Progress, not Perfection

For the last few years I have been slowly working through grief and sorrow. While walking this path, I find that I beat myself up because I haven't "made it." I vividly remember hiking up Mt. St. Helen's with an amazing and supportive group of people talking trash to myself because I was tired, hot, and not feeling my best. Each step, about halfway up the mountain, I was telling myself that if I was thinner, it would be easier... if I was nicer, it would be easier...it was never about the fact that the climb is hard...it was about me, as a person.

Now I look back and realize what a pivotal moment that was in my life. It was when I realized that I was not as healthy as I wanted to be, physically and mentally. It was the beginning of a journey to find me. I have a great friend who loves to cite the phrase, "Progress not Perfection." It is truly one that I want to embody moving forward. Trying to be "perfect" has been a lifelong struggle. Although, thinking about it, I know that that is an impossible task.

Why do we do that to ourselves? Set expectations so high that there is absolutely no possibility of achieving them, then beating ourselves up because we didn't meet them. It becomes a vicious cycle of high expectations, not meeting them, feeling inadequate, making excuses, then starting again.

I think if we could embrace the thought that the journey is never really done. We are born, we walk the path of life with it's ups and downs, moving ever closer to the end. We never arrive, there is always more to do. We can approach our goal but we will never actually get there. It's progress...

Making progress toward our personal perfection is important. We don't need to be perfect for anyone else, we don't need to be perfect for ourselves, but we do need to commit to moving forward, making steps to improve our outlook, our health, our lives...every day wake up and make the decision to try to be better than the person you were yesterday.  Focus on Progress, not Perfection.

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