While striving to be the best of anything can be deeply and strongly motivating, wanting to settle for nothing less than perfection has its downfalls; namely, it is virtually impossible to achieve. The underachiever's mantra is, "I'll never be perfect so why bother trying?" While the overachiever runs on, "This time it'll be absolutely perfect, I just know it!" The truth is, anytime we swing too far to one extreme or another we end up out of balance. So how can we maintain our desire to achieve bigger and better things each day while remaining stable and grounded in reality, so that we are neither giving up nor overdoing it?
One way to keep your feet on the ground is to imagine you are your own boss. (In fact, if you are your own boss, kudos! Many of us still only dream of this.) Would you want to work for someone who neither cared about the quality of your work nor the effect you have on others?
Conversely, would you want to work for someone who cared so much they couldn't let you enjoy a weekend, time with family, or vacations?
Would you want to work for a slacker or a tyrant? Many of us loudly shout, "NO!" In our hearts, we want to be treated respectfully, thoughtfully and with dignity and maturity. We want to work hard and be paid fairly, to be acknowledged for a job well done and to be appreciated. We want our job and life balanced so we are able to leave work behind when reading to our children, cooking with our partners and laughing with our friends and family.
Treating others the way we would want to be treated has been drilled into our psyches since kindergarten; but treating OURSELVES the way we would want to be treated goes even further. Having compassion for yourself, so that you neither sabotage nor abuse yourself in wanting perfection, means pushing yourself in a healthy way but allowing yourself to have down time and periods of less productivity as well.
Working for yourself, emotionally, means doing your best and never giving up, but allowing yourself time and space to be human.