Strive For Progress Not Perfection

“There is no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let people get inspired by how you deal with your imperfections” – Unknown 

When I started my blog I stared at my computer screen for weeks. I couldn’t look away until my eyes got blurry and my head started pounding. If I wanted to hit publish and let the world see what I had to say it just had to be PERFECT. Petrified of criticism and judgement I spent hours scanning my posts over and over again, while changing the theme to my blog until I got it just right. What I didn’t know then, that I know now, is that nothing would ever be perfect.  

As I’ve grown I feel like the extreme amount of pressure to be perfect grows everyday. My mind loses it every time I  feel like I have to live up to the idea of being a model mother while balancing the ideal life like that internet sensation on Instagram. I have thought for the longest time that I needed to put on a mask of perfection in order to fit into this world. With that stupid mask of perfection covering our face we are not really able to live fully. Inhibiting our ability to take in the life around you. Becoming so focused on portraying a life of perfection you don’t have a chance to enjoy the life you already have.

Sometimes I feel as though my need for perfection comes from the wanting to never disappoint. I wasn’t the best daughter growing up. I disappointed my parents on plenty of occasions and those instances are still embedded into my memory, replaying over and over again. The look on your parents face when you know they don’t see you the same anymore can rip your heart in two. As I’ve grown, with my parents, my Hubby, and my work life, if I ever disappoint them it eats at me from the inside out. That is where my strive for pure perfection comes from. I’ve try my hardest to never disappoint people ever again but as you can guess that fails. It is hard for any perfectionist to understand we were born into this world to be real. Not to be perfect.

We were born into this world to be real. Not to be perfect. Click To Tweet

I find bipolar to be one of my largest and scariest imperfections. It’s not just about being ashamed. It’s about wishing (or hoping) you can “beat it.”  Some of us feel so unable to control our symptoms we start trying to control everything little thing. This is the kind of thinking that leads to perfectionism. In Zen Budhism there is a belief called in Wab Sabi. WTH is Wab Sabi? Well from what I’ve learned it’s an ancient aesthetic philosophy celebrating the beauty in what is natural, including flaws. Hey, Hey! That’s me! Naturally flawed…

“When you screw up, skip a workout, eat a cheese burger. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you human. Join the club, there’s like 7 billion of us.”

I played many sports growing up and as an athlete, perfection slithered it’s way into my life.  Being an athlete of any kind you are brought up and trained to be the best. There was always someone you needed to be better at to win. You needed a better batting stance, a stronger throwing arm, a bigger double axle, a lower sit spin. You had to be perfect, you had to win. Our coaches shoved that idea of perfection down our throats from the very beginning.

Now that I am a spectator to all of my favorite sports I have realized something I wish I did a long time ago. The main goal is to enjoy what you are doing. My head floods with great memories of standing in left field whenever I smell fresh cut grass and my heart soars above the clouds watching the grace of my favorite figure skaters take the ice. I wish I would have realized years ago that I didn’t have to be perfect, it was OK that little girls were skating circles around me and that I could never learn to keep my elbow down while batting. Honestly, I probably would’ve enjoyed playing more. You see, we are all doing the best we can. I still have a large competitive drive flowing through my body, just ask my Hubby 🙂 Yet I also can accept the fact that there will always be someone better than me.

We are all doing the best we can... Click To Tweet

You are always just a student and there will always be someone better than you, prettier than you, farther along in life that you. But what they don’t have… is you. Understanding that you aren’t the best doesn’t mean you are settling. It means you are accepting of who you are. It gives you the opportunity to throw off your mask and view the bright and broad world that surrounds you. If you try to be the best at all times and strive daily for an unreachable goal of perfection I guarantee you could lose yourself in the process. It should be our goal to learn from the best and not to compete with the best. A large part of letting go of perfection is to focus on your progress and look forward. Constantly looking forward in order to have the satisfaction of one day looking back and being proud of what you have accomplished.

Now gorgeous it’s time to give yourself grace. Giving yourself grace enables you to give others grace. By grace I mean forgiveness and acceptance. When you are hard on yourself you tend to project that onto other people. I didn’t believe this for the longest time until one day at my job I found my self annoyed as hell at a co-worker. Why? Well, for not doing things perfectly like I wanted them to be done of course. I have a way of not wanting to let go of the reins in my life and always wanting control. But that was the day I had a big realization… I was projecting my own need to be perfect onto her. Trying to make her perfect instead of accepting the person she is and letting her learn. As you create that awareness within yourself you will start to realize pure forgiveness of yourself and others.

If you can take anything from me, this is your chance to let go. Letting go and forgiving yourself for the things that you are not perfect at. Fear of not being perfect is the only thing that is holding you prisoner.

 

“I can either sit here or follow my dreams.” – Ali Reti 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

You may also like