Many times when I coach clients, people say they feel they could have done better yesterday. They say they should have put in more of an effort or shown more patience in some past event. This concern is so prevalent in today’s world it affects everyone in one way or another. We all know someone who feels they are never good enough, who feels guilty for not doing more, or who is forgiving of others but demands perfection from themselves.
All of us operate out of a basic set of beliefs. What we deem morally right or wrong is one set of beliefs. The standard we hold ourselves to in social conversation is another set. We also have a set of limiting beliefs. Some of these are helpful such as “I shouldn’t kill people”. I could kill someone, but I shouldn’t. The limiting belief is it’s not okay to kill people. Other limiting beliefs are less helpful. Beliefs like “I’m not good enough” deplete our ability to function effectively in daily life. This idea is one all of us have felt at some level one time or another.
In order to combat this low sense of self, we first need to accept a presupposition. A presupposition is a concept we take as truth in order for the next set of ideas to make sense. This particular one is “Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have at the given moment.” Everyday we learn new information. We use that new information to make better decisions. The information we have today is better than the information we had yesterday, and so our decisions today will be better than yesterday. This does not mean we didn’t do our best in the past, it just means today’s best is better than yesterday’s best.
Another reason we might feel we could have done better in the past is because our mental state in the present can overshadow how we felt in the moment. If yesterday, we were stressed, hadn’t eaten in a few hours, didn’t sleep well the night before, and had just got out of a long class, we probably weren’t on the top of our game. So today, when we have food, are well rested, and ready to seize the day, our choices will be better than they previously were. We have more resources to work with. To put our rested and fed self against our tired and hungry self is obviously not a fair fight, but we do it to ourselves all the time. Our best when we are tired will not be as good as our best when we are rested, but that doesn’t mean that when we are tired we don’t still do the best we can.
As we go about life, we need to always remember that everyone, including ourselves, is doing the best they can with the available resources they have at the moment. Our best will change with what resources we have to work with. To hold past selves accountable to our current potential and standards is not possible. Each time we start to feel we could have done better, we must remember we are always doing the best we can.
A Message from the Author
Thank you for reading! I hope this article makes you think and consider new possibilities from your life. My name is Mitch Hunter and I am a life coach specializing in relationships and stress management. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com or schedule a free session with me by clicking here. Change your perspective, change your reality!