Thursday, August 22, 2013

When Your Best Isn't Good Enough

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I try to do my very best when I do things.  There is just a great feeling when you spend the day outside in the yard, cutting the grass, pulling weeds, edging the driveway and walks, trimming back the bushes.  I love to step back and look at the yard after a day like that.  Just a great feeling.

I also strive to do a great job with most everything I do, including my job.  The Job is important.  It takes care of my family, and my future.  So I give it my best.

Typically your best is acceptable, and appreciated.  However, what happens when you are giving your best, doing your best, your honest best, and it still isn’t good enough?

I have worked for a company for the last four and a half years, almost five years.  I am on time, and giving my best.  However, my supervisors would nit pick everything.  They would always, and this is no exaggeration, every time I had an interaction with my supervisors, there was something I wasn’t doing right.
One day I was really frustrated with my situation. I asked myself this question, “What do you do when your best isn’t good enough?”

I couldn’t answer the question.  I am not a quitter.  I reached inside myself for more.  I tried to find ways to cover the growing demands.  Yet at the end I would find myself wondering what to do, my best just wasn’t good enough.

I’d go back and look for inspirational stories about people who overcame obsticals, who were able to succeed at achieving their dreams.  I heard about folks who just didn’t give up, or wouldn’t give in, or refused to back down.

I’d go in and work at my job some more, putting in more hours, working to motivate my people, try and do everything my supervisors were telling me to do, and again, my best wasn’t good enough.
I was stressing out.  I realized I wasn’t the boss.  My customers had complaints, my crew was never happy with their schedules and work hours, my managers tried, but ultimately I had to meet the deadlines, and the buck stopped with me.  My supervisors kept adding things to my long list of responsibilities.  Everyone else was my boss, and I was not in control of my life, or my situation.  It didn’t matter how I tried to be more positive, more energetic, it wasn’t enough. 

I was stressed.  I was frustrated. I was unhappy.  Life was not good.  I was miserable.  I felt overwhelmed and trapped.  I stopped trying to do the things I liked in an effort to make things better with a situation at work.  I reached a crisis in my life.  All I was doing was working, trying to improve the job situation.  As my readers know, I stopped blogging, I stopped writing, I stopped doing everything I enjoyed doing.  My family life suffered, my marriage suffered, my kids had a very grumpy dad, and they didn’t want to do things with me.  I was spiraling downward.

I stopped and asked myself again, “What do you do when your best just isn’t good enough?”

Find some place else that will appreciate your best.  If my best isn’t good enough, then it is time to move on.
I’ve been blogging about time management, about motivational ideas, about improving your life and your outlook.  Many of these posts have been for me.

So I spent a long time looking for something else, and with the poor economy it has been a struggle.  But I kept at it.  It paid off.  I found a new job.  I gave my two-week notice, and continued to do my best during those two weeks, even if it was lost on my supervision, my own code of ethics wouldn’t let me do any less.
The payoff came on the 31st of July.  I was in bed by 10 PM, not up until 3 am doing inventory at the old job.  I was able to get out of bed at 6:30 in the morning of the 1st of August, and go to my new job rested, and ready to work.

My new boss is more of a partner and we are working together, he listens to my ideas, some are implemented, my advice is sought and used.  Things are much better now.  Not perfect, still have long hours and such, but a huge improvement.  I am smiling a lot more now, and my energy levels are coming back up to where they used to be.

My family and friends have noticed the difference.  People have commented on how much better I look.  I feel great.  My energy levels are bouncing back.  I even feel good enough to return to the blogging sphere and begin again.  Over time I should be able to juggle things in life again.  I am still careful, but the clouds have lifted and the sun is shining in my life again.

So when your best isn’t good enough, go somewhere else.  Sometimes staying the fight isn’t the best idea.  I am not saying be a quitter, but if you are honestly doing the very best you can and it isn’t working take a step back and reconsider your options.  My new spot is better than the last. 

Since I’ve a new job now I’m not very sure how things are going to shake out as far as my schedule will go.  I do plan on writing on this blog once again, but there may be a few weeks before I get this back on track. 
Thanks everyone for your patience with me, and for all of your support.  It has been a great help.

Thank you.


Unknown said...

Not to long ago, I was in the same dark hole. My life stopped. I wore a sour face and lost interest in all the things I loved, especially my writing. Rested for a year and did nothing but read, bake cupcakes, and worked out at my local Y. Today, I am a new person. My heart is full of joy. Sometimes it's best to rest.

Joyce Alton / @joycealton said...

I'm so glad things turned around for you, Dean. We've missed you online.

Unknown said...

i know you wrote this awhile back but i wanted to thank you for your help. ive read alot of thing about how to do this or that when it comes to self-worth and lack of success etc...but this is by far the kindest and most kindred. you share with a softness and enlightenment that provides hope. thank you very very much :)

Heather said...

I can't tell you how much this has helped me. I've been staying in the fight with my current work situation, and I've been miserable and spiraling because I just can't meet the demands. My boss is never happy, and no matter how many hours I pull, it makes no difference. I felt trapped and an utter failure. I've been wanting to try to find something else, but felt like I was just quitting. Now I understand it's not just me. I can keep doing my best while I look for a place that will appreciate what I can bring to the table. Thank you for sharing your experience, and I'm so glad things are going better for you.

Anonymous said...

I needed this. I have a boss who likes something today and hates the same thing the day after and much as I accept criticism, they way he does it just demoralizes. Its been less than three months and I am already considering other options.