‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? ~ Marianne Williamson.
Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that in order to be “good enough” I had to keep myself in line. I grew up, without even knowing it, a relentless perfectionist. I value quality. I am a “CAN DO” person. I am motivated to fix-change-improve. That is my modus operandi and, in my best moments, it’s a great thing. In it’s positive aspect, it the desire to win is driven by a belief in, and honor for, the infinite potential of human beings. In it’s unbalanced aspect, it’s a punitive form of flagellation and re-play of conditions that were set long ago. The “perfectionist” idea is so central to who I am, that it has never even occurred to me there was another way of being… until right now.
Looking back, I have always not only set high standards of achievement for myself, but I’ve also had very narrowly defined rules for what I consider “good enough”. Strangely, though, I don’t think I’ve ever once met these standards in an honest way. I am always setting these bars, and somehow I never meet them. (In my line of work, I often talk about setting realistic expectations as a benchmark. In other words, if the goal isn’t attainable, it’s not a useful goal.”. Well, I realized today that the way I’ve gone about “keeping myself inline” isn’t a positive motivator, but the very thing that prevents me from realizing success. By nature, it is set up to be punitive – I have been punishing myself for not being good enough, by continually reinforcing the idea that “I’m not good enough”: “See, “I’m not good enough”, “See, I’m not good enough”, “See, I’m not good enough”.
That’s the voice of my ever present disciplinarian, watching over my shoulder with her scrutinizing eye, her ruler in one hand, threatening me with a “whack!”. But who can perform to their best under these conditions?! How can I ever be good enough, if I don’t ever, ACTUALLY, allow myself that “luxury”? It’s this weird self-fulfilling prophecy, a closed-loop cycle of self-flagellation.
Well, screw that.
Success and self acceptance go hand in hand. I have the power to choose whether or not I succeed, and that depends on my willingness to accept myself for who I am. It’s funny; yoga has been teaching me this all along, but I’ve never realized it’s significance in my every day affairs until now. In that forum, it wasn’t until I accepted the sensations of my body in intense heat, or in a deep stretch, that my body changed, and not until I accept myself as perfect just the way I am, at my very core, that I can grow, and be the best version of my TRUE self that I can be. THAT is authentic success.
Okay, here’s a message for you: There is only ONE you. And only YOU can be it. The world needs YOU to share your vision; your ideas, your perspective. It’s precious – the only one of it’s kind. Every one of us, in our unique variations, and in all our perceived “imperfections” are equal in our inherent, flawless quality.
High powered executive, cash register attendant, landlord, gourmet chef or short order cook, whether your IQ is 108, 175, or 75, we are all equally valuable, and worthy of expressing who we are and what we really think. Free yourself from the dross of self-criticism, the scrutinizing, watchful eye of the omnipotent maleficent… who put you sleeping beauty stayed in her dreamlike state!
And if you need a little push, please enjoy this awesome scene: