Just last night I was coaching a client who experiences pretty high levels of stress, some pretty severe back pain and with a bunch of anxiety thrown in every now and again. Have you ever been down this road yourself? I know I have. And I still do occasionally, until I remind myself of what I am about to share with you now.
In fact, as I recently posted on Facebook, it is ok to be ok with ok. And once again… It is ok to be ok with ok.
I just wanted to leave that sit with you awhile. In the crazy world we live in, there are sometimes some really unrealistic expectations that we perform at 110% every minute of the day. We see that motivational expert or highly successful person who is on stage or on TV and ramping things up to 120% and we think, ‘If only I could be like that’. What they don’t show you is the down time that these people need either side of the ‘big performance’ so they can actually sustain the 120% when the ‘show’ is on. Or the bit where they collapse in a heap because they have not allowed their body to rest.
It is impossible to sustain 100% of work output without rest or downtime. The body and mind must have adequate rest to perform at their optimum. And sometimes our body is just telling us – we might not know why – that we need to take it easy for a bit. That might be an hour, a day, a week, or even a month. And at these times, as much as we would love to be performing at an outstanding or excellent or amazing level; we might need to pull back on our expectations and aim for pretty good.
Now I am not saying don’t aim big. Just know that if you are aiming big, you have to build big things, and that takes time and energy. And to sustain the effort it takes to achieve the big stuff, you will need to have some downtime. Otherwise you will collapse over the finish line and maybe not have it in you to get up and enjoy the celebratory party.
Will I get sacked from the personal development space if I mention 80% and not 100%?
I actually had a client of mine (a senior executive) recently tell me that one thing I said to him years ago saved his health and has served him well ever since. I said to him to be ok with 80%. At the time he was seriously burning the midnight oil at work; at the same time as trying to work on some relationship challenges, and still have time and energy for his children. As much as he would have liked to have put 100% into his work, something had to give. And it was by maintaining 80% at work (which still made him exceptionally productive) that he was able to sustain and effectively address other things in his life.
I also remember a time in the Army when we were on this 6-week course and working 16+ hour days. It sucked. So I made the conscious decision that I would be totally ok with over 70% grades in all the daily assessments. As opposed to my buddy who was aiming for 100% every day. It got to a time where he just burnt out to the point where his final output one day was 0%.
What are you aiming for? Are you aiming to be PERFECT or are you more than happy with being GREAT? Sometimes there is even just too much stuff showing up in your life to be great. At these times it might be ok to be ‘getting by’. Again, this is not where you want to be all the time. It is temporary. We need resistance to grow. But too much resistance for too long a period and we snap.
My Final Words
Don’t beat yourself up if sometimes you are not in the top percentile. Be ok with ok.
To last over the long haul, you might need to recalibrate your expectations and aim for 80% daily achievement.
Get clear on WHY you are pushing yourself so hard. Anything to the extreme (in my coaching experience) suggests that there is a little subconscious voice inside your head, telling you that you must do, be or have a particular thing to be deemed ‘worthy’. Become aware of what is driving you. It might be for the wrong reasons. And if you ever need help dealing with your extremes, you know where to find me.
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