There’s a clear difference between wanting to do a good job and trying too hard.
When someone wants to do a good job, it’s for themselves. They have self-love and it makes them feel good. The feeling is excitement and energizing.
When someone is trying too hard, it’s for other people. Their actions are hoping to gain love or approval from someone else. The feeling is desperation and exhaustion.
I used to get dressed up for dates entirely for the other person. Makes me cringe now that I think about it. It wasn’t until I started to not give a F whether they liked my outfit (me) or not, and wore what I wanted to (for ME), that I gained confidence and felt good dating (and shortly after met my future husband).
Signs pointed to doing that long before it clicked in my brain. I remember certain instances where I forgot to change what I was wearing and felt embarrassed. To be specific, one time a guy and I were going to yoga class. He came to pick me up and I realized I didn’t change out of my house knitted booties that had pom poms on them. This happened multiple times with different articles of clothing and different people, and kid you not, every single time, the guy always said, “You look so cute!.” I thought, “I do?.” They didn’t always comment on the times I really tried to look cute or sexy because I’m sure they felt…I was trying too hard. Completely different energy.
The best advice I can ever give someone who wants to find a long term partner is to be you. That sounds cliché but it’s the truth.
If you show up as you from the beginning, as in the weird-asshole-you that your closest friends and family see, you will set yourself up for success. You’ll attract a relationship that’s easy and comfortable because that person loves you for 100% being you. Don’t do anything differently in the beginning unless you want to change for yourself to become a better person. If someone can get scared off, better to scare them off early and save time. Make room for the person who will love you for you.
I’ve also had it done to me – like once I dated a guy who would acknowledge if I didn’t laugh at his joke. If you think your own joke is funny, why care if anyone else think it’s funny too? One of the most endearing things is when someone belly laughs at their own joke. I instantly smile and gravitate towards them, whether the joke was actually funny or not.
In terms of my work, I always want to do a good job not so much for the client, but for myself. I feel good when I work hard and am happy with what I produced. It energizes me.
I’ve coached some photographers who get shattered when a client doesn’t respond to their photo delivery. They are looking for validation that the client liked their photos. I never wait for a response because no matter what the client says, I think my photos are good! Haha. Have there been times when a client has asked for adjustments? Sure, but that doesn’t mean anything about me or my work. It simply might mean they have a different preference.
Feel good about who you are so you don’t rely on outside validation. Coming from a place of desperation is exhausting and not attractive.