Why the pursuit of perfection is stopping the process…
See the idea is to be the best version of yourself. So, it would seem to follow that the best version of you, and I, is the perfect one. The one who looks great, accomplishes everything that is endeavored, and who is always stress free and joyful. Other adjectives could be added to make the picture of perfect more clear in our minds but I think you get the point. Whatever your picture perfect idea of yourself is, that very picture, could be robbing you of joy and potentially halting all progress.
The very word progress is related to, and sounds like another word; process. Process is the series of actions that must take place in order for us to reach a certain end. If you want to become an accountant, musician, or writer; there are particular skills that you need to acquire. All of us understand that. We understand that the accumulation of those skills may take varying degrees of time depending on how new they are or familiar they are to our current state. Circumventing the process is difficult and often detrimental to the end goal. So, we pay our dues and we go to school, work our ways up through the ranks, and spend time developing our craft.
The time that is spent wide awake at 2 am, the pain that is endured through in order to play the guitar another fifteen minutes, and the tears of frustration that come due to difficult concepts are doing something important. They are refining us and showing us just who we need to become in order to get where we want to go. They are reminding us that we still have learning and growing to do. They remind us that life isn’t easy and this world stops for no one. Maybe, we were raised to think differently though. Maybe somewhere along the way picked up an idea that we needed to be perfect and we couldn’t show anyone anything different. So, the hair is just so. The job, and the car, and the kids, and the, and the…, and the…, are always doing great and so are we.
And there it is. We have stepped off the path of learning, growing, and getting closer to our goal. We are now on the busy road with some many others, who are trying to convince the rest of their social circle that things are going perfect. Perfect plans being executed perfectly every day. The energy that takes is the same valuable energy needed to keep your head down and working at the very thing we actually want. We can’t stay up and work on a passion project until 2 a.m. because we have to go to our “real job” to pay for the car and the house that convinces people we have it together. We can’t get frustrated over difficult concepts that make us bang our heads against the wall and spend extra time on them because then we may not be available to attend the right brunch, social event, or appearance.
Sure, I may have overstepped the boundaries of fitness for a moment or, have I? Is the way we think about so many other areas dangerously creeping in to our fitness? At Iron Mile, we count reps and record our personal records because they give us a mirror into where we are at today. They may be slightly better or slightly worse than the day before. The scores show us weaknesses and strengths, problems and possibilities. We get to see day in and day out where we are in the process. We also see we are not perfect and that is okay. No one really is. We are getting better and that is more valuable than the pseudo image of perfection we may try to pass off to those around us.
Let’s be where we are. Let’s own the sphere we are in right now. From there we build and grow into being better. We can also remind ourselves that we don’t need to be perfect, we just need to take steps to keep improving. Perfection isn’t the goal. Improvement is the goal. Moving forward in process is the goal. Progress is the goal which means most of us are already there.
Keep Lifting. Stay moving. Serve others.