Updated: May 9
Do you ever hear someone say something and your first reaction is “what? That makes no sense!”? That was our reaction the first time that we heard the idea that learning to embrace B- work is key to creating our best results. As self-admitted recovering perfectionists, we had thoughts about “settling” and “not living up to our potential” (sound familiar to anyone?) and really could not imagine why anyone would think that a B- is better than an A.
Here is how we explain this concept: B- work is good enough output - good enough to share with others, to put out in the world and good enough to keep you making progress and moving forward. So, why do we have to embrace this concept and not focus on achieving the A? Here’s what we have learned and experienced and keep learning - when we are constantly focused on getting the A, we tend to overwork things - we nitpick, we hold back, we research, we procrastinate, we find reasons to not take action (we are not ready, we just need to get this one thing fixed, etc.) and we ultimately restrict our ability to really grow and achieve the best results.
Our brains LOVE finding reasons to keep us safe, so we are great at finding evidence that what we believe - let us share an example:
We work with a business coach and one of the things we are going through with her is continuing to develop our messaging as we build new programs and resources for our clients. It is important work to ensure that we are focusing on creating smart, sustainable and scalable programs that can help hundreds of women. And it is deeply personal work for us because we know the power of what we are teaching and how it has impacted our own lives with the tools and programs we now teach.
Because it is deeply personal, we want it to be perfect. We want to make sure that we use all the right words and share all the right stories and connect with every woman who reads it and needs our work to discover their authentic leadership and show up as unapologetically themselves every day. But you know what that expectation did for us? It kept us spinning and rehashing and rewording and trying on something new in hopes that it would produce A work. And ultimately not moving forward and taking action on growing our business or helping more women achieve their goals (including ourselves!).
So, we reminded ourselves of B- work and decided to submit what we had and get feedback from our coach on it. And, we had all sorts of thoughts about whether it was good enough and if we could have reframed the work to be better. The truth is that what we produce can always get better, but holding it until it is perfect keeps us from taking steps toward achieving our goals. So, we submitted it and then got feedback. You know what she said? ‘You have enough, just go!’ She reminded us that B- work produces action and allows us to move forward on our results. She did provide us some other feedback that we can build on but her main point was to stop procrastinating on taking action in hopes that we strike the perfect message and get our message out there.
We have been trained to be achievers, to get the best scores, the highest grades and yet, as we have learned over and over again, so much of our success is built on the foundation of failure and learning. So, what if the B- actually gets us better results? What if it allows us the creative space to come back to our message and tweak the content, without the feeling of needing to get everything perfect on day one? What if it helps us shake the fear of failure and lets us see the value in it? What if B- work actually shows us how our identity of being perfectionists is not serving us or our goals? That's the thing about uncovering our beliefs and how they impact our outcomes - the very thing we think makes us successful is often the thing that is keeping us from getting the results we want.
As we continue to work on embracing the concept of B- work, we are having so much fun learning how to try things and put things out there and, while there is still work to be done, we know that our B- is going to get us better results than any A we have ever received. At the end of the day, progress, not perfection, has always been the goal and using B- work might just be the secret to achieving more than we ever have.
What goal is waiting for you to embrace B- work so you can achieve it?
In our program Shatter Your Ceiling we teach concepts like this along with a framework to manage your mindset at work and life. If you are ready to take back control of your own mind and achieve your boldest goals yet we invite you to apply.