The Path of Progress

We've all heard the expression about "good" being the enemy of "great". It is a well intentioned concept that applies to becoming complacent with the status quo. In my observations of you, my Catacombs family, what I have found is a much greater tendency toward perfection than complacency. Today, I'd like to take a different perspective on that concept and propose that being perfect some of the time is the enemy of being pretty good all of the time. I can hear some of you asking now, "what is she talking about?" Or, "when has pretty good ever been good enough?" No, I'm not off my rocker. Let me lay it out for you and see if any of the following scenarios resonate with you.

  • I can't do pull-ups, muscle ups, double unders, (fill in the blank) yet, so I'm not going to go to CrossFit on those days.
  • I screwed up on my nutrition goals at lunch so I'm just going to ride it out and restart on Monday (even though today is only Tuesday).
  • I'm so slow at running; I'm going to avoid it at all costs. 
  • I can only make it to the gym twice this week so I'll just wait to come back until after my vacation a month from now. 
  • I'm feeling a little sore, rundown, stressed...I probably won't be able to get close to my old 1-rep max.

Everyone loves the idea of starting fresh with a nutrition or fitness goal and sticking with it for the long haul. Then, the Monday morning tornado hits or a kid gets sick or your boss dumps on you and it is all out the window by happy hour on Tuesday. As high achievers, we set our standards high and are often unwilling to compromise. There is nothing wrong with that until it prevents you from just doing what you can do day in and day out. The problem is that it sets us up for an "all or nothing" mentality rather than an "accommodate your failures and move on" mindset. We must stop giving up the fight and conceding to start over the second we face a barrier. Life is full of obstacles and I have yet to find a week where my well-laid plans weren't challenged by the forces of reality. Let go of the idea that everything must be perfect in order to progress.

Sometimes our desire to make progress is drowned out by our own voices of negativity. The voices in our head tell us that the best we can do right now is just not enough. If you really think about it, what you are really telling yourself is that you probably shouldn't try because there is a chance you will fail. I don't really like the sound of that. 

So yes, expect more from yourself. Give your best in every scenario. Then, let go of the failures and celebrate the successes. For this is the path of progress.