In a recent conversation with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile I asked her if she was still running. She indicated she wasn’t running much anymore but still getting her steps in walking and sometimes a little jogging. She went on to say “I was never really good at it anyway”. I am guilty of saying similar things referring to “running” as “jogging” judging myself for my speed. What this really is…it’s us being too hard on ourselves! We are judging ourselves for not being the best. Think of all the social pressures we see in our daily lives–people taking over 20 selfies to choose the best one to post and then using filters to hide themselves even more. Posting only the best.
It bothered me to hear her say that she was never really good at it anyway. I never saw her as not being good at it. What is good at it anyway? How do we determine such high standards for ourselves. Think about it…we are set up to make mistakes–it’s a big part of how we learn and how we grow! From birth learning to crawl, toddler learning to walk, and preschool learning to ride a bike for the first time. There were falls along the way. We were not designed to be perfect. It continues as we learn to roller skate, ice-skate, skate-board, ski, etc. We fall, we get up, we try again and we learn from it. I’m guilty of still taking a fall now and then both physically and mentally…
This fall was about a year ago, I got up, looked around to make sure no one saw, brushed it off the best I could and finished my run. When I got home I cleaned it up and felt proud that I was still able to run and made it home. We are not designed to be perfect. We can’t let perfect stop us from beginning or stop us midway through. My personal favorite saying right now is “progress not perfection”. I’ll say it again–Progress not Perfection! We all make mistakes, have flaws, take falls and if you don’t you are not challenging yourself enough.
Whatever it may be that you want to do–do it–challenge yourself! If you want to write a book sit down daily with a pen and paper for a set amount of time and start doing it. Even if you just end up doodling…it’s progress. If you want to paint or draw get that blank canvas or sketch book and set a daily time to do it. You’ve got to begin. Remember Progress not Perfection. Don’t let perfect stop you from beginning. Enjoy the learning, the growing…it’s called progress.