There was a time when I could never have taken this quote seriously.
You see I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve hid behind my straight A’s in school, my top business awards as an employee, and the recognition and accolades I fought for as I dove head first into my entrepreneurial adventures. They were my masks, my shield.
What’s wrong with all of that, some might ask? The pursuit of excellence is a good thing, right? Aren’t hard work and dedication admirable traits? Yes, and no.
I do believe following one’s passion/curiosity and making a difference in the world are certainly high up on the list of things that make a meaningful and happy life. But, when I’m coming from a place of lack instead of a place of love and when I’m getting so caught up in the end results that I totally miss out on the journey, that’s a recipe for burnout and a life unfulfilled in my experience.
So, what is the difference between perfection and excellence?
It’s quite subtle I’ve found, but they feel very different. Perfect feels constrictive, judgmental, painful (especially when the mark is missed), and is fueled by feelings of lack, of wanting to be accepted and liked, of wanting to please and wanting to control.
Excellence, on the other hand, feels warm, honourable, accepting, and is fueled by feelings of compassion and pure intentions of being in service and becoming a little bit of a better version of myself each day. When I come up a bit short of excellence, I still win. When I strive for perfect, I’m just never quite good enough.
As I’ve gently come to acceptance my humanness, my imperfection, I’ve come to believe this being human is excellence embodied!
Can you relate?
With great warmth