People get overwhelmed with stuff that gets in the way of experiencing happy, fulfilled lives.
There’s our work life, family life, mental/emotional/health/sex life; friendships and relationships with colleagues, not to mention the most dominant stressor of all, our financial lives.
It’s easy to wonder if you’re giving your best to any of it. This could be simple fear of failure; or the idea that focusing heavily on one area means other areas have to suffer.
I think it’s the cultural curse of perfectionism. If you think perfection is the essence of life—that you have to be a level ten-out-of-ten in all categories of life all the time—that’s actually not being a perfectionist. That’s being a robot. That’s a machine. We’re not machines, okay?
Perfectionism comes from the belief of “not good enough”. Nothing’s good enough, or some things are good enough and other things aren’t, and of course there are degrees. We all have a perfectionist in us of some sort, the critic who complains about something, some of us more than others.
That’s not to say we don’t call out or do something constructive when something could indeed use some improvement, whatever it is we’re talking about: a boss or co-worker’s inappropriate behavior; a health or eating habit that you know is not good for you; your income so you’re not living check-to-check, pot to mouth, you name it.
Sometimes, not good enough means it can be improved, and depending on what we’re talking about, should be improved.
But that’s not the point. The point is the feeling of not good enough, especially if you’re applying that term to yourself; a very, very deep feeling of undeserving. There are many, many profound reasons for why almost everyone on this planet feels this way and one of them is because we’re virtually trained to feel that way in this culture.
If it wasn’t a teacher or parent who maybe even unintentionally criticized us or an accomplishment we were proud of, it’s a boss or partner who maybe says something off-handed that triggers an old criticism that hurt us, bringing that early, deeply-embedded feeling of “not good enough” into a moment that has nothing to do with the present moment.
We don’t live in the past; we bring that early crap with us, and so many people don’t have a clue that this is happening. So many people go through their lives feeling, at a deep core, that they’re not good enough. And despite attempts to make things better, nothing seems to work.
When you’re not enough, you’re not good enough. If you’re not good enough then nothing’s good enough, and then the whole world is not good enough.
Think of how many times you’ve heard people say, “Sorry for being so particular (In other words very annoying!), I’m just a perfectionist.”Like, being a perfectionist is what makes them so successful, because they have such a go-for-it spirit that they won’t settle for less.
There’s nothing noble about being a perfectionist. As a matter of fact, the very term is a contradiction because the very nature of being a perfectionist is that you’re always looking for what’s wrong. So really you’re an imperfectionist.
Since we all have that critic, that “imperfectionist” within us, what do we do about it?
It’s simple: Be present!
Why? Think about it, and this is so obvious and maybe you’ve heard this a thousand times before, but it is one of the simplest analogies. It’s not a coincidence that what we call the present is also associated with the idea of a gift!
There is no better gift than what is, right now, as it is. As soon as you start thinking about things and people in the present being something else, you are 90-something percent likely to take yourself out of happiness and connection with people and life itself.
Again, that isn’t to say we ignore things we damn well better not ignore and make better.
You observe, take note, file it, and get back to what’s happening right in front of you right now without judgment.
When you’re present, you’re automatically connected to spirit. And what could be more perfect than that?
So practice living in the present. Practice connecting in every way you can. If you go to church, do that. If you meditate, do that. If you go into the woods and go into nature, do that. If you play with your dog to connect to spirit, do that. No matter what you do to stay connected, stay connected and never disconnect.
You become more and more aware by staying more and more connected to ever-unfolding present moments.
That’s where you have the freedom to be as imperfect as you’d like to be and it’s perfectly okay.
Share your thoughts, insights, or ideas…we want to hear from you!