Where is that dang pot of gold anyway?
I am what I like to refer to as, a recovering perfectionist. Ya know, be better, do better, get it right! The more I chased that dream of being that “good” person, or getting it “right”, being “efficient” and “productive”, and reacting “perfectly” to every situation, well, the further I seemed to get from my “goal.” (I have put quotations around words that sound good in theory, but because each has an element of measurement to them, it is easy for a perfectionist to always come up short.) I realized it felt like I was chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Where is that dang pot of gold anyway? No where! So despite my efforts, yeah, that whole reacting “perfectly” to every situation, NOPE! “What!! You mean to tell me that loading yourself up with all kinds of pressure to be a great person results in emotional explosions?” I know, I am as shocked as you are.
Chasing perfection is an easy trap to fall into. I mean sure we all want to make healthy decisions. I am not arguing against that, but I do think that we need to stop with the expectations that leave no room for… well, the fact that we are indeed HUMAN. What if my mistakes and imperfections are a part of humanity? Here’s the thing! We all know that’s true. We have all seen the countless movies, speeches, and Ted talks telling us that making mistakes is vital to progression. Yet, we don’t give ourselves permission to do so. And here is the kicker! We then turn around and pass the same judgment to someone else (That’s the way it works. Some of you may think you treat others better than yourself, and that may be true for a time, but eventually when the real pressure is on, your natural reaction (the one you have programmed yourself to use every day on yourself) will come out.
The cool thing is, it seems more and more that our culture is really taking a prominent step in valuing our imperfections as a part of growth, at least in theory. I know for myself, I believe in what I am saying to you now, but actually implementing that frame of mind well, that takes work. I hope someday it will become as natural as taking a breath. Until then, when I find my expectations turning me into a pressure cooker, I have to remind myself… it is a pretty long walk to that pot of gold. “It’s perfect, not to be perfect” so let’s actually enjoy the rainbow.