Perfection is something that is one of those unattainable goals that we somehow seem to be striving for, always in vain. We set expectations on ourselves and set ourselves up for failure when our goal or expectation is to become perfect.
It is easy to get caught up in wanting ourselves to be perfect, but it is also very dangerous because when we are wanting that perfection it very often doesn’t stop at ourselves and we come to want or even expect that from others around us as well!
In previous posts I’ve talked a little about how comparison of ourselves to others is fatal, and in this age of social media, it’s really hard to not allow ourselves to succumb to such self-sabotaging behavior. So how do we change our mindset so that striving for personal excellence is what we aim for? Here are some things that I use daily and they work for me:
- Choose to focus only on being better each day than the day before – rather than focusing on what we’re doing wrong or we’re not great at.
- Choose to appreciate and love the things we are good at and build on those…
- Practice positive self-talk so that we can start to realize how amazing we are.
- Allow ourselves to celebrate any victory, whether great or small. That way we are not always dissatisfied with our results. We have to appreciate the small things first otherwise we won’t know what the big things are!
- Don’t just focus on the outcome – a lot of growth and strength building comes in the journey. In the learning – you know, the falling down and getting up!
- Sometimes procrastination comes from not wanting to not be able to complete something or do it perfectly. Allowing ourselves the grace to not finish something immediately gives us the opportunity to avoid procrastination and learn something along the way.
I know when I let go of my need to control everything, my need for things to go EXACTLY according to a plan I might have in my mind, I am always pleasantly surprised by the results I get. My expectations have been known to get me into trouble, because I promise you the scenarios and outcomes I create in my mind are so much more elaborate than I could ever create in real life. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t want to hold myself back and I certainly didn’t want to be unhappy…but once I did, it created a huge amount of freedom and was light a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
I used to think that the pressure I put on myself – the pressure to create success and fulfillment – was what made me successful, but what I have realized after A LONG time is that it’s actually the opposite. I am always going to be driven, motivated, have a love of stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was actually the expectations and the need for perfection that held me back rather than making me better. It’s hard to come to the realization that I was sabotaging my own success, but once I did and I became conscious about my behavior…that’s when the magic started to happen!