistently excellent in their endeavours? Are we giving everything our best shot?

#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and X for Xcellence in all your efforts


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#AtoZChallenge - 2018 and I'm tackling the A to Zen of Life (via the Dalai Lama)

21 comments

  1. I think the bottom line is that nobody can be perfect ANY of the time Leanne! It's so freeing to know that even those (humans) I think might be perfect, are actually not, and even my "perfect" goals are still far less than perfection. Like you say, aiming to do the best I can is a better goal. I used to be much more of a perfectionist than I am these days. I think I'm a lot more realistic about myself and others, and happy to be so! xx

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  2. Nobody is perfect! I aim to do things well but also know my limitations and am far more realistic in my goals these days. X is a hard one!

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  3. There's no point in me doing something if I don't want to do my best. I don't strive to be perfect. That's too much stress. I do like that saying of perfection in imperfection. :-)
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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  4. I'm a reformed perfectionist. Certainly giving your best effort is important but you can't get bogged down in perfectionism. Done is better than perfect which I have to remind myself of from time to time when I start heading down the rabbit hole. Weekends In Maine

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  5. I've always placed high expectations on myself Leanne when in reality it would still be better than most. I no longer get so stressed if things are perfect as long as I know I've given my best. I'm glad you came up with a word play for X. I had to resort to Xtreme LOL:) Almost there!!!

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  6. Leanne I used to put unreal expectations of realism on myself. These days, especially in relation to my fitness I aim to be "the best I can be". I don't have to be perfect anymore and that's a huge weight off the shoulders. Perfectionism often used to stop me trying something. If I tried and wasn't perfect I was a failure.

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  7. You've hit the nail on the head when you say that there's a difference between perfectionism and being your most excellent self. This makes all the difference to how contented we feel about something doesn't it?

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  8. Loved this article. I don't believe in being perfect and driving others nuts! Incremental improvement is what I look for.

    On a different note, this article reminds me of a scene from Ladybird, where the mom says to her daughter in exasperation "I just want you to be the best version of you." and the daughter replies "What if this is the best version of me?"

    Seema Misra - #BlogchatterAtoZ participant, Artist, Writer, Wanderer, and Dreamer.
    X-tacy of travel: An Ode To Wanderlust

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  9. Bingo! Be the best you can and not what everyone else thinks you should be. perfection leads to a lot of disappointment - I know from my own experience the frustration it can lead to. I try to do only as much as I can and do it well and with a happy heart!

    X is for Xenial #atozchallenge

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  10. We're quite similar, Leanne. Recovering perfectionists walking the line, trying to recover from the insanity of the perfectionistic pursuit while still pursuing excellence.

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  11. What a great distinction between excellence and perfection! If you do everything ‘perfectly’ you will never grow. The only way to achieve excellence is to keep trying and learning. Wonderful post!

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  12. You're so right, Leanne. And I have been a perfectionist most of my life too. Everything I did had to be Xcellent or I wasn't happy. Well done on this X!

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  13. Who determines what "my best" and "perfect" is? I like to think that the two are pretty close together :-)
    Happy Friday!

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  14. I always laugh at the idea of perfect. What is it, exactly? Xcellence is a far better goal!

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  15. Hari OM
    I have on my fridge a magnet given me many years ago by a client; I try to live by it.
    "I expect excellence, and give only excellence" - and I add the moderator 'to the level of which I am capable today'. We all have rhythms in our life and what was of certain standard yersterday may be less or more today. But if we are doing all that we can in the now, it is all that can be expected. YAM xx

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  16. I think I've dropped my standards of excellence over the past 10 years or so. Now I'm more comfortable with myself and there's less people to please, the pressure is well and truly off.

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  17. Oh I've definitely improved in this area. I used to put way too much pressure on myself to be perfect when it just wasn't achievable. Now I'm satisfied with just giving my best effort.

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  18. Nice work on being able to reach perfection most of the time! Haha 😂
    But seriously, I do see where you're coming from - striving for excellence is a good thing, but being being unhappy unless you achieve perfection is not. Striking the right balance can be tricky though!

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  19. While I dream and strive for perfection; I am realistic, and keep my goals within my reach. I believe it is better to climb one step at a time, rather than many steps at one time.

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  20. With all of the quirks I have being perfect was never one of them. I do the best I can and don't stress.

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  21. Aiming for excellence is a good thing but when it crosses over into perfectionism it loses its excellence. I am always hard on myself and that is not a good thing. Excellence is doing our best and I hope I am learning that.
    We will feature this post on The Blogger's Pit stop
    Kathleen

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