One of my biggest A ha's in 2013 was the realization that perfectionism is merely an illusion that is born out of fear. Perfectionism is such a huge detriment to our lives and we don't realize it. We think that in our trying to be perfect, in being the best in everything we do, that it pushes us to be our best selves. But I will argue that point. I believe that in trying to be "perfect" in everything we do we actually put restraints on ourselves. Restraints in trying things where if we didn't feel we had to be perfect at we might do more, try more, explore more, just be more! I have noticed that when I let myself off the hook from trying to be "perfect" that I actually do better. Whenever I do a radio interview, I consciously have to let go of the notion of being perfect. And know that in my willingness to make a mistake I leave myself much more room to play, to grow, to be free and to let others know that it's OK not to be perfect!
It is truly freeing to let go of the chains of perfectionism. And it doesn't mean we just go into everything we do not giving a BLEEP, but rather when we get in touch with WHY we are doing a thing, what we want to get out of it, then that can be our focus and if we make a mistake, well hey we learn and we sit comfortably in our humanity. To take my radio interview example, when I am getting ready to do one I ask myself what I really want out of it. And the answer is to have some fun and to impart some information. And if I do those things than I am a success. I don't need to do that perfectly then in order for it to be fulfilling for me. When we can really let ourselves off the hook in regards to making mistakes, to know that mistakes are the portals of discovery and that unless we are making the same mistake over and over again, we are in fact learning and growing.
And as I think further about letting myself off the hook from being perfect I realize what that can do for my relationships. For as we treat ourselves, we treat others. When we have issues with people and we can turn inward, we usually find that the particular issue is one we have with ourselves. And when I know I am not going to be perfect and it's OK, then I can even more so accept flaws in other people. I can more fully love others in their beautiful human imperfections instead of expecting other people to behave "perfectly." That's not to say that we should remain in relationships that are abusive or hurting us, but that we leave other people room to grow. When we can accept the "flaws" in others in loving ways then we allow them to be vulnerable and in that vulnerability we allow them a safe place to grow. And what we give to others, we get.
So one of my intentions for 2014 is to allow all of us to be imperfect and to recognize how that space enables more growth. And to continue to take steps in the direction of the things that I want, even if I am not very good at it, knowing that through my mistakes I will learn, and to trust that I am always supported in my endeavors and will be fine just exactly the way I am at that time. My wish is the same for you, that you let yourself off the hook from being the very best all the time, to know you are always enough in the moment, and that your growth will come with ease when you allow yourself to be human. Happy New Year!