Practice Makes Perfect...Right?

Practice makes perfect.

As a perfectionist this phrase was music to my ears.

“I can be perfect, as long as I put in more practice?! Deal.”

So I practiced in every area of my life. I practiced in the kitchen. I practiced in business. I practiced in relationships. I practiced in health. I practiced with my horses, with the dog, and even with the bird. I practiced self-development. I wanted to be perfect.

But here’s the problem. I wasn’t getting anywhere closer to perfection, but it didn’t stop me from practicing. Except now I was frustrated, desperate, and critical. Cooking became tedious because it was never good enough. Relationships with people and animals were strained under the pressure of perfection. Exercise because unfulfilling, because I wasn’t strong, fit, or flexible enough for perfection. Work became work because it wasn’t ever satisfying the need for perfection. And I was crumbling under my own expectations.

A perfect life doesn’t exist (at least not on earth). And if a place doesn’t exist, how do you get there? How can you get any closer to no where?

If perfect is what you’re after, let’s define “perfect”.

What if we changed our approach? What if instead of the lie that practice makes perfect, we said that practice is perfect?

Perfect isn’t somewhere we are trying to go. Perfect is the mess that’s happening now. Perfect is the practice.

Perfect is not about never screwing up.

Perfect is laughing at the messy kitchen and forgotten salt.

Perfect is the apology for hurt feelings. 

Perfect is the righted wrongs.

Perfect is the getting back on.

Perfect is the clarified misunderstandings.

Perfect is not never feeling angryanxious, fearful, ashamed, sad, or hopeless. Perfect is the practice that we do everyday to conquer, overcome, and outgrow these emotions.

Messy is perfect. Growing is perfect. Imperfection is perfect. Practice is perfect.

Right now, give yourself permission to say that practice is perfect. Love the mess, continue to grow, practice. Practice, not for perfection’s sake, but just for the sake of practicing.

Where are you practicing? Can you exercise, just for the sake of exercising, not for any end goal? Can you forgive, just for the sake of forgiving? Can you communicate, just for the sake of connection? Can you practice, just for the sake of practice?

Here’s to Conquering Stress,

The Stress Experts

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