My Toastmasters Club (Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters) has a theme for each meeting. Last week, the theme for the day was "Progress, not perfection." I love this approach to life.
It reminds me of my many years of struggle with perfection. Shame was the monster that pulled me back in life. The thought of being perfect would mean no one could spot my blemishes, so that perfection would disallow any feelings of shame. Nice try, Jerry. [Blind Spot]
The illusion of perfection was an alluring trap that enticed me into its grasp with promises of flawlessness and unattainable standards. This pursuit sent me into frustration, anxiety, and a relentless cycle of self-criticism. Instead of embracing progress, I fixated on perfection, setting myself up for disappointment.
Perfection becomes the unclimbable mountain that continues to move away as I inch forward. Perfectionism is a mirage that closes my eyes to the beauty of small positive steps toward progress. When focusing solely on achieving perfection, I overlook the invaluable lessons along life's journey that come from making and learning from mistakes.
Pursuing perfection is like standing at the starting line, endlessly checking my gear while the race has already begun. Conversely, progress is about stepping forward, learning from mistakes, and adjusting along the way. It's a continuous improvement process, embracing imperfections as part of the journey rather than seeing them as failures.
Failure isn't the endpoint; it's a steppingstone toward progress.
The pressure to be perfect can lead to stress, burnout, and a constant feeling of inadequacy. In contrast, focusing on progress allows me to celebrate small victories, appreciate the journey, and maintain a healthier perspective on my goals.
By taking steps toward progress, I become open to growth, resilience, and a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.
Today, I trade the pursuit of perfection for the embrace of progress, knowing that each small step forward brings me closer to my aspirations. Operating from my free spirit permits me to welcome my mistakes as I learn from them.
How about you? Does perfection cloud your journey forward?
Watch for the blind spots.
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