It is true that every day – in fact, every moment – is a new opportunity to be better than yesterday. And this pursuit can increase your self-esteem and, accordingly, your happiness. This does not mean you should try to be perfect though! Striving for continued improvement and excellence is very different from trying to be perfect. I used to be obsessed with being perfect. If I wasn’t the best at something, I’d drive myself crazy trying to come out on top or give up on things I enjoyed (like drawing and playing golf) because I knew I’d never excel at them. Becoming great also never felt as good as I imagined it would because there was always room to be better. I was more often than not dissatisfied and disappointed in myself (and others). This is a killer… A relationship killer, a self-esteem killer and a happiness killer! If this sounds like you, you need to stop now and take Key Steps to be…

Excellent not perfect

1. Set realistic goals and targets. I now look at the things I do as opportunities to grow from one day to the next. It’s more satisfying to set and meet an attainable goal, like focusing better and writing an extra article tomorrow, than it is to obsess about perfection, stressing because I’m not a world-famous author (yet :)). By focusing on small improvements and mini-goals, you’ll naturally move yourself toward your larger dreams. And you’ll maintain your self-esteem in the process.

2. Let yourself off the hook. When you make a mistake – and you will – learn from it and move on. Do not beat yourself up over and over again, saying things like, “How could I have been so stupid? What got into me? I must’ve looked like a fool…(the list goes on and on)” It might help to write down what you have learnt from the mistake to cement it in your mind and stop the negative thoughts running around in your head. If your mistake affected others, apologising can also help you to move on. Remember to apologise sincerely but not repeatedly. Perfectionists tend to keep apologising over and over. Stop it! Imagine you are building a bridge, walk over it and leave the mistake in the past and bring the lesson into the future so you can…

“be the difference that makes the difference