5 Reasons to Let Go of Perfection
Like many of you out there, the New Year really got me rolling in resolutions and excited for all the possibilities that 2017 holds. I’ve set my sights high, and I’m glad for that. But this is also a very tempting time of year to fall into the trap of wanting everything to be perfect.
You set awesome goals, and despite your best attempts, something is bound to end up imperfect. For me, my goal for January has been focusing on cleaning up my diet and starting a new workout routine.
Perfect? Yeah, right. Far from it!
I get a little frustrated that things aren’t how I envisioned them to be. But when I get down on myself about how my goals are (or aren’t) going, I try to remember these five things to keep myself in the most positive mood I can have to accomplish my goals.
1. You are not called to be perfect. Read this, and then reread it five more times. You do not have to be perfect. That longing inside you to do everything just right? I have it too, but no one is telling you to feel that way but yourself. Yes, there are people and things in the world that make us want to be perfect or feel we should. We can conveniently claim that certain people or circumstances require us to be our perfectly best. But I bet you a million dollars that the day you were born, no one said, “Hey there little human, you better live out a perfect life!” Relax: you’re flawed like everybody else. And that’s okay.
2. What you have is enough. I’m just taking a wild guess here, but if you have access to the internet in this day and age, it’s likely that you have plenty. You have a phone, a car, clothes on your back, food on the table. What’s actually right in front of you is enough to live, and live well. But so often our desires seem outside of what we have. If I just had this body. If I just had that kind of wardrobe… that kind of motivation, determination, faith… You get the idea. While striving to be your best is certainly not a bad thing, longing for what you have in a jealous kind of way gets you nowhere. I promise, what you have right now is enough, even if you want more for the future. Appreciate what you have now, and when you get your future desires, the sweeter they will be.
3. Any struggle you face now is for a reason. If only life were struggle-free, right? Would it make things so much easier? Probably. Would it make us better people? Probably not. Struggle, as painful as it is and whatever it is, is there for a reason. I fully believe this as truth. You may not know why you have to struggle this way now, but in the end, it’s likely to shape you as a better, stronger person. I would not, without a doubt, take away any of the big struggles in my life in exchange for something easier or more convenient because I learned something out of each struggle. And each struggle changed me to be who I am today. One of my favorite quotes about this is:
“Every single thing you are living right now, no matter how difficult, is here to help you become the most empowered person you can possibly imagine!” – Mandy Ingber
4. There is always tomorrow. Slept late again? Didn’t have time to work out. Proceeded to eat all the junk I could find, and oh, gee, another cupcake, why not? Feeling bad about myself for the day: not an option. You know why? Because there is always a new day to tackle my goals. Now, I don’t mean this to say that you should always start your goals tomorrow, because I know that really turns into never. I mean this to say that if today hasn’t gone the way you wanted, feeling upset about how imperfect it was just robs yourself of joy. We all get disappointed when plans fail, but putting your hope into tomorrow is a key to success. Instead of becoming discouraged by failures, put hope in a fresh start that can begin at any moment.
5. We have to focus on the now – not the issues. So often, I feel hung up on all the little things I could be doing and should be doing. I let myself become overly interested in all that merely has to be done to accomplish my goals, so much to the point that I’m not even focusing on the present. It’s hard to focus on being present when your mind is off in must-get-everything-done mode. Take a step back – breathe – and remember that life is not a dress rehearsal, but the real thing. Live in today and not in your worries, wishes, failures, or anxiety. Live for yourself to be the best you can be right now.
Whether you’re accomplishing big resolutions or getting through your day, I hope these little reminders from a perfectionist herself help you take the pressure off and encourage you to grow. Thanks so much to Kacie for letting me steal her blog for a day!
– Question for you: What tips do you have in overcoming perfectionism?