I have a friend who has battled with addiction (and is kicking it’s ass, btw). She has been in clean and sober for a couple years and she told me that she keeps herself on track by focusing on progress… not perfection. That phrase, “Progress, not perfection,” had become her mantra.
I am 100% for doing what works for you to keep yourself moving and growing. I commend anyone who is making progress toward a goal, but something about that phrase always felt a little off for me.
Progress… NOT perfection.
I love the idea of finding satisfaction in growth. It is a beautiful thing to see people making things better today than they were yesterday. In my opinion this is a constant process that never stops no matter how educated, successful, or evolved a person becomes.
“Not perfection” is the part that gives me pause. This phrase seems to imply that that perfection exists as this beautiful unattainable thing that you aren’t good enough to achieve. That image you have in your head of perfection: slap a big NO across it.
Excuse my language but screw that.
Has anyone told you that you don’t have to be amazing or you don’t have to be the best? I know I’ve heard and even used those “words of encouragement.”
These words are all symbolic ideas interpreted individually based on circumstances. Redefine the image you have of yourself by redefining these ideas.
To be amazing, just look at that parts of yourself that you are most proud of, and play into those strengths expanding on them.
To be the best, redefine the way you interpret your skills. Am I the person who doesn’t have the best balance, or am I the best at tripping over my own feet while I walk down a hall? I prefer to look at it as the latter because this is much more entertaining and brings comedy and joy to my life. The only thing changing between those two is perspective.
Instead of removing perfection as an option, redefine perfection.
It does exist, but it’s not some magic place you will never get to. You are probably already there, my friend, because… that progress that you’re focusing on so hard, bettering yourself, your life, working towards something, accomplishing it, then working toward your next goal….
THAT is perfection.
Progress IS perfection.