“Do your best” was a value that was commonly brought up in our family growing up. Working hard at something that is core to my family and core to who I am today. There are a few reasons that “The Work is the Reward” is a key mantra in my life. I’ll go into the details of that mantra and the deeper meaning behind it in another newsletter.
Do your best! It seems fairly simple, but if you are someone prone to self-criticism, “do your best” can actually cause some issues. “Do your best” means doing your best with what you have on any given day. Your best today will be different than your best on another day.
Do your best does not mean comparing yourself (and beating yourself up) to the best you’ve ever been at something in your life. You may have different inputs in your life today that affect how much energy you have to put into a goal that maybe you previously excelled at.
I’ll give you a personal example. Doing my best right now in my training looks different than what it meant before I got pregnant and had Bradley. I was faster and had better endurance before I had Bradley simply because I do not have the support to put in the same amount of work. I know without a doubt that I will get that back with more time on the bike, but with our current life situation, no childcare due to the pandemic, and prioritizing my family’s safety over going to 1 or 2 races this year, doing my best on my rides looks different. (and YES! You will see me on a bunch of start lines full of gratitude next year as COVID-19 HOPEFULLY gets more under control So much I could say about this…). Doing my best has nothing to do with power numbers or Strava segments- those are outcomes. It’s my best effort for the day.
Doing my best on a given day is putting in an effort that I am proud of, not having the best outcome I’ve ever had. And sometimes that best effort is simply having the courage to show up. Other days? That best effort is being highly productive or fast or super focused.
Bottom line: give yourself credit for who you are today, make the most of it, and be proud of doing what you can with what you have. We all go through peaks and valleys in our lives- that is what makes life interesting and meaningful.
Doing your best is not the same as being the best. But sometimes the stars align and it can mean both!