All our lives, we’re taught to strive for perfection with grades, extra curricular activities and our bodies, and yet, we forget how to just be happy in the moment, no matter how imperfect. Things like yoga and spirituality are fluid and unnamable in nature, and yet, my conditioned brain will still try to ace that meditation or be the “perfect” spiritual student. It seems like just when I try to let go of control, relax, and just be, perfectionism rears its ugly head and tells me I’m not relaxing properly, or I’m thinking too much, or some other crazy story my ego likes to tell.
It’s so common to try to apply this go-getter attitude to wellbeing, health and spirituality, but pushing and forcing will never have the effect you desire. So much of personal wellness is about surrendering, relaxing and letting go of expectations, even though all our lives we’re taught to grip the situation with two hands and go full throttle with effort and hard work. I’m learning more and more that if something you’re working on feels strained or painful, it probably isn’t going to be your best work. It’s better to let things flow out naturally from source, chill, and surrender to the process.
On this spiritual, holistic, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it journey, I have to remind myself that it’s not about being perfect or “getting it all together,” because there will never come a time on earth when you know everything there is to know and don’t make mistakes. If there’s no more room to expand, then you begin to feel stagnant and dead, like a branch whose growth has been stunted by a building. Problems come up in our lives to teach us things and help us develop, and although it may be hard to recognize in the moment, adversity is what makes us stronger. Being spiritual doesn’t mean you’re perfect or you’ve transcended the human condition. It means you work towards getting better every day while enjoying the moment you have now and soaking up the bliss of life.
I have negative thoughts, bad days, bad moods, and everything else that comes along with being a human, but I’m working towards not letting these things rule me. It’s a totally delicate balance between effort and ease, action and passivity. Although I have many moments where I get lost in ego and anxiety, if I can operate from my higher self a little more each day, it will only go up from here, and I will only be better equipped to deal with challenges moving forward. There would be no light without darkness, and learning to watch your bad moments without judgment or adding fuel (aka fear) to the fire is an awesome skill to learn.
Letting go of analysis, criticism and frantic thoughts will open up the channel for source to move through you in everything you do. When source is moving through you, it means you’re in a state of allowing, you’re not forcing or controlling the situation, and you’re following your natural inclinations, interests and desires. You weren’t given all these dreams, goals and desires for no reason, you were given them to pursue them and more importantly, to enjoy the entire process from beginning to end.
For so long, I’ve put off my creative writing practice because of perfectionism, and being afraid of creating something inferior or below my vision. But when you loosen your grip on expectations and “trying” to be something or someone else, that’s when the true you shines forth so you can create something unique and of highest quality. I’m trying to be more present with my writing and more importantly, have fun with it. Why would I want to write every day if I look at it as some horrible slog that I have to force myself to do?
I used to try to copy the styles of other writers because I thought it was what I “should” do, but that only pinches me off from my source of creativity and joy, and produces a poor imitation of someone else’s work. I was drawn to writing in the first place because it’s supposed to be FUN, not some super serious endeavour that has to fit into some tiny, limiting box. If that was why I was doing it, I would just copy and paste the words of another author onto a page and call it a day.
Letting go of perfectionism, even for just one moment during your day, is the most freeing thing you can do, and it will actually lead you way closer to excellence than forcing things ever will. If you practice every single day and truly enjoy what you’re doing, whether it’s yoga, dance, writing, or something else entirely, eventually you’ll surpass your wildest dreams. But by that point, you won’t care so much about the end result because you’ll have had such an awesome experience just creating for the joy of it. 🙂
How do you drop perfectionism so you can enjoy your creativity?