Perfection Is Overrated

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I have this idea in my head of how things are supposed to be… How I am supposed to be. I have come to the conclusion that my ideas may not be realistic. I am always striving for perfection in my life, striving for that “perfect” body, for those “perfect” eating habits, the “perfect” life as a single, working Mom who went back to school… I am falling FAR short of “perfection.”

A few years ago when I was competing, I had what I (NOW) consider to be that “perfect body.” In order to get to that point I had to be spot on with my nutrition and training, in other words… PERFECT! Even though life was hard back then, I was able to pull it all off. Life is still hard… yes, it’s a different hard, but still… why can’t I seem to get my shit together and pull off what in my mind is perfection?? OR… Is perfection this elusive thing we try so hard to achieve, but ultimately are unable to get there, or stay there rather, making us feel unfulfilled? I mean, really, the fact of the matter is, I was at my best, but now… well, I am human and imperfect.  I am realizing that trying to be perfect robs you of your growth, success, and joy… at least it has for me.

“Perfectionism is a 20-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen and taking flight.” –Brene Brown.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t try to be better, we definitely should! There is always room for improvement! But as humans, I think we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves and when we fall short of what we think should happen we are disappointed. We are our own worst critics, after all. Sad. We give others leeway in mistakes and shortcomings, why not ourselves?

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life. Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.” -Brene Brown.

We need to let go of who we think we are supposed to be and embrace who we really are!  Imperfections and all.  “Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses, they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.” -Brene Brown

Remember…

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H.O.R.S.E.

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So… I played HORSE yesterday with my friend. It has been YEARS since I have even held a basketball, let alone made a shot! It was fun to “play.” I felt lighthearted and happy…like a kid with no worries, even if it was only for that half hour. It was just fun to change up my routine…and my comfort zone. Ha! Thinking about this game of Horse got me thinking about friendship and what qualities I look for in a friend.  

Honesty! By far, this is the number one for me. Not being honest with me is a deal breaker. At this point in my life I don’t have time for games. I SOO appreciate a straight answer, an honest answer. No hem-hawing around, just the honest truth. I am tired of being lied to. 

Open and real.  This actually goes hand in hand with honesty. I have known people in the past who have put on a false “mask,” only showing what they think I want to see. The mask ALWAYS falls off and true colors shine bright. Being open and real is the only way to have a true friendship. No one wants a friend who is perfect.. we all have flaws, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. “What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.” -Brene Brown.

Respect. This is huge. Being single again I have done the online dating thing. Four out of five of those “first dates” want to be exclusive upon meeting. WHAT? You don’t even KNOW me! BIG red flag! All this tells me is that guy just wants to get in my pants.  NOT going to happen! If you start off on that foot ALL respect is gone before the friendship/relationship even starts.

Sense of humor. I like to laugh! So being able to share humor is very important. 

Encouragement. I have a friend who always encourages me to be better. I don’t think he realizes the impact he has on me. But I am grateful for the motivation. Life gets hard sometimes, I know I have said it before, but having someone in your corner cheering you on, not necessarily trying to solve your problems for you, but just someone who is there simply caring about you, is often times all you need. 

Friendship is an interesting thing.  There is no contract to legally bind you together. There is no real binding commitment to the other person, other than what you are willing to bring to the relationship. I think that is why friendship is so valuable. The option is always there to back out at any time, and yet, with those authentic ones, we never do. But really, I think what it comes down to, at the end of the day, after divorces and breakups, we CHOOSE the people we want in our lives. Being accepted for who you are and being able to trust and know that you will not be judged is what it is all about. What you give comes back to you. “Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life and said, “I’m here for you” and proved it.”–Unknown.