When businesses, professional endeavors or even personal pursuits aren’t going as intended- or perhaps aren’t going anywhere- the easy default is to give up, but give yourself comfort by saying that you have done your best.
Almost without exception, this is a bunch of crap. That phrase- doing my best- amounts to weasel words at best. Usually, it’s like pulling the rip cord on trying.
When an obstacle is in front of you, what does doing your best mean?
Maybe you tried or maybe you barely tried. But chances are, you didn’t do your best. You didn’t reach out to every person in your network. You didn’t go to the lengths where not a single stone had been left unturned. You hadn’t gone down every potential path. You didn’t give 100%.
People often claim to have done their best. I hear it in regards to entrepreneurs working through sticky business situations, friends struggling with diets and all kinds of individuals trying to reach goals that say that they have given “their best” when, in actuality, they just have put forth a decent effort at best.
If you have an exercise goal, are you really pushing your strength and cardio to the limit? Do you do that last push-up until you collapse on the floor? Or does your head stop you before your body really does?
If you have a business goal, have you really used every possible resource available?
If you have a problem, have you really asked everyone that you have access to for help?
That extra bit of effort between good and your all is what will lead you to progress.
Be in tune with what it means to do your best. Fitness guru Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest” and “if you do your best, it is always enough”. But you need to legitimately give your best for that to be true. Don’t stop yourself short when you can really get to the next level.