20 Ways to Strive for Excellence

I believe in striving for excellence, not perfection. You might think that striving for excellence means perfectionism. To me, perfectionism is the opposite of excellence. Perfectionism is a personal standard to which we hold ourselves to and it is completely unattainable. I say this because I used to be a perfectionist. I spent countless hours trying to improve those tiny details that I really should have just let go. A perfectionist fears failure, uncertainty, and lives with doubt hanging over them. It's like walking around with a dark cloud of negativity following you, except it's all inside your head. One of my favorite authors and speakers, Brené Brown, says that "perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame". I wish I had learned this when I was a teenager.

Truth: I used to go to a psychic just so I would have (what felt like) more certainty and less worry or doubt in my life. Okay, I was 18 or 20 years old so don't judge. ;-)

I had to learn the hard way that perfectionism won't give you permission to feel confident, it won't get you the job, it won't help you reach the outcome any faster. Perfectionism is a sham and such a waste of time.

Instead, I now focus on all the ways that I can strive for excellence in life. Here are some things to consider if you want to strive for excellence in your personal or professional life.

20 Ways to Strive for Excellence...

  1. Excellence is about knowing yourself and your strengths.
  2. Excellence is having pride in yourself and your work.
  3. Excellence is sharing your knowledge and talents with those who value them most.
  4. Excellence is believing that you will make this world a better place.
  5. Excellence is practicing gratitude for the small and unpredictable moments.
  6. Excellence is learning something new as you work towards being your personal best.
  7. Excellence is having compassion and acceptance for others.
  8. Excellence is choosing to excel despite the level of difficulty.
  9. Excellence is honoring your needs and making them a priority.
  10. Excellence is reflecting on your successes that contribute to a larger goal.
  11. Excellence is stepping outside of your comfort zone to do something risky or that you fear.
  12. Excellence is accepting the challenge and choosing to be a leader.
  13. Excellence is surrounding yourself with passionate and positive people who encourage you.
  14. Excellence is forgiving yourself of past mistakes or failures so you can learn from them.
  15. Excellence is building a trusted connection with a mentor and seeking advice or guidance.
  16. Excellence is reaching for your dreams.
  17. Excellence is speaking your truth and letting the world know what you stand for.
  18. Excellence is never giving up, no matter the obstacle.
  19. Excellence is choosing to endure which is proof of your greatness.
  20. Excellence is knowing that with hard work you are closing the gap between who you are and who you want to be!

Photo courtesy of We Heart It / http://weheartit.com/

After all, isn't healthy striving so much better than worrying, "what will they think"?

I choose happiness. I choose success. I choose excellence. Will you join me?

SarahXOXO

Sarah Lehberger

Easton, CT

Sarah Lehberger is a photographer based on the shoreline of Connecticut, just 90 mins from New York City, in the small town of Easton. She specializes in photography that celebrates working Moms and their families. She is also a Co-Founder of She Will Thrive, providing business coaching, retreats and workshops to women entrepreneurs, creatives and small business owners.

Sarah's career started in the news and entertainment industry. A storyteller at heart, she began photographing weddings in 2003 while also working full time at Getty Images, NY in their editorial department. Sarah enjoyed the fast-paced and glamorous events she would collaborate on, yet deep down she was craving more purpose driven work. In 2005 she decided to leave the corporate world to launch her full time wedding business, which received numerous awards and features throughout the industry.

In 2013 Sarah rebranded her business so she could continue her mission to celebrate women, with a new focus on mothers. She feels strongly about empowering women and creatives to succeed, and has been a speaker at conferences such as ShootDotEdit's Unlimited Happiness Tour, Inspire Photo Retreats, as well as a past coach and mentor for Team X Academy.