Do the best you can do

My cleaning lady, Maria, has a catchphrase: “I do my best.” Anytime we ask her to do something she says yes, and, “I do my best.” And she really does.

The cleaning lady who shows up and does her very best is always going to be better than any other cleaning lady who is perhaps quicker, or more thorough, or who calls in sick half the time.

Who’s the best cleaning lady? The one who shows up.

Most of the time, doing your best is way more important than being the best

Same goes for every other job out there. Do the best you can do. Thanks to social media, it’s very easy to get imposter syndrome. That someone who does the same job you do--or want to do--writer, artist, interior decorator, party planner, charity volunteer--is better at it than you. Because she has more followers. Because she has been doing it longer than you. Because she has formal training, great testimonials, a circle of influential friends, more clients… the list goes on and on.

But often, you can get the work that you think your toughest competitor should get, because you do your best. Because you show up. Be the first to reply to that job posting, the first to reply to the call out for volunteers, stay an extra ten minutes when you really want to leave so you can finish the project today, rather than tomorrow morning. Do the best you can do.

Most of the time, doing your best is way more important than being the best.