Like a perfect body, a perfect mind is unattainable- stop trying to "complete" yourself
The best athletes in the world all certainly have at least minor physical flaws, such as slight muscular imbalances or a body part that only regained 90 or 95 percent of it's original capacity after healing from an injury.
We all know the realities of hollywood or the people we see on magazine covers; they have all sorts of physical "defects" in terms of beauty like everyone else.
We seem to have a decent grasp at least that physical perfection is virtually impossible, but as a fitness and lifestyle coach, I often see that when it comes to mental perfection or perfection in our behavior, many of us have a completely different set of expectations.
Don't get me wrong- there can obviously be major imbalances or dysfunction that cannot be ignored and must be addressed. But be careful that you're not unnecessarily striving for a state of mind that is never going to come and isn't necessary to enjoy life and be successful.
Chasing a perfect mind will slow you down and make you unhappy
Well meaning parents, the ghosts of church control over society and a predatory self help industry are largely to blame, but we seem to have much less sympathy for ourselves and others in terms of behavior than we do for physical imperfection.
Our minds control our behavior, and because they cannot be perfect, our behavior never will be. You will always have moments of bad judgement or vindictive feelings.
But because we continue to cling to this impossible, puritanical ideal of mental health, there are vast swaths of people already running at their maximum beating themselves up and filling the seats of therapists and Tony Robbins events.
It immediately crushes what we believe we're capable of because we think we're not enough- just one more adjustment, one more revelation and we'll be ready to take on daunting challenges. Or it robs of our happiness, as we fall into the same trap of thinking it's right around the corner- just as soon as we've found the final piece. The final piece is understanding that you're already enough to be happy or successful.
But truly happy or successful people understand that not being perfect is no barrier to getting the most out of life. Like physical barriers or imperfections, the "flaws" in your behavior are probably much less impactful than you think, or can be overcome.
It can end up being a brutal self fulfilling prophecy- someone thinks they don't have enough confidence or lacks motivation because of normal or minor things like falling off a workout program or getting nervous about something, and now weave these qualities into their identity. "I'm bad at public speaking" or "I'm not a motivated person" start to become part of the narrative we tell ourselves about who we are.
Fix what you can and forget the rest- the results will take care of themselves
The key is to break the paradigm that connects perfection with success or happiness. Think Kirk Gibson's epic World Series homerun on one leg, or Penny lee Dean swimming the English Channel in record time with an artery missing in her arm.
People can put off going to the gym for years because of a shoulder or back problem they've magnified to the point of paralyzation. So many do the exact same thing with things in their minds! Maybe you are a bit dumb. Maybe you'll always have anxiety or be prone to depression.
Again, there's always major stuff that needs to be dealt with. But in most cases, it's better to just forget about it and push forward and most importantly- never get down on yourself for not being perfect or not being enough. If you do, it will guarantee that your "imperfections" will control your life and rob you of true perfection- giving everything you have and loving yourself regardless of the results.
Set limits with self development, and don't get caught up waiting for a day that's never going to come.
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