Progress, not Perfection

I did it again; the oven was not on because I forgot to turn it on to pre-heat. *$#*&# comes out of my mouth in a rush. Brent calmly asks what is wrong. I tell him that I am an idiot because I once again forgot to turn both knobs on the oven to have it re-heat. Brent tells me to stop being so hard on myself. And then I remember two other conversations from last week.

I have one girl friend who is hyper critical of herself. Specifically, she is hypercritical of her choices with respect to leading a healthy lifestyle. When I hear her berating herself I cringe inwardly, because I know and love her and she is great. She is one of the healthiest people I know. I can’t run a mile, yet she is able to run 4.5 miles twice a week! Yet, she is down on herself because she isn’t up to 5 miles yet.

Another one of my other girl friends posted a blog entry where she relates to her readers that a friend of hers asked her to stop being so self-critical. Her friend told her she is an amazing mom and friend and that really, she needed to stop putting herself down so much. (I can vouch for all of these things…when/if I am ever a mom, I will have this friend over to help me!)

So why are we all so hard on ourselves? Where does one learn how to put one’s self down?

Honestly I don’t know the answer. But I was recently given a new mantra, which I am trying to put into effect to counter act my own negativity.

The mantra: Progress, not perfection. In all things I am doing, especially my effort to become healthier myself, I am seeking to make incremental progress, NOT seeking perfection.

To that end, I am happy to report I have lost 8 of the 30 pounds I hope to lose this year. Additionally, my knees feel great and my jeans are fitting much better. No major changes, but definitely progress towards my goal.


Erin said...

My neighbor ran the Boston Marathon last weekend. He ran it in 2:52:54 (a 6:36 mile pace! For 26 miles!!), yet he came home upset because he was 40 seconds off his personal best, achieved at the Newport Marathon in Newport, OR.

Sometimes being so self-critical is not only irrational (the two marathon's are not even comparable, after all), but it makes other people insane!

Katerina said...

Somebody I know told me that if you have been loved in a very conditional way when you were little, you learn to relate to yourself in a very conditional way, too. I was really struck by that at the time, and I think this is why people are so self-critical. Because an unconditional kind of love has been missed at a critical age...