What Do You Mean I’m Not Perfect?

Recently (the last few years) I decided not to leave this world with regrets. So when asked or even when not asked I say, “I have no regrets.” I tend to follow that statement up with how I plan to leave this world, ‘surrounded by a rainbow of beautiful men and a few choice women’. It’s true. In addition to having no regrets it means I had to accept that I’m not perfect. This was really difficult for the control freak/perfectionist in me. What do you mean I not only make mistakes, but will continue to make mistakes? Yes, you make mistakes, Simone. Not me, I’m perfect.

Part of the game plan on leaving the world without a single regret means admitting that I make mistakes and accepting that I will continue to make mistakes. That I will and have had major failures in my life. When I make a mistake I forgive myself for doing so, because I’m a human being. I’m not a goddess, all-knowing and powerful. I could throw hours of a good pity party and feel sorry for myself or I can correct the error as quickly as possible and keep moving forward.

When I linger on my past mistakes over and over again, this causes depression and low feelings about myself. It’s a very passive way to live and not very healthy. Coming to acceptance that yes, I do make mistakes, gives me choices about how to handle the situation better. For example, I grew up hearing that God doesn’t give me more than I can handle. What I’ve learned from that is not only is it usually something that I can handle, but I’ll keep dealing with the same issue again and again until I learn the lesson from it.

Basically, it’s how I avoid insanity, which I define as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. When a pattern starts to repeat in my life, dysfunctional relationships, bad living situations, crazy ass bosses who work my last nerve, the common denominator every time is me. I’m the only one who can change. I have to stop reacting to the situation and start responding to it. Taking a moment to recognize that pattern and decide that if I want a different result, I must do something different than what I’ve always done in the past.

Sometimes it sounds like personal growth is easy for me. It’s hell. It’s hard work. When I was younger I learned various reactions to the myriad of situations life handed me. I developed an instinctual way to solve each problem. Even when the consequence wasn’t something I wanted. It was easier to blame things outside of me. I think that’s the nature of the American culture. I grew up hearing that if someone wronged me, sue them, which reinforced the thinking that nothing was my fault. What makes it difficult for me to accept my mistakes is because I didn’t want them to be mine.

They are my mistakes. Mine all mine. Sad, but true. So it becomes a thing of how do I break a bad habit in my life? Recently I read that breaking a habit is a very difficult thing to do, much harder than I grew up believing. When I was younger I heard it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, turns out it takes 66 days. Three times as much time? Triple the dauntingness plus three days! Then add to that my mind is precondition to reward myself (IE: it’s okay to do the bad habit) because I started the good habit and therefore I defeat the good habit I’m trying to instill in myself. Yikes. Let the vicious cycle begin.

It is hard to stop rewarding myself for doing the good by going back to an old familiar habit. My mind rationalizes it though. If I go for a two and half mile walk, I cannot have the slice of cheesecake or pint of ice cream at that point. If I write 2500 words in a day, I can’t take the next day off to watch a TV marathon. Doing the instant rewards sets me back to zero, immediately. They are mistakes. That’s not to say that I won’t make them, but I know that it defeats my chances of successfully building a good habit. Especially when the reward I’d like is a little more long term, like fitting into a smaller size pair of jeans or finishing the first draft on a novel.

The smaller, bad habit rewards aren’t the true goal for me. So a sacrifice has to be made and eventually I can and do get to the bigger more rewarding consequences. It becomes a matter of convincing my head that it’s worth it because in the end, I'm worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment