In our culture of superlatives, “Be the best” and “Do your best” are encouraged and awarded. To be sufficient is just average, less than something better.
What’s wrong with wanting to be or do your best? Nothing if you are emotionally mature and know that performance doesn’t equal value as a person. Children, teens, and too many adults are not emotionally balanced.
Being and doing are similar in terms of behavior, but there is a huge difference between them in terms of identity: self-image, self-esteem, self-worth, and self-acceptance.
When our worth is measured on grades, appearance, income, or pleasing others, we often feel inferior or superior to others. It shows up as depression or anxiety in children to seniors, everyone trying to figure out if they have value.
People matter. We have inherent value as humans.
The opposite of a culture of superlatives is not a culture of mediocrity as many fear; it doesn’t “dumb down” our society. It is a culture of acceptance.
When we learn to just be, and it takes practice, we are at our best as wonderfully human. With this mindset, we’re often counter-intuitively more productive and effective also in what we do. Go figure.