PROGRESS, PERFECTION, AND PATIENCE
One of the most difficult things we face in life is to try to progress without being derailed by perfection and impatience. Take New Year's resolutions for example. Each year, millions of people decide they'd like to be healthier. They start by going to the gym and each day, they progress towards their goal. And then life happens and they miss a day. The record is no longer perfect and it becomes easier and easier to skip until they no longer go to the gym. Another common scenario is that after a few weeks of going to the gym, they don't see the results they wanted and so they quit instead of being patient and honoring the progress they have made. In both instances, we see that progress lives and dies by patience and patience is derailed by perfection.
We've all been those gym-goers with something in our lives. We quit playing piano because we didn't think we were good (perfection) and we didn't have the patience to practice every day until we became good. We stopped eating clean because the results weren't coming fast enough. We stopped budgeting because we splurged and our record wasn't perfect... plus it was taking too long to get out of debt. You get the gist.
It's not wrong to want something to be perfect but to maintain our motivation for anything, we must come from a place of patience and acknowledgment of progress. A few years ago I wrote The Beauty and Power of Slow Progress, an article speaking to the power and beauty that comes from honoring the growth that only comes from slow and steady progress- something that takes a large amount of patience and the ability not to compare yourself to others.
To progress, we must take things day-by-day. We must trust the process and have the patience that we will get there. We must look away from perfection and honor where we are in the journey. In our progress.
If you are struggling to find the balance in progress (something we must have to be happy), perfection, and patience, I urge you to take a look at how far you've come and keep your eye on the goal... no matter how long it may take you to reach it or how imperfect the journey may seem. Here are four ways to do just that:
- Keep a journal- go back and read it to see how far you've come.
- Share with a friend- talk to your support system, they'll remind you how awesome you are.
- Write yourself a review at the end of each week. How'd you do? What progress (no matter how small) did you make?
- Keep a calendar of your efforts and don't break the chain.
Are you struggling with progress, perfection, and balance? Reach out to me and share your story.