Don’t Worry About Being the Best; Be the Best at Getting Better

In a world that seems obsessed with winning and being the best, it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters: progress. While being the best at something is certainly a worthy goal, it can be fleeting and ultimately unsatisfying if it’s not accompanied by a commitment to ongoing improvement. This is where the idea of “being the best at getting better” comes in.

The idea of “Don’t Worry About Being the Best; Be the Best at Getting Better” comes from Brad Stulberg, author of The Practice of Groundedness (which I highly recommend):

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At its core, being the best at getting better means focusing on growth and development rather than just achieving a certain level of success. This mindset is especially important in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, where skills and knowledge quickly become outdated and irrelevant.

So, how can you adopt a “best at getting better” mentality? Here are a few strategies to consider:

Embrace a growth mindset

The first step to becoming the best at getting better is to adopt a growth mindset. This means viewing challenges and setbacks as opportunities for learning and improvement, rather than sources of frustration or defeat. It also means believing that your abilities and skills can be developed through hard work and dedication, rather than being fixed or predetermined.

Set process goals

Rather than focusing solely on outcome goals (such as winning a competition or achieving a certain level of success), set process goals that are focused on continuous improvement. For example, instead of just aiming to win a race, focus on improving your technique, endurance, and speed over time.

Remember, we have a tendency to focus on getting results. But, this isn’t the most effective way to go about achieving results. Focus on the process, not on the outcome.

Seek feedback

One of the best ways to improve is to seek feedback from others. This can be from a coach, mentor, or trusted colleague who can offer constructive criticism and advice on areas for improvement. Be open to this feedback, and use it as a springboard for growth.

Practice deliberate practice

Deliberate practice is a focused and intentional approach to improving a specific skill or ability. It involves breaking down the skill into its component parts, setting specific goals, and practicing consistently with feedback and reflection. By focusing on deliberate practice, you can make rapid progress and continually improve your skills.

Learn from failure

Failure is inevitable on the path to improvement, but it doesn’t have to be a setback. Instead, view failure as an opportunity to learn and grow. Analyze what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and use this information to adjust your approach and improve in the future.

Bottom line: By embracing the idea of being the best at getting better, you can achieve lasting success and satisfaction in your personal and professional life. Whether you’re an athlete, an artist, or a business professional, this mindset can help you stay motivated, resilient, and committed to ongoing growth and improvement. So, don’t worry about being the best; focus on being the best at getting better, and the rest will follow.

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