In one of the first episodes of “Fresh off the Boat,” Eddie, the eldest kid, comes home with straight A’s on his report card. He swaggers into the room, his arms waving his report card above his head, to the tune of victory. But when his parents see the results, all they can think is that school must be too easy!
I admit, I both laughed and grimaced during this scene, as it reminded me of some similar experiences from my own childhood. It also struck fear into my heart with the realization that I am guilty of often buying into the same mindset — the mindset that whatever we do is not truly good enough, that in practice, perfect always falls short of perfect.
Arrrrrgh, what an annoying and obvious trap!!!! Can you believe we’ve been buying into that?!??
How many times have you failed to celebrate and acknowledge your own accomplishments, able only to beat yourself up for having missed something?
How many times have you totally crushed another’s sense of accomplishment by pointing out something they should have considered, should have done differently, should have said with more clarity, should have should have should have should have!??
How many times more will you look completely past the expression of joy and satisfaction on someone’s face and dash it to pieces with multiple suggestions on what they can do better next time?
In pursuing perfection we don’t achieve perfection, we just create frustration, lack of achievement, hopelessness.
It’s time to let it go, and here’s a simple way to start:
- Remember that intention I asked you to create last month? Yes, the simple one, the one that wasn’t laden and complex. Write that one down again.
- Take that intention now and make a list of all the ways in which you have been living it out for the past 30 days.
- Yeah, I hear you already starting to beat yourself up. I don’t care how short the list is. I don’t need to hear whatever excuses you think you need to make. Stop berating yourself for what you didn’t do. Really, just stop!
- Put that list up. Celebrate what’s on the list. Do something nice to reward yourself.
Try to stay in that place of celebration and acknowledgement for at least 5 minutes a day for the next month.