50% of Everything You Do Isn't As Good... As The Other Half


50% of everything you do… isn’t as good as the other half.

The first time I heard this, it was like a punch in the gut. Oh no, it’s true. Half of everything I do isn’t any good. Arrgh! And then I had to smile because…

This is always mathematically true. Isn’t it?!?

By whatever measure that we have, 50% will fall on one side of that measure and half will fall on the other. 50/50. Half and half.

But, you know, there’s a part of me that really didn’t get that. I think because I was raised in a certain way and to be a high achiever, to be a perfectionist (I’ve recovered mostly from that), it means that there’s a part of me that always expects everything that I do, including this podcast, to be in the top, at least 50%. But that’s not possible.

(Listen for a couple of examples… and how you can find relief and freedom)

Episode 19 ~ Emotional Freedom for All Podcast

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19 - 50% of everything you do… isn’t as good as the other half.

[00:00:06] Rick@Thrivingnow.center: The first time I heard this, it was like a punch in the gut. Oh no, it’s true. Half of everything I do isn’t any good. Arrgh!

[00:00:16] And then I had to smile because this is always mathematically true. Isn’t it?

[00:00:21]By whatever measure that we have, 50% will fall on one side of that measure and half will fall on the other. 50/50. Half and half.

[00:00:34]But, you know, there’s a part of me that really didn’t get that. I think because I was raised in a certain way and to be a high achiever, to be a perfectionist (I’ve recovered mostly from that), it means that there’s a part of me that always expects everything that I do, including this podcast, to be in the top, at least 50%. But that’s not possible.

[00:01:01]A couple of examples.

[00:01:02] So let’s take a podcast. A podcast is an act of creativity. And if you do a podcast, two episodes, one by some measure is going to be better than the other. For example, this is episode number 19 of the Emotional Freedom for All podcast.

[00:01:27] If I look at the podcasts that I’ve already done, the first 18, based upon number of listeners, guess what? 50% of them did not do as well as the other half.

[00:01:41]Does that mean the half that didn’t do as well, aren’t as… what? Meaningful?

[00:01:49]Well, like in terms of meaningfulness, to me… one of the podcasts that has had the fewest listeners actually is one that is still so meaningful to me. I listen to it. It reminds me. It’s got a term in it: heart-adopted that really lives in me that came out through doing that podcast.

[00:02:14]I know that term has been meaningful to at least two other listeners in a way that really touched them. But in terms of number of listeners, guess what? It’s in the bottom 50%.

[00:02:29]What about, about how it impacts you? Now if you’ve listened to more than one, if you’ve listened to two or more podcasts that I’ve done, guess what? Half of them will have had more meaningfulness to you than the other. Half of them would be a little more entertaining, uplifting than the other half. Now, maybe on the spectrum…

[00:02:52] and this is, I think the important thing. Maybe on the spectrum it’s still a satisfying experience. It’s still acceptable. It’s something that you’ve chosen to invest some of your time and energy. Thank you. It’s great to have you with us.

[00:03:05]Now, this applies again to everything we do.

[00:03:11]If you’re a professional and you work with clients, you could be a massage therapist, a coach, an accountant, a lawyer, 50% of those sessions that you do by some measure, aren’t going to be as good as the other half.

[00:03:30] Now, if that measure is like how good it felt to do the session, that’s different than the measure of how impactful it was for the client. If the measure is how much money did I make off of that client session or that client engagement versus another guess what? Half and half. They’re going to fall across a spectrum.

[00:03:53]It even goes to things like hugs and kisses. You know, if you measure your hugs and kisses by how much connection you get or tingles or a sense of co-regulation or how it brings you closer or not, how you felt afterwards, how satisfied you were, guess what they’re going to fall across the spectrum.

[00:04:18] If you make up stories, half the stories that you make up, aren’t going to feel a certain way compared to the other half.

[00:04:27]You could use something neutral, like how long it is. Half my podcasts aren’t as long as the other half. They’re all in a range, but half of them are shorter than the other half, half are longer than the other 50%.

[00:04:42] Do you see what I’m getting at here? The problem is, is that our primitive brain says, Oh, Oh, I’m comparing, I’m comparing, I’m judging. I’m comparing, I’m comparing. Half of what I do, doesn’t compare to the, to the other half.

[00:04:56] And this is just an internal thing. We of course can be comparing to others. When we are exploring emotional freedom for ourselves, looking at that dynamic within ourselves is a great place to start.

[00:05:10] In this one, I believe that there’s relief .

[00:05:14] Guess what? You can’t actually be a perfectionist! 50% of what you and I do can’t be as good as the other half. It’s mathematically impossible. We can’t do identical acts of creation. We’re human beings.

[00:05:34] We don’t show up at work the same way every day. If you take a hundred days at whatever you call work, some days are gonna leave you more depleted than others. Some are going to leave you more inspired than others. Some are going to leave you feeling like you’re part of a team more than other days.

[00:05:53]This is okay.

[00:05:55]If you can’t actually be a perfectionist… whew! Thank goodness!

[00:06:01]There’s also relief in it’s not always about getting the A++.

[00:06:06] Our schools, at least the ones that I went through, you were being graded based upon some standard. I believe that that trained my brain to look at being, and aspiring to be, in the top at least 10%. Uh, but when you’re looking at your own work, ah, it’s terrible to do that.

[00:06:30] It blocks you. As soon as you’ve done two, three, four things, you can start to feel the spectrum of your work. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not work that matters.

[00:06:41] It doesn’t mean that your Heartistry isn’t acceptable… and welcomed.

[00:06:48]That’s where the freedom comes in.

[00:06:50] I believe that as you really embrace this spectrum, this range, and the measures that we can have from everything that we do, that you get to live and express your heartistry knowing it is mathematically designed to exist on multiple spectrums:

[00:07:08] How it feels to you when you do it, how it feels to others, how it feels a month later, how much money it makes, how much closer in connection you become, the energy you get from it, and the emotional labor it requires. It’s all going to be on a spectrum.

[00:07:29] Now, there is a way to avoid this.

[00:07:34] Never. Do. Anything.

[00:07:39] If you never do anything, if you stay stuck, if you stay frozen, if you’re afraid of 50% of the work that you do not being as good on some measure as the other half, well, you avoid this. And it would be a tragedy.

[00:07:59] I believe that this life was designed for you to feel free to express your heartistry .

[00:08:08]I’m Rick from ThrivingNow, and we’re here to support you in that. We have a community that’s growing and you are so welcome. Visit us at Thrivingnow.center. Thanks for listening.


I’m 80% right half the time…


My cooking is good 75% of the time unless we get take outs. Then it’s even better.


@Rick, your least listened to podcast was my all-time favorite because it made me feel welcomed and seen in this community in so many ways. It meant so much to me that you were discussing gender roles and parental acceptance of children to be their full and beautiful selves. Also to discuss the experience of heart adopting a child. It helped me understand myself as a stepparent, especially as a stepparent to a child we’ve lost. It’s also a relief to know that I am not a perfectionist because it’s impossible to be one! Whoohoo! Problem solved. :slight_smile:


Awww, this makes me so happy to hear, @Dru! Yes, I love that one too. :rainbow::purple_heart:
It’s so important to have those discussions, both for the parents and kids involved, and as nourishment for others, who may or may not have had such loving acceptance modeled, or who may not even be aware of the value of making space for the full spectrum of expression and identity… I also love that Rick points out the value of that, when, in my little bubble, it’s pretty normal! (But, as he reminds me, my “normal” is several standard deviations away from the “average” experience of family life…)

Likewise, the idea of having a “heart-adopted” family member is important to me… and while the phrase is new, the idea & experience of it have been so deeply part of my unique family life, that I forget sometimes that it’s uncommon… and that it could be deeply inspiring and validating to those who also have such experiences, but haven’t had the vocabulary or the shared social acceptance of those unique, co-created bonds. (I have a heart-adopted father-figure myself, and plenty of other heart-adopted kin, too!)

It goes to show that we never know the impact of what we share in the world, and that whatever judgments we may have about some of our work being “less” (important, good, meaningful, useful…) than some of our other work, there will also often be someone else who finds that very thing life-changing! And then it’s “more” important to them… So, our own comparison games are fairly pointless!

And that is precisely what has helped me to share more, rather than to wait or freeze or keep trying to make something “perfect”… Sometimes we just don’t know what impact we can have on others! Especially with the things we may take for granted… (like I do with my understanding of Chinese medicine and the 5 elements, yin/yang/neutral force, and how those help to understand and improve every single aspect of life! I kind of forget they aren’t common vocabulary, but then I’ll explain the energetics of the Heart Protector to someone with trauma, and they suddenly make sense of their whole life!)

It’s easy to forget how important our contributions can be in the world, even in just one other person’s life… whether it’s with something we do/create, or with our very Presence, just being who we are. Even in the times we don’t feel like we’re offering our best!

I think that’s one of the big lessons of being human, often easiest to learn in being a parent… even the 50% of the time that we aren’t being “as good” a parent as we want to be, it’s still valuable to keep showing up! (And it takes some of the pressure off to accept that there will never be “perfection”!)

Such is the nature of life, and yin-yang balance… always transforming! :yin_yang:


Love this part so much! Great reminder - thank you!


What if it’s damaging?

I keep coming back to this as part of this spectrum, since I didn’t address it in the podcast. What if what is done is harmful? Damaging? Out of integrity?

If I am driving my car and I am being reckless or not paying attention “enough” to be in integrity with being a safe and aware driver, then a part of me says that it falls outside the spectrum of “okay.”

The perfectionist still in me then starts to argue about where that standard “should” be set? And how about interpersonal relationships? Where do we fall off the spectrum of being ok… and start into abusive, cruel, mean… or incompetent in a harm-likely way?

My body feels like I can discern what is true there for me. Just not sure I can articulate it. Perhaps it’s time for another topic on Hurt vs. Harm… one has been percolating.

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I have a note I posted, years ago, on my desk which reads: I am NOT perfect – I’m EVOLVING! It’s been a good reminder over the years.

:o) Jo


That would be a good topic for another podcast for sure… Hurt vs Harm.

Often I feel like what I do is never enough. I don’t want to be abusive, cruel or mean though.

I don’t know about 50%. All I know is I do the best that I can and sometimes I feel like if that isn’t enough screw it! Was that harmful? Maybe. It would be better to say “No, not now.”

Interpersonal relationships can be hard.

…enough to… _______?

In my coaching, a curious thing I’ve noticed is that most of the self-blame and disempowerment is wrapped in these “generalizations.”

“What I do is never enough!”

The missing step, so useful I’d almost call it “mandatory” is to get really specific about what we’re not enough to…

  • Never enough to make them always happy
  • Never enough to keep them from criticizing me
  • Never enough to make the cow poop gold and fart rainbows!

I’m bringing this us because I notice in myself this same human tendency, to “write off our value” because it won’t ever be “good enough.” It’s sad when I do it. It’s sad when I see others do it, too.

Answering the “enough to…?” has helped me and so many clients see when ridiculousness (or unrealistic expectations or hopes) are harming our self-worth. Having us jump to avoidance – screw it! – when it is actually still important to us.

…When it is still important to us, then it goes to who we want to BE, much more than what we’re trying to DO. Yeah, change the strategies so we get to BE who we choose, even if it means some people or projects won’t get the same effort from us.

Does that make sense and feel useful in this instance(s) you’re tuned to with what you’re writing? Want to share your “enough to…?” answer(s)? (Ok, if not, always, as you know.)


You are so right Rick about being more specific. I was in some kind of funky mood when I posted about not feeling like what I do is never enough. However I have a feeling that if I post what I was feeling it will sound whiny. I’ve been feeling kind of whiny but remind myself to be grateful too.

I have this thought that I can never get things done so I can just come in my room and watch videos about how to use procreate, the painting program for the iPad. In my head there are these thoughts about what will I fix for dinner. Or lunch. Did I remember to put everything we need on the grocery list. What about those passwords that need changing and did I pay that e-bill on time? With all these thoughts I end up playing games online or reading an article in a magazine, or perusing Facebook instead of trying to sit and learn a program. I’ve noticed I’m beginning to forget words more too which is unnerving.

All this is what I’m feeling now. Maybe there is more to it than what I think. I don’t know but at least tried not to generalize too much. Did that make sense?

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It does. Would you guess that with all those flood of possibilities and tasks that you “need” to do something that is relieving? Distractions ARE relieving. I mean, when my daughter is distressed, a distraction can bring her REAL relief. I’m guessing we keep that quality in us forever!

Learning a program demands activation energy – as does any task. The “activation” required for me to scan facebook is so teensy that all I have to do is click it in my bookmark bar! To come here and reply required, tonight, that I drop in and tune to first, and then again once here. And yeah, I did read Facebook first. :joy: