All of us pride ourselves on our different strengths: whether it being our impeccable work ethic, our ability to pick things up quickly, or an inherent artistic talent.
And when we build our pride or self-confidence on a particular strength, it becomes difficult to comprehend that it will not always remain as our strength if we don’t consistently work on it. “Hard work beats talent when talent works hard,” and sometimes we are led to think that if we are unable to give our 100% every day, are things really working out?
Don’t throw in the towel just yet.
This is the truth, and it can be your truth as well if you allow yourself to understand this: you will not be able to give 100% of yourself into every single day. You could, but you will lose yourself in the midst of bulldozing through stubbornly.
But what does it really mean to give 100% of ourselves?
It does not mean that not giving 100% is an excuse to do things half-heartedly. Instead, I believe that giving 100% of ourselves varies on a day-to-day basis.
There are some days where we get so pumped up with adrenaline and drive for our projects, that our 100% for it is 200% worth of effort.
There will be some days where we struggle to get out of bed or comprehend the tasks in front of us, that the only 100% we can muster is worth 50%.
Not being able to give 100% every day does not mean that we care less about doing our best, but it is an acknowledgment that there will be bad days, off days, and days where we struggle in our hustle. Your 100% or your very best does not always mean delivering a top performance. Rather, it is giving all you can give without compromising your health or hurting yourself.
Everyone’s ‘best’ is allowed to look different, because we all struggle with our own distinctive set of struggles and limitations.
Allow yourself the space to breathe, and be kind to yourself. As Daniell Koepke said, “There is quiet strength in being gentle with yourself.” Your mental health matters more than what anyone thinks of you or has to say about you or your heart. Be unafraid to take mental vacations regularly. You deserve to take the time to reclaim yourself and to keep your priorities in check.
You might feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you can’t seem to move past your struggles, but you won’t be stuck forever. Whenever you feel like quitting, remember that sometimes you have to go through the worst before you arrive at the best.
And no matter how much your effort is criticised or differs from others around you, remember that everything that you are able to give is not discounted; it is valid and valuable.