You Don’t Need to be Perfect to be Amazing
Intellectually you know it’s impossible to be perfect. No one is perfect. Certainly not you, or your role models, not very successful people, or very kind people, nor any humans on earth. Maybe you are nodding your head right now. You think you understand and believe this. You may have said these words to a friend or colleague who is being too hard on themselves. Maybe you have reminded your own children or partner, and even believed what you were saying. Yet, we often forget (ignore, or discount) that this simple idea applies to us too. What if you don’t need to be perfect to be amazing?
All or Nothing Thinking
Research indicates that 80% of people struggle with this all-or-nothing kind of thinking. If I’m not perfect, then I am not good enough. If you think this way, your thoughts might be along these lines. No matter the event or accomplishment, how well you produce or perform, you think you could or should have done better. You reach a goal and don’t permit yourself to celebrate. You gloss over, ignore, or fail to recognize the progress you have made or are making every day. You compare yourself, your actions, your performance, your parenting, your (fill in the blank) to others. You may compare yourself to someone who has much more experience, or someone who may simply be having a better day than you. How often do you feel that you should be more accomplished, should have made more progress, or should be better at something than is realistic? Is it possible that you measure yourself against impossibly high, even unrealistic expectations? If so, you’re not alone.
The best (or pursuit of perfection) is the mortal enemy of the good.
~ Voltaire (1694-1798)
Be Kind – to Yourself
So, what can you do? Imagine what you would say to a good friend. They may have lost their perspective and don’t see things clearly and are feeling low. Maybe they were passed over for a promotion and are struggling with their self-worth. Would you be supportive and kind? Would you ask them to consider the facts, to be objective? Would you remind them that the past is the past, learn from the moment, and move forward. You might say these things, or something equally supportive or wise. You love your friend, you want the best for them. You know they are more than just this moment. In fact, you probably think your friend is pretty awesome, despite their accomplishments and failures. So, why not apply some of this love and compassion to yourself?
Compassion and Gratitude
Take a look in the mirror and think of yourself as your own best friend. Objectively consider yourself, your health, and your life. Think of the knowledge and experience you have gained, the learning, growing, and confidence you’ve developed. Acknowledge the small successes that have led to your accomplishments. Take a moment to consider who you are now and who you are becoming. For a moment, be grateful for all you have, and all you are. And maybe give yourself permission to try something new, take a risk, make a mistake, improve over time, continuing to evolve into a better version of yourself every day. And, remember that while you are not perfect, you really are quite amazing.
Kristin Clark is a certified Axiogenics Coach and co-author of Living a Richer Life; It’s All in Your Head. Kristin has coached hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs, industries, and professions. She teaches Self-Leadership, engaging, empowering, and igniting leaders’ potential to help improve their performance, relationships, and quality of life.