Friday, December 04, 2009

Perfectionism


Perfectionism does not make you perfect. It makes you feel inadequate. You are not worthless because you can’t do it all. You are human. You can’t escape that reality, and you can’t expect to. Self-acceptance is the goal.

Life is a marathon. It’s an endurance event played out over time. You can have and be all the things you want to be. Just do it over a lifetime. Don’t try to do them all at once, because you can’t. If you try to, everyone around you will suffer – mostly you.

Comparing how you feel on the inside (bad) to the way someone else looks on the outside (great) is a losing proposition. It’s an impossible standard. We will always come up short. Humility means accepting yourself – with every plus and minus, every defect and asset, exactly as you are today. It’s stepping back and appreciating the whole picture; where you are today; what you’ve done and what you want to do. Humility means neither beating the hell out of yourself nor glorifying mediocrity. Today’s picture isn’t set in stone. It will change. That’s self acceptance.

So don’t set yourself up for failure trying to win an award in every area of your life. But do set high standards for yourself. Decide what a realistic ‘excellent’ means to you in each area and go for it. I’m not talking about settling. I’m talking about setting obtainable goals that will keep you stretching and growing.

The key is to stop concentrating on the negative and turn positive. Try not straining for a goal that you can’t possibly achieve. Reach forward, beyond yourself, stretching for the limits of what you can achieve today. Your life is like a mosaic. You have to figure out where the pieces fit and put them together for yourself.

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