Self-Focused v. Other-Focused

Day Twelve:

Do you feel pressured to be perfect?

“Perfection is the absolute lowest standard you can have for yourself because it’s impossible to attain.”

No, I do not feel pressured to be perfect. Perfection is not realistic. I am flawed. I make mistakes. Sometimes I make poor choices. Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. Sometimes I eat the whole carton of ice cream. Some days I am lazy. But every day, I am human.

I do however apply pressure to myself to make progress.

Progress takes patience. Progress is me working toward my ambitions and the goals I have set. Progress is me simply competing against myself, not an image of what some one else believes to be perfect or ideal.

I don’t have to be the best; I just need to do my best. Which some times this is easier said than done.

In all honestly, I tend to feel guilty if I let a weekend go by and didn’t finish my to-do list. I feel guilty if I skip the gym or veg out in front of the T.V. to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy. I feel guilty when I spend time doing anything that isn’t something to move me one step closer to my dreams. I feel guilty if what I am doing doesn’t make me a better version of myself.

That my friends, is a heavy weight to bear.

The beauty of all of this is you can start over. When the sun comes up the next day, you get to try again. It’s okay to be unsure – to try and fail at anything.

At the end of the day, feeling pressure to be perfect – whether it’s coming from yourself or an external source – is only going to cause you harm. You’ll feel more stressed, more disappointed, it can increase your anxiety, fuel your fears and crush your self-esteem.

Think of it like this: when you are striving to make progress to improve – you are self-focused, but when you are striving toward perfection, you are other-focused.

I am a work in progress. I appreciate the journey, I won’t compare myself to others, I mess up and take chances and I work very hard at ensuring I take the opportunity to gain perspective when I do begin to feel the weight of the pressure I’ve applied to myself.

And remember, a little progress each day, adds up to big results!

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