Refinement: Best Effort VS. Perfection

Lessons in Refinement:  Improving by making small changes

I've thought about this a lot lately. I tend to suffer from perfectionism. If I can't give it a perfect effort then I tend not to do it. If I see too many ways to fail...I won't even try. Some times after completing a task I look back and beat myself up because it wasn't a perfect effort. I might have completed the task to my best effort but because of my limitations it just wasn't perfect. Wow. Even just typing this it sounds so horrible...so mean. I don't hold everyone around me to this standard. I am happy and celebrate when someone in my tribe has given their best effort. So why can't it be good enough for me? No idea. It's only been the last few years (with the help of some very kind, wise women) that I've even become aware of this flawed thinking. Lately in my life I have been feeling a shift coming on. I've been letting go of some of the things I used to like to do, to spend that energy on things that are new in my life. The MIC (my inner critic) in my head is yelling terribly rude things to me about it. But I feel like I need to make room for some new things that bring me JOY. One of my friends on FB shares the most fabulous little tidbits of encouragement. One really resonated with me. "Comparison is the thief of joy. Not just comparison between ourself and others, but comparing ourselves to either what we were or what WE THINK WE SHOULD BE." What we WERE. Interesting. Think about that for a minute...

So, leave the bad in the past. OK. Or even if there were good things that used to bring you joy but don't now....it's OK to put them down. Maybe you'll come back to them, maybe not. But you can only carry so much. Our lives change and evolve. Our passions will evolve too. It's OK to not do ALL the things you used to do. If it doesn't bring you joy anymore why are you hanging on to it? 

Don't be sucked into the shame vortex of comparing yourself to the person that you think you should be. Sure...work to make yourself better. But don't not love and find joy in who you are now. This person you are now...she is important. She needs your love and acceptance, flaws and all. Her best effort won't be perfect. NO ONE IS. 
No one. 
Not the fancy lady on Instagram. Not the fit lady on Facebook. Not the most caring, patient, loving and joyful grandma on the planet. None of us perfect and giving a perfect effort (and MIC is yelling at me right now) IS NOT POSSIBLE. 
But giving your best effort is. 
Being your best self involves self-love, self-care and self-mastery. I follow Will Smith on Instagram. I would hire him to be my life coach. Seriously. I watch his Instastories with a pen and paper. Last week he said something to the effect of, Self-mastery IS self-love. You have to love yourself enough to say, "No, I'm not going to eat that ______ (pizza, donut, candy bar) because I love myself enough to make better choices. Self mastery is loving yourself enough to exercise your body and mind because it's good for you. He has a ton of other advice...but that's it in a nutshell. So I guess my focus in the coming months will be to discover who I am right now.
Then work on loving her, flaws and all. 
And I'll try to let go of the things that I used to love that are causing me guilt right now (because they are good things...just not for me right now). I will find a new balance to the things I love and some self-mastery/self-love to go along with it all.
I would love to hear some of your thoughts and positive tips and tricks. Feel free to email me (the positive things, I'm in a pretty fragile state of mind right now) joysisterlori@gmail.com, or leave a comment on theJOYsisters Instagram page. 

Have a JOYFUL day and remember to be kind...even to your self!! 
{ESPECIALLY to yourself}
JoySister Lori

Comments

  1. This is such a powerful thing to contemplate. I LOVE IT! I love that you were willing to be so vulnerable and put it out there. I know this is hard. I recently took that road of vulnerability and I felt naked all week, realizing people were seeing the REAL me, insecurities and all. But as the days got farther and farther from my post, I felt empowered. I hope you will too. As women, too often we feel the need to gloss over, put on a smile and BE something we are not. Maybe, like you suggested, it is who we aren't right this second, maybe time, transition and life will bring some things back full circle. Maybe other parts of us will lay to rest in our past forever. We are a product of thousands of choices, experiences, love gathered, gleaned, cultivated. We are amazing, each in our own right, each with our own story. I needed to hear this. To recognize that EFFORT is the beautiful course of life. That I get credit for trying {though the world may not teach that, it remains a truth. One of my favorite quotes, from a favorite movie City of Angels: "Some things are true whether you believe them or not"...comes to mind.}. I am becoming. I know you are too. Your words penetrated the thick skin of my disbelief in myself and spread through me like sunshine when you lay on the grass and soak up the warmth. I totally needed this. Thank you JOYSISTER~Lori for stepping on the ledge, spreading your wings and soaring. #spreadthejoy #therealjoynofakejoyaroundhere

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  2. I just wanted to say that I used to feel this way too. I used to be a perfectionist. I used to be so hard on myself for not being perfect AND then one day, I realized I will NEVER EVER be perfect here and Heavenly Father knows that, and that is why we have the plan of salvation, the atonement of Jesus Christ. He fills in the gaps. And like you said, we aren’t that hard on other people, why ourselves? Well, the mere fact that we want to do more is a blessing to God and when we turn to Him he can make us strong. If we say I’m the worst, or I’m not good enough we are turning down His help. He loves us in our imperfectness, and He wants to perfects us, but perfection doesn’t happen here. These two words perfect & perfect go hard in hand spelled the same, yet have two different meanings. If I’m down on myself doing the best I can, than the adversary is winning. If I embrace, “I did my best” and will keep doing what I can with my time, my talents, my abilities, and the knowledge I have now, then I am winning in the Lord’s eyes. Satan wants us to be down, feeling worthless. He wants us to feel like losers, ashamed and alone, but Jesus wants to lift us us. I take great courage in that and He is cheering us on.
    It doesn’t, you don’t, I don’t, we don’t have to be perfect to be wonderful and our striving makes us Holy.
    No matter what you are trying to accomplish. Making dinner, being a parent, a friend, carrying out an assignment...Do your best and acknowledge others’ bests too, and your best and theirs WILL get BETTER.

    Using God’s love & grace has empowered me to do things I don’t even know anything about, but the thought of failing never enters my mind. Trusting in Him, I’m ok with trial & error. Making mistakes and learning as I go is part of the process and is exactly how we apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily. This knowledge has made the biggest shift in my life & I can do more and see more good in others. This shift happened when I truly understood the mercy and grace of God. It is powerful. I leave this with you with love and with all faith that if you lean on Him, he will strengthen you in ALL things, not just spiritual, but temporal too. You are doing better than you think, purely because you want to do more,this is the spirit within you. Through humility verse guilt He will raise you up. I send you my hugs and encouragement to keep winning in God. ❤️

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  3. Thank you. Just from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I love that we’re all in this together. And the more we bundle together the harder we are to break. (Heart emoji)

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