How many times did you feel anxious but you didn’t understand the core reason of that emotional state? We live our lives frenetically, constantly looking for something that, at the end of the day, we don’t even know what is it. Why? Because we never had the time or the chance to stop for a second and listen to ourselves to understand it. Or maybe because we never really wanted to.
Everyone’s dream is to have the perfect life: the perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect family and so on. Have we ever looked back to see what are we really doing? What are we doing it for?
Do we want to make our parents proud? Do we want to feel part of something by doing something that the others expect us to do? What’s the reason why we run back and forth, maybe doing a job that we don’t like or spending time with people for making someone else happy? There are so many things we do based on false needs, and they keep us far from developing our full potential and make us live the lives of others.
It happens more often than we think that when we grow up we think that we just have to be perfect at all costs. The big sister has to be an example for the younger one or younger ones and the sole child has all the weight on his/her shoulders and so on. Not only in our family, but everywhere we can see that someone else has high expectations and we just must fulfil them. We work so hard even if it’s not what we want for ourselves.
How difficult is that? To always look perfect in the eyes of others, who ask us how we’re doing and always hear “I’m good! I’m happy 24/7 and everything’s going just perfectly”. I think this is absolutely impossible, and you?
Not being constantly happy is just normal, it’s life. It’s our life. And we just have to live it as it is right? All the time spent stressing ourselves only to make others happy is just time we lost. The goal is not perfection, it’s happiness, our happiness. How can we achieve that? First of all, we have to understand that it doesn’t matter what we do, it will be impossible to make every single person that we have near us happy. That’s the first step, the most important one, but also the most difficult one to do. So, let’s get to work! We have to get rid of this perfection. What if, instead of perfection, we aimed to excellence? Excellence is doing the best we can embracing our mistakes. This quest can take us to matery.
All the studies say that if we really want to master something, we need 10’000 hours of practice. Which reading like this can be “scary”, but if you spread it out it becomes 1000 hours every year for 10 years. Every day it’s only three hours of mental practice, which is totally doable right?
The best is yet to come: when we’re looking for perfection we’re not allowed to make any mistake, but when we aim to mastery we accept failure as a part of us being humans, but most of all because without mistakes we can’t grow. When we’re looking for perfection our goals are so unreachables that it’s almost impossible to reach them because they’re unrealistic, when we aim to mastery they are difficult to reach, but they are reachable.
When we’re looking for perfection, everything we do is not enough, when we aim to mastery we celebrate every little result, because it’s a part of the bigger purpose. When we’re looking for perfection we focus on negativity, when we aim to mastery we focus on the positive things. How can we do that in our everyday life? That’s simple, here’s an exercise we can do to get out of perfectionism. Our mantra is: make as many mistakes as you can.
Over the next week just choose one mistake and do it:
– Send an email with some spelling errors, or with a double space;
– Take the wrong turn on your way to work;
– Use different plates when you’re setting up your table for dinner;
– Say yes to a project (a little one) even if it’s not 100% perfect;
– Go to the train station and buy a ticket for the first train that’s leaving, without knowing the destination;
– Go out without your phone.
Feel these mistakes, then make some more. Have you ever felt like this?