Saturday, 23 November 2013

What is perfection?

My clients often speak of their deep sense of failure based on the belief that they're just not good enough. The overlap can extend far and wide, a dark heavy blanket covering their home and work environment. Their role as a parent, sibling, manager, friend, wife or husband comes under scrutiny by their over critical headmind.
"I'm so bad at keeping in touch - I'm such a bad friend!"
"I feel overwhelmed at work, out my depth, I'm not even sure how I got this job."
"I missed the signs when my daughter was struggling."
"Why did my wife not tell me she was so unhappy?  I'm hopeless!"
How on earth can we expect to master all the roles handed to us, perfecting every aspect of being human when no-one...NO-ONE is perfect?!
I shouted at my son the other day after he slammed the door in an angry outburst.  My reaction, shouting at him, was not necessarily the best, or perfect way to deal with that situation, but it's what I did.
If you find yourself demanding perfection from another person ask yourself this, "How can I demand perfection from others when I too am imperfect?!"
Try thinking STOP when the headmind starts up with its sabotaging thoughts and just be kinder to yourself. Swamp your negative, repetitive thoughts with the words your best friend would say to you if she or he heard you putting yourself down this way.  Visualise loving arms holding you and telling you not to be so hard on yourself.  You are here.  You are human.  You do what you can with the knowledge you have.  There's no-one out there getting it right all of the time.  We learn as we go.  You and I are no different.  We excel at times, and we make mistakes.  That's LIFE!
STOP thinking you're flawed and start being more forgiving.  By being more gentle and kinder to yourself you will find it easier to be that way with others.  As we heal we're then more able to heal others, relieving them of the burdens and beliefs they carry on their shoulders.  Life is such a short journey, shouldn't we try to love and laugh more while criticising and condemning less?
"Once you accept you are not perfect; then you develop some confidence." - Rosalynn Carter
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." - Anna Quindlen

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