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Corage: Doing the Best I Can

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Sometimes our best laid plans go to waste, but as long as we are doing the best we can then we are still doing good.

By Sally Eames

I had grand plans for February.

The first week was amazing. I had my first ever “company retreat,” during which I got very clear around where I wanted to take my business over the coming year and how I wanted to go about doing that. I assisted at a CTI workshop led by a pair of extraordinary coaches and human beings and came out of it recharged as a coach and back in my body as a human. I had a great meeting with a new ally about planning an awesome event to help people find their footing. I worked with clients in several powerful and active coaching sessions.

And then I caught a cold.

I spent an entire weekend in bed, plus several days before and after it. This cold wiped me out like an illness hadn’t done in years. I dropped the ball on several projects — my monthly newsletter, posting on the blog, a class I’m taking — it really messed up my productivity.

Yet somehow I managed to take on a new client. I was able to give a client who was completing this phase of coaching a happy, solid sendoff. And I taught a class that moved the participants to consider their lives in powerful and unexpected ways.

I’m not sure I was doing the best work in those moments but I know I did the best work I could under the circumstances.

The quotation I used for this week’s Tuesday meme has long been one of my favorites. When I was working at the Last Corporate Job, it was taped to the wall near my monitor. I often looked up at it while working, and each time I did, it gave me a moment of relief. Because it reminded me to cut myself some slack.

Being the highly-driven, goal-oriented person I am, Theodore Roosevelt’s statement is a wonderful reminder that the total success of any given project is not entirely up to me. I cannot expect that everything will go absolutely perfectly every single time. Circumstances may alter, people may not buy in, I might come down with a horrible cold. I can make plans, but sometimes I’m not going to be capable of doing my very best work.

If I am doing the best I can, however, in that moment, I can be satisfied and proud of what I’ve done. I’m showing up to do the work, and committing to getting it done somehow, even if it’s not perfect. And that’s what matters.

Where do you need to celebrate the fact that you’re doing the best you can under the circumstances?

Where in your life could you cut yourself a little slack?

What have you achieved recently that deserves a pat on the back and maybe a medal?