Updated: May 8, 2019
Human evolution is about progress not perfection. Let go of the suffocating grip of expectation to rise to the best version of yourself.
Imagine for a moment what it would be like to let go of the suffocating grip of expectation. What if you accepted yourself as you are right now. What if you stopped comparing yourself to others, stopped judging yourself, stopped blaming yourself...what would your life be like?
Sadly, most of us would fall into a state of anxiety when considering the scenario above. I have witnessed many clients almost fall apart when considering self acceptance.
Well, it's simple. We have deep programming to hold onto comparisons, judgements and expectations. In large part, we believe that if we put aside all the "shoulds" and the expectations of self that we would stop evolving, that we would not get what we want.
The belief that if we go easy on ourselves, we would not strive for what we want is prevalent in our society. We have been conditioned to work hard, to see our flaws, to not settle, to forge ahead against all odds. We are hooked on feeling bad about ourselves as motivation towards success.
Think for a moment of something you are wanting to change in your life right now.
Go ahead...I'll pause and wait for you.
Now let's get real...Be honest with yourself when answering these questions.
Are you motivated to change because you want to be better?
Are you wanting more of something that brings you joy?
Are you accepting of what is now?
The likelihood that you answered no to these questions is high. This is simply because we are addicted to wanting to get away from our flaws, wanting to change to be like someone else, expecting that we should be __________ (you fill in the blank).
Who would you be if you were not trying to be perfect?
This is a hard question for me to answer even now after almost a decade of self awareness and a dedication to human evolution. I have strived for perfection and worked very hard to figure it all out. When I say all, I mean all. I have obsessed about meeting very high standards that I set for myself based on the story that my mind created about who I am suppose to be. I believed it, I felt separate and alone, and unworthy if I did not meet my expectations of self.
When I started the journey of self awareness I did so with the expectation that I would fix all my imperfections. After years of obsessive behaviour and always feeling like I was falling short of the ideal. It dawned on me, there has to be a better way.
This is when I started to allow what is imperfect to be. The practice of acceptance has brought me more harmony and peace. It is an ongoing practice. I do fall back into old patterns of perfection often. I choose to acknowledge my progress rather than highlight my imperfections.
When you no longer argue with what is, the mind's compulsion to think lessons.Your heart opens, and you are better able to access intuition and infinite intelligence.
Acceptance is not about liking what is, or staying stuck in what is. When you accept the wave of the moment, the circumstance, the thoughts, the emotions...you stop resisting. Your energy is free to tune into the intelligence that can give you the clarity, and the action that is best for you in that moment.
3 Ways to Choose Better over Perfect
Interrupt by noticing with compassion - when you find yourself judging, blaming or comparing yourself, simply stop and notice what is happening. Be kind and compassionate as you would be if you were in the presence of an innocent child.
Accept the wave of the moment - you do not need to like what is happening, just acknowledge it. Allow it to be as it is, without judgement.
Take an action towards better - you can have what you want if you accept what is. You will probably get it even faster. Take an inspired action from a place of wanting to be your best self.
Be warned acceptance is one of the most difficult concepts to understand and to practice. Our minds are deeply conditioned to the opposite. I read the book Radial Acceptance by Tara Brach, almost 10 years ago. My first reaction was to refuse to accept, the book made me angry. I put it aside and only picked it up again years later.
My first impression was that acceptance meant giving up, it meant settling for what I did not like. At the time I was experiencing severe anxiety and insomnia and I did not want to accept that at all costs. I was ashamed of it, I didn't want anyone to know what was happening to me, and I certainly did not want to accept it.
I also judged other people that gave up as being lazy and not good enough. I prided myself on the struggle and doing what others were not willing to do. I believed that if I accepted what was happening to me at the time, it would equal death. The death of the highly accomplished human I thought I was. This was all a story my mind was feeding me, a story based on decades of conditioning.
I tell you this, to share with you where I went wrong. I fought against acceptance because I misunderstood it, and it cost me a lot of pain and suffering.
My hope is that you will gain a better perspective of acceptance and choose to take inspired actions for the sake of being better not perfect.
What are your thoughts about acceptance, have you practice it? Share your insights in the comment section below.
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Wishing you love, joy and peace,