Growing up I wanted to be the best at everything I did. My best wasn’t good enough for me. I had to be “the” best or I didn’t really see much point in trying. Now it’s possible that those two things are the same, your best and “the” best. If you are a gold medalist at the Olympics, they are most likely a match. But in every day life, competing for that kind of glory has never served me well. It tends to suck the joy out of anything I am doing. So in recent weeks, when I noticed I was seeking recognition for something other than my best effort, I had to do a little soul searching.
I taught a yoga class a week ago, and some very high level managers took my class for the first time. I teach at a studio where we thrive on feedback. I genuinely look forward to receiving it, but I had a moment of wanting these top managers to come out of class and rave “that was THE BEST hot yoga class we have ever taken.” No ego involved there, right? And for a brief second (okay, probably more like a brief three minutes) anything less than that just wasn’t going to be good enough for me. I am so glad that I was able to move beyond that sentiment to welcome in both the positive feedback I received along with the very constructive suggestions that I have already implemented into my classes.
That experience reminded me very clearly what is most important: simply being the best version of me. Competing for first place is awesome in an actual competition, but teaching and/or practicing yoga are about as far as you can get from a race to be number one. It always feels good to be told that you rock at what you are doing or that a posture you have been working on is improving. But this is recognition of your personal growth, not a comparison to someone else’s. There is no competition to be the best version of you, to grow into the person you want to be. You are the only one who can do that. And I know I can’t get there if I’m busy competing.
I spent some time this past week focusing on what my best is, and shifting my actions accordingly. I encourage you to do the same. Remember, no one else can define what this means for you, and you don’t have to compete with anyone to wear the gold medal for Best Version of You. That one is automatically yours when you choose to embrace this version of you.
And by the way, this picture of me in Reverse Warrior? I had trouble sharing it because there are some imperfections in my posture. It’s definitely not the best version of this pose. But in that moment, it was my best. And guess what? That’s good enough for me. Gold medal Best Version of Me. . . polishing you off and wearing you right now!