You don’t have to be perfect.
Here’s the harsh truth:
You’re not going to ever be perfect to everyone.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to evolve, to care, to succeed, to be awesome, it just means that you can let your quest for perfectionism pull you down into despair.
When I was a little kid, I would sometimes be afraid to draw things because I would have to erase the mistakes every time I made Snoopy’s head a little wobbly. That only happened when one of my older siblings laughed at my drawing, told me it looked like crap, and to go put my head back in a book.
Now, I don’t care too much about drawing Snoopy perfectly. I just explore with form and e texture and color and those positive and negative spaces.
Here’s another not so harsh truth:
Every day is an opportunity to live.
That’s right. Each day we get is a day we probably have to work and deal with people, but it’s also another day to just get out there and live, to live each moment and think, “Holy poop. What’s going to happen next.”
When we worry too much about how we look in our bathing suit, we lose the opportunity to jump in a Maine lake with our friends.
When we worry too much that our book’s copyediting won’t be perfect, we lose the opportunity to share our story.
Our perfectionism about our work, our body, our minds, our selves keeps us from playing, from joy, from wonder, from living in the damn moment and living beyond that moment.
When your life goes a bit out of control? That’s when your perfectionism really does you in. You have to cultivate the playfulness inside of you that allows you to spend each day as an opportunity that you can approach with curiousity and wonder and maybe even joy.
I know! I know! What kind of wildness is this? Joy?
When you feel stressed because you feel like you aren’t good enough, try approaching yourself and the problem differently. Applaud yourself for every little victory you have the way we applaud toddlers for taking their first wobbly steps, first full word, first full sentence, or even first time they make it to the potty.
Allowing ourselves to approach ourselves with wonder and acceptance is really an amazingly strong and brave thing.