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Perfection is the ultimate illusion

When you feel better about who you are, where you are, your body, your life, your choices…you will treat yourself better and that is a key ingredient in the healthy living journey. Feeding the soul as often as the body is something I’ve come to cherish more as I get older and work through many of the illusions our society creates.

I am not perfect and people still love me. <<I am blessed to have friends and family that have taught me this.

I am not perfect and people don’t like me. <<I am blessed to have learned these aren’t the people that matter.

I am not perfect and I judge myself for it. <whoops that’s not right! Turns out my biggest fan is my biggest critic, but not for long because I’m done striving for perfect.

Accept YourselfI would never expect David to be perfect. I long ago gave up the pretense that parents are perfect. I knew at a young age that teachers were fallible and learned that friends are just people trying to make their way imperfectly through this crazy journey as well. But for some reason I held myself to a different standard. 

“If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” ― Leo Tolstoy

For many years I’ve said perfection is a waste of time and sometimes good enough is just that…but somewhere in my deep subconscious mind this was simply a way to feel better about not doing things as well as I believed that SHOULD. Why couldn’t I be as fast or smart or funny or have as many friends…you know this game, right? Maybe if I just tried HARDER…

Every time I tried harder it became like trying to dam a river with a pile of sticks. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in enjoying each mile in moments of clarity it becomes so obvious that when we relax in to the flow of life things become easier, more enjoyable and good enough, which is all there really is. Plus when letting go of perfect releases the FEAR that went along with it, which means we are free to TRY.

“Perfection' is man's ultimate illusion. It simply doesn't exist in the universe.... If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.” - David Burns

With this in mind, I’m free to publish some imperfect articles, try my hand at a book, run a race without a PR and do all kinds of other things that I will absolutely suck at, while still having fun. Instead of aiming for “practice makes perfect”, I’m simply aiming for giving it a shot and the result will be a life fully lived.

CULTIVATING A HAPPILY IMPERFECT MINDSET

Since perfect doesn’t exist I was wrong to expect that any amount of effort would ever be enough, until the moment I decided I am enough exactly, horribly imperfect as I am.

1. Feed it daily: Certainly this is not a mindset that happens overnight and it’s a mindset that requires nurturing to remember. No Meat Athlete posted about how he has committed to reading positive or motivation books for an hour a day everyday. I’m not doing an hour, but each day I read from Louise Hay and say my affirmations.

2. Fine compare: You are going to do it anyways, so play the comparison game. Can you truly find any one person or thing that is perfect?? Cindy Crawford is famous for her imperfection; what imperfection of yours could actually be a trademark?

3. Laugh: Life can feel so serious in our day to day moments of getting the job done, paying the bills, fixing the meals, squeezing in the workout…but it’s when you laugh at the absurdity of tripping on a speed bump while running or that your family photo could be on Ellen that you realize imperfect can bring a lot of joy.

4. Bite Sized Goals: I love big, huge, scare your pants off goals…but sometimes when you are still learning that it’s ok to fail, you have to set yourself up for a little success. You’ve probably heard the quote from Dr. Phil that for every 1 criticism you need 10 “atta boy’s” to undo the effects. All the times you’ve said something negative to yourself is going to take a few repetitions of you are enough…so why not give yourself some examples. Don’t try to become a morning exerciser overnight, just agree to do a couple sit ups tomorrow, a couple push ups the next day, a 10 minute walk next week.

Do you strive for perfection? Do you tell yourself that you are good enough just as you are or are you always waiting until you’ve achieved the next thing to be “enough”?

More reading:
Creating a vision board to follow your goals >>
Not allowing fear to hold you back >>
How to follow through on goals >>
How to create new habits>>
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Gratitude Journal
Feb 26
I am grateful for people who help me to look beyond my own limitations.

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