When Good is Good Enough: Progress over Perfection

September 27, 2017

Do you ever stop at good enough or is reaching for perfection a must?

good enough

I recently came across a quote that struck a cord: “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.” I’d heard it before, but never took the time to think about it.

What made me think deeper about it is my current half marathon training. I’m on week 8 of 12 of my training plan and have only skipped one run so far–I think that’s a record for me!

Why am I doing so great? A sudden inspiration to hit a PR? More time to train? No, I’ve been doing so great with my training because it’s the simplest training plan I’ve ever put together. At best, it can be categorized as good; it’s far from perfect. My training plan includes just two runs a week. In the past, I’ve created “perfect” training plans, what websites and run coaches would advise–running 3-5 times per week. With those more intense plans, not only did I not stick to it, I felt mentally defeated when I skipped runs. And that it made me skip even more runs. I was striving for perfection, falling short, and dropping far below what I’d consider good.

This got me thinking about what it means to strive for good, not perfection. Take this blog for example.  I have a lot of ideas that never make it to the screen because I feel like it’s not in a perfect place. After a day of teaching and work, I often don’t have the energy to even think about perfection. But hey, I bet some of you like reading a good post too.

And Instagram. Oh Instagram. While I love looking at the professionally staged and impeccably lit images, it wasn’t about perfection. It used to be about sharing real things happening in your life. I’ve fallen victim to waiting until I have the perfect picture with the right caption that sort-of flows with my grid. And maybe this stops me from posting the real, the good. In reality, though, I love seeing people’s real, raw photos over the perfectly staged ones.

Especially with a variety of activities and goals, it’s not just okay–it’s necessary–to let go of perfection. How many things have you not done because you didn’t think you’d succeed? Sometimes doing things less than perfectly, maybe even poorly, is still worth doing over not doing.

Back to my half marathon training. I think I’m succeeding and feeling great about it because I acknowledged that good enough was actually great. Running and enjoying it, not striving for a perfect training plan that I’d probably never stick to, is what this round of race prep is all about.

So to my Type A friends and perfectionist readers, here’s to sometimes just being plain old good and being a-ok with it.

And if you need more inspo, read up on the origin of Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good and why it’s so important.

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