Progress over Perfection

Mariel Witmond
Mariel Witmond

19 December, 2018

Progress over Perfection

I used to have a therapist for many years while I was in my 20’s. I lived in LA and it seemed like the thing to do – though in all honesty, I know she helped change the course of my life and kick started my journey within. I would look at her and think she had it all together, and by comparison at times I felt I was an absolute train wreck! Becoming a life coach, I would question whether I needed to have it all together in order to help others. That is, until I realized that it was my journey that made me a good coach – my willingness to be a mess, but my deep desire to learn and grow from that place of imperfection. It is the lessons I learned through growth that make me aware and able to help others. And that’s when it became clear to me: we need to learn to honor progress over perfection. Life isn’t about being perfect, it is about learning to be better. It’s about acceptance and the pursuit of growth.

When we are on our path to self-discovery, it’s completely natural to find ourselves in slumps of self-doubt and lack of confidence. Nobody has it 100% together 100% of the time. Whenever this happens, and it will happen, it’s important to reconnect with your values and your life’s meaning and purpose. It’s important to reconnect with yourself, with the kind of person you want to be – to find yourself again. Building a good relationship with yourself will teach you to feel and accept these doubts and fears, but to move past them as well.

Here are some things you can do when you are feeling low, to remind yourself of who you are and the journey of learning and growth you have committed to:

  1. Find a sacred space where you can reconnect with yourself. Maybe it’s a corner in your house that’s just for you. Maybe it’s a place you know you can go to, to be alone. Maybe it’s a place where you feel safe. This sacred space can be whatever you want it to be, just be sure it’s a place that brings you back to you.
  2. Create a habit that can bring you within and to your truths. Maybe it’s journaling. Maybe it is daily meditation. Maybe it is the repetition of a personal mantra/affirmation in front of a mirror. Whatever it is, don’t look at it as a chore, but instead a habit and personal commitment to help keep you on track.
  3. Spoil yourself. Go and do something you love or something that helps you feel good about yourself. Get a manicure or a massage. Go shopping. Indulge in your favorite food or drink. Come back to your happy place and remember your worth.
  4. Create a special reminder. What can you use to remind you of your highest self? Of what you want to be more of? Maybe it’s a post-it on your mirror, a piece of jewelry you can wear all the time, a message in your journal, a vision board you can look at every day. Find your “thing” and let it be a constant reminder of where you are going and who you want to be.

The journey isn’t meant to be easy, but if you can stay on track, it will be worth it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have more control over your life than you might realise. It’s not easy to shift perspective on command, but if you can become aware of the way you do and see things, you can work towards shifting that perspective into a happier, more meaningful life. That is why consciously creating habits that can bring you back within are so important, they are your defences against the natural slumps in life. Be willing to go through those slumps without judgement towards yourself. Feel what you are feeling (our emotions have a lot to teach us), but reconnect with what matters most to you and who you want to be so that you can learn to acknowledge and simply walk by those doubts and fears as they arise.

Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart. – Paulo Coelho

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