Have you ever just thought about what it’s like to live today? There are so many resources and technologies at our fingertips that it’s hard to imagine what life was like without them. On the flip side, there are so many opportunities for comparison and pressure to be successful that it can be hard to imagine what life was like without that too. And don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having people that you aspire to and dreams that you want fulfilled. But there’s a fine line between healthily working towards a goal and succumbing under the pressure to achieve.
It doesn’t have to be something big either – could be wanting to be a great parent or spouse, wanting to be consistent with a workout routine or meal plan, wanting to read a certain number of books every single month, wanting to save a certain amount of money or not blow the grocery budget this time. We see all the opportunities in the world to succeed, but we don’t always extend ourselves the grace to fail. But failing is inevitable. Falling is inevitable. It doesn’t have to be a big fall, it could be a small misstep, but think about it. You beat yourself up whether you’ve only tripped or fallen smack on your face, don’t you. It doesn’t matter how big the mistake is. There can be hurt, disappointment, frustration, and even anger and we direct it at ourselves. You may have done something already today that made you side-eye yourself, but I’m gonna let you in on a little secret to make it better… you’re gonna do it again.
Now, you may not necessarily make the same mistake again, but you will mess something else up. I guarantee that. But guess what? You need to forgive yourself – over and over again. I don’t always make the right choices in my parenting, as a boss at work, when working (and sometimes reworking) my budget, but I also know that as hard as I try to reach perfection in those things, I’ll never get there. And that, friends, is when things started to change. When you shift your mindset from always trying to do things perfectly and instead just try to always do the best you can with what you have, I promise you’ll be amazed at what you’re able to do. You’ll also probably make fewer mistakes. You give yourself room to improve when you know there’s improvement to make, and there always will be. No one has it all right. Grasping at perfection will always leave you feeling inadequate and unsuccessful. But doing the best you can moment by moment, that’s where real change and real progress takes place.
I noticed that I’d been getting caught up in comparison pretty heavily recently. Y’all, that literally sucks. The life, the joy, the happiness, the motivation, was literally being sucked out of me the more I dwelled on where I haven’t made it yet. You know what a better comparison is though? Comparing myself to myself. Thinking back on where I was 5 and 10 and 15 years ago and comparing that to where I am today. Do I see a mountain of success? Nope. But I do see areas where I am doing pretty good. I’m getting better. I’m a better parent than I used to be. I’m a better manager than I used to be. I’m more consistent with my budget than I used to be. I realized that the more I mind my business, that is to be more concerned with my own growth rather than how it compares to someone else’s, pretty good is actually perfect. Doing my best moment by moment is perfect. Even if I have to squint to see it, there’s progress that I need to celebrate and grace that I need to extend and keep extending to myself along the way. I’m actually doing pretty good. And if you take a second to squint, you’ll see that you are too.