The Pressure of Perfection
I often find myself getting caught up in everything I wish I was.
I get so obsessed with the things that I am not doing well enough, the habits I need to break, the new ones I need to form- that I completely overlook the beauty in my life.
I spend more time making lists of the things I should learn to love, rather than doing the things I already love.
I lie awake at night telling myself that I need to workout more and eat healthier and practice my cello more and do more bible study and be kinder to my family etc.
All of these goals would be fine if I didn't put such an overwhelming pressure on myself. A pressure to achieve these things in __ number of days, and to have them perfectly dialed in. The problem with this, you see, is that when I put pressure and a time limit on these things, I take the joy out of them. Bible study becomes a chore because I'm doing it out of want rather than a yearning for God's word and His comfort. Exercising becomes a dreaded task because of the pressure surrounding it, rather than the runners high I love. When I put the pressure on, I allow the anxiety to take over and the fear of not doing it well enough is all I can think about. When this happens, I avoid starting.
I tend to think of things with the idea of "all or nothing." I would rather jump into everything head on instead of slowly easing into it. I've convinced myself that if I don't give everything 110%, I'm failing.
I'm finally learning how untrue that mindset is. Instead of putting the pressure of perfection on yourself, I think the trick may be to slowly begin collecting the good. Collect the good habits, the good people, the good mindsets. Because then, when your life is full of more good than you've ever seen it posses, there won't be any room for the bad.
Don't worry about starting a workout routine, a morning routine, a challenge to be kinder or more Godly, and a 30 day health challenge all at once. It is too much for your heart to handle. Focus on the most important first, until it feels like home. Instead of picking everything to put all of your energy, pick one thing at a time. Be intentional with the way you spend each day, spend more time with the things that give you joy. Then once you have worked your most important goal into your every day life (consistently), move to the second on the list.
This life is too short to spend it in company with the constant pressure of perfection. Focus on your number one. If the first thing on your list is substantial enough, focusing on it will lead everything else into place.
Take a deep breath, let go of the pressure you put on yourself.