Nothing has to be perfect.
Public Service Announcement: Nothing has to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. Your life doesn't have to be perfect. Your job, relationship, habits, family, skills, body, mind - none of it needs to be perfect. So why do we feel like it should be? It's a strange feeling, and one that we all struggle with in various ways. Whether you feel like your body is inadequate because it's not perfect, or maybe you haven't shared that creative hobby of yours with anyone because it's not ready yet. This idea that anything less than perfect is somehow a DISGRACE to you and your children and your children's children for all eternity is just not beneficial to any of us.
For me, I find myself falling into a negative thinking pattern when anything doesn't meet my standards of perfect. I think to myself, this isn't perfect, so I can't enjoy it at all. For instance, I'l go to the gym and someone will be hogging the shoulder press and so I won't get to do my routine in the perfect order. So my whole day is ruined and my life is over and EXISTENCE IS TERRIBLE. What a waste of a workout, if I couldn't do it perfectly, then why bother at all!? Ludicrous. It sounds ridiculous when I write it out like this, but so often do I see the world as a slight disappointment and therefore worthless. And I usually expect everything to perfect, pretty much setting myself up for a not-fun time.
Obviously this type of thinking does not serve me, and I've been making a huge effort to stamp it out. When I 'screwed up' cooking the fish tacos last night, my brain kicked in to this negative perfection loop. I have this moment where I feel the frustration, disappointment and anger well up inside me - where I just wanna flip the table and scream. BUT I usually refrain from doing this and just have a little internal sook about everything being ruined. Catching myself at this moment, I tried to break the pattern. I took a deep breath - and thought about it...
"Now Erika, are the fish tacos actually ruined? No. They will still be edible. They will still taste delicious. So what's the problem? I tried a new technique in coating the fish and the results were not what I anticipated. So... we learnt a lesson then didn't we? I guess so... We had an invaluable experience in which we tested something new, and learnt from the outcome. Gosh what a wonderful experience it has been! Imagine if the fish tacos had've turned out perfectly, you wouldn't have learnt a damn thing. Aren't we grateful for this imperfectness?"
And that's how I re-wrote my brain! Super lame, I know. But our brains are super lame creatures at times, and we have to teach ourselves to think how we want to think. Even if it seems like going back to basics. I've seriously used this technique like multiple times a day this year. I realised that when things weren't perfect, I was allowing it to greatly effect my happiness. Which is cray cray. So whenever I feel myself getting shitty and wanting to FLIP THE FUCKING TABLE OVER -- I have a fun time seeing how I can reframe the situation and feel grateful for the lack of perfection.
Thankfully I have such high self esteem that I never worry about my own personal imperfections, but I imagine this line of thinking can be applied to anything. I try and use it for when my paintings aren't perfect, when I didn't handle a situation as I would've liked, when I have an interaction with my partner that didn't go according to my hopes - trying to see the value in things rather than detracting points for not being 100% perfect. Anyway, maybe I'm the only one who expects everything to be perfect and experiences shattering disappointment when it's not - but I hope that you can relate and maybe hijack your brain to bring you more happiness!
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