Faith, Life, and Marriage · The Encouragement Corner

Growth Over Perfection

As we head towards Christmas & the end of the year…heck, the end of the decade (although, some will argue that with me), people will begin to make all sorts of goals & resolutions that will probably be broken within the first 2 weeks of the new year. Resolutions can carry a lot of pressure with them, especially in this culture where you’ve probably shared your goals/resolutions online for everyone to see, in a culture where there are all sorts of books telling you to wash your face, get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy, stop apologizing, eat more kale, etc, all sorts of “influencers” out there you’re mentally comparing yourself to.  It’s easy to completely give up if we mess up once because we tell ourselves we have to do it perfectly every day or it doesn’t count. There’s a lot of pressure to measure up, to be perfect, to hit the target every. single. day.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely can’t do that.

Personally, I’ve tried to reflect on my own behavior & patterns over the past year. I’ve come to realize I can get easily impassioned & excited about something but then Sucess is not final, Failure is not fatal_ it is the COURAGE to continue that counts. - Winston S. Churchill (1)overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to do it perfectly or consistently, rather than focusing on the growth I make in that area. I may get super excited about a hobby & take it on for a few weeks but then drop it because all my brain can see is that it’s going to take forever to master my ultimate goal for said hobby, or I miss reaching my goal once so I feel like I’ve failed altogether. From there, I get overwhelmed & tell myself I can’t do it, so I just give it up. It could be my workout regimen, morning routine, eating healthy, drinking enough water, my art, keeping the house clean, hopes & goals for one day…any number of things.  So this year, I’m taking the pressure of trying to be perfect at [insert goal here] off myself so I can focus on growing, in general. I’d rather learn to be more & more consistent over time rather than trying to be perfect everyday until I overwhelm myself, fail once, & feel like a failure forever. I try to carefully reflect on & recognize when that emotional “bucking bronco” of excitement over something rears up & when I see it coming, take a breath, & remember to slow myself & take everything one step at a time. Instead of trying to run the race all at once & realizing I can’t do it, try to focus on each step, then the next, then the next. I’m trying to remember whatever skill I want to improve on isn’t going to happen all at once, but will take time, so pacing myself for the sake of consistent growth will be better than burnout. I’d rather look back on my year & see more successes than the year before in whatever my goal is, even if there are some misses mixed in, too. Yeah- there will be failures, but what will matter is that my growth is trending upward rather than stagnating under the perceived pressure of trying to be perfect.

“A mile isn’t run all at once…neither is life. It all takes one step at a time.”
– Emily Geiger

And I tell you what, I have a ton of goals & visions for myself for this decade: running marathons, establishing a successful art business, grow the ballroom’s business, eat & live healthier both physically & spiritually…just to name a few. And all of that can be overwhelming if I try to take it all on at once. There’s a lot involved in every one of those goals but if I break them down & grow as I go…I’ll get to look back in 10 years & see the incredible journey, strides, accomplishments, & improvements I’ve made.

So, this upcoming year (AND decade), THAT’S my goal: I want to grow & improve my physical & spiritual health, I want to improve our business, I want to grow my own business, I want to get better at dance. Sure, I may set some daily goals for myself to help me achieve those goals but when I don’t reach those goals every day, I’ll remind myself that it’s okay, as long as I pick back up & keep trying again tomorrow.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
– Maya Angelou

Be blessed, friends, and Merry Christmas!

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