By Lindsay Christensen
The world of blogging is relatively new to me, so when I was asked to contribute a post to The Wellbeing Revolution, I was extremely flattered and excited! I immediately began to think of what I would like to write about: my post needed to be insightful and relevant, personal yet relatable for everyone. It needed to be a demonstration of my very best work. No pressure!
As I struggled to brainstorm an idea for this new blog post, I became aware of a strange sensation permeating my mind; I felt like my stream of consciousness had been dammed, and the flow of my thoughts subsequently put to a halt. A few ideas managed to squeeze through this “dam,” but, to me, they felt weak and uninspired. Why was this happening? After all, I was focusing all of my energy into coming up with an idea, trying with all my might to produce something original and inspiring.
Then it hit me: I was trying too hard! The pressure I was putting on myself to come up with the “perfect” idea was doing just the opposite of what I intended – it was blocking the very source of my thoughts, rather than encouraging creative thinking.
Unfortunately, this is a pattern that many of us fall into – we believe that there is such a thing as “perfection,” and in our attempts to obtain this gilded status, we sap ourselves of our creativity and energy, the very faculties which we are trying to employ. Then, when we are unable to obtain our “perfect” goals, we feel extremely frustrated and angry with ourselves, and beat ourselves up about our perceived “failure.” We then seek out another area of our life in which we believe we can obtain “perfection,” and the cycle starts all over again. However, you needn’t get caught up in this cycle!
Instead, when you find yourself setting a goal with perfection in mind, or when you get angry at yourself for falling short of your idea of perfection, try using one of the mindfulness techniques below:
1. Quiet your thoughts, and ask yourself “Why do I want this to be perfect?” Your answer to this question may help you uncover the emotions that lie beneath your desire for perfection; addressing and working through these emotions is healthier and much more satisfying than trying to contain them in the rigid cage of “perfection.”
2. Another question you might ask yourself is: “What will happen if this isn’t perfect?” Write down your answer to this question; sometimes seeing your thoughts on paper can help bring clarity to a difficult situation. Hopefully you will be able to see that the world won’t end if your goal for “perfection” isn’t exactly met. Nobody and nothing on this earth is capable of perfection, yet the world keeps on spinning!
3. Think of a situation in your life that didn’t go exactly as planned, but that you were ultimately able to resolve. Learn from these past experiences; we can each be our own teachers in life if we can simply look at our pasts as a source of guidance and moral support for our present lives!
4. Look to nature: Nature is a wonderful example of the beauty of imperfection! No tree is perfectly straight, no flower perfectly symmetrical; if these things were perfect, imagine how boring our world would be!
Hopefully, after you have had the opportunity to start incorporating some of these mindfulness techniques (or any other ones that personally help you) into your daily life, you will gradually come to this amazing realization: You are perfectly imperfect! In fact, everything on this earth is perfectly imperfect. By allowing yourself to feel the freedom and joy that comes with accepting imperfection in yourself and in the world around you, your energy will increase, your creativity will flow, and life will be much more enjoyable!