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Do your best

I started living by this sentiment after reading The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. I had previously interpreted “do your best” as “be the best” and I think that’s something a lot of us do. However, being the best at something and doing your best are two phrases that should not be confused. In The Four Agreements, Ruiz poses the statement:
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”
Ruiz is deflecting our egotistical interpretations that the statement “do you best” means to be the best. His statement alternates our perspective towards an inner realisation and better understanding of oneself. To put it simply, all he is suggesting is: do the best of your own ability. I struggled with this for a long time, as I would often forget that my abilities could differ from day to day. I would reflect on previous days wondering why I couldn’t be as productive and successful as I was then. But, since incorporating this new understanding of what it means to do your best, I found I can allow myself more praise and put less pressure on myself to do better than my body and mind will let me.
This mind-set also led me to an acceptance of oneself. I don’t have to explain myself or declare my victories, I can simply just be. I can be anxious, I can be elated, I can be angry and all of those things are okay as long as I am simultaneously doing my best. I am not okay today but I am trying and that’s all that matters.
Be without the pressure to do – Emily x

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