I was 8 years old playing Monopoly with my family and I was losing! Badly!
So badly in fact that when I realized I was not going to win, I shocked everyone and threw the board, the money and all that was associated with the game up in the air, and stomped out of the room!
“Julie! You are such a poor loser! My mother said
“I’m done!” and I walked off in a huff.
Sadly, the older I got, the more competitive I became.
Where does this type of behavior come from?
My parents were both exceptional teachers and entrepreneurs. They raised us to set goals for ourselves and once you reached that goal, you needed to immediately set another.
Expectations were high. Perfection was not expected, yet it was understood you would do NO LESS THAN your very best and in that, perfection was assumed and thought of as right around the corner.
As I saw my parents make success look so easy, I thought it would be simple for me too.
WHEN YOU SEE PERFECTION AS THE NORM, YOU ARE UNDER
THE ILLUSION THAT IT WILL BE QUICK, FAST AND EASY.
I didn’t pay attention to all the long nights they worked, how much they pushed themselves and the many hours they spent honing their craft.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
It all comes down this one very important question: What are your expectations?
No matter which segment of your life we look at – personally, professionally, spiritually, or physically – we all have an idea of what we want it to look like.
Your expectations are what shape your emotions and thoughts on any given outcome.
The good news is that they can be changed just as quickly as you make them.
For example, let’s look at what some of your expectations might be in some of these different areas of your life by looking through two different lenses.
Please pay attention to the wording used and how your body feels with the change in words.
I NEED to have the PERFECT body vs I WANT to lose some weight and be HEALTHY. Or I MUST weigh 125 pounds or else I won’t be accepted vs I am working on dropping some weight. I know I am getting stronger and more flexible each day no matter what the number on the scale says.
I HAVE TO MAKE $250,000, drive a Mercedes and own my own company, only then will I be successful vs I DESIRE to make enough money to be HAPPY, travel and save a portion of what I earn, so I don’t have to work so hard later.
I want to know what ALL my gifts are and MASTER them fast vs I allow myself to EXPLORE each gift that I uncover and learn more about them AS TIME ALLOWS.
I WANT to have the PICTURE-PERFECT marriage vs I ACCEPT my spouse/family as they are and even if we don’t always agree, I understand we are all different and that is ok.
Can you see and feel the difference these words make and how they affect
your body internally?
The first sentences are full of “I Must”, “I Need” and “I Want” which puts an extreme amount of pressure on you to perform.
The second phrases include words like “Happy”, “As time allows” &” I Accept”.
These phrases feel so much better in your physical body and give you the unsaid and much needed time and space to become greater than you are, without all the added pressure.
YOUR IDEA OF BEING PERFECT IS KILLING YOUR HAPPINESS
No matter what you do professionally – working in a corporate culture, being creative or dabbling in hobbies that you love – your thoughts around your expectations and what you “think” perfect looks like, are killing your chances of being happy.
For example, if you are writing a blog post and thinking “This post has to be perfect. It has to succeed in getting people’s attention and it MUST be noticed or else I have failed.” You are making a pact with yourself that this must be executed flawlessly.
It doesn’t leave you any room to make changes, course correct or face yourself if the blog post is not received as you thought it would. It also can make you nervous, give you anxiety and even depression if you don’t get the results you expected.
In essence, you are putting so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, that you are not allowing yourself the opportunity to fail, to be better or even fully express who and what you are for fear others will not accept you and your ideas.
It’s great to want to do your best, yet here is the secret to a happy life:
THERE IS NO PERFECT!
There is no perfect person.
There is no perfect horse or animal.
There is no perfect Job.
There is no perfect love.
The only perfect thing in all the world is Spirit.
That is all.
ENJOY THE RIDE - LITERALLY!
In my last lesson with my horse trainer, I mentioned that fact that I like to have “perfect rides”. She said “There are no perfect rides. There are no perfect horses, no perfect people, no perfect circumstances. Once you realize this and begin to enjoy the ride and what life offers you, you will have more fun.”
Just like that, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and I realized I could just have fun in the lesson and that nothing was carved in stone.
WHEN YOU RELEASE YOUR PERFECT EXPECTATIONS, YOU CAN RELAX INTO THE HAPPINESS INSTEAD OF THE PRESSURE.
If nothing is perfect, I want to encourage you to release your expectations of being perfect.
Release your thoughts around having the perfect spouse or trying to find the perfect mate – they don’t exist…yet there is someone out there who is perfect for you, you just need to remember they, like the rest of us are flawed.
Release your thoughts around having the perfect ride with your horse.
Release your thoughts around you being the perfect employee or entrepreneur – it doesn’t exist.
Let go of your ideas about having the perfect body – you may never be satisfied even if you do look the way you want too.
In other words, don’t stress so much and begin to ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
Life doesn’t always go the way we plan, the reason is so that we can learn, laugh, and begin again.
Make life fun!
Let go of what others think or why you’re not where you think you should be “by now!”
Let it all go and begin to bring in thoughts like:
“I’m not where I want to be, but I am so much better than I was yesterday”.
“I’m not at my happy weight, yet I am down a size! Woohoo!”
“I haven’t found my perfect partner however I am dating an awesome person who gets me!”
As my father used to say “Enjoy the journey and don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff!”
Give yourself a break and begin to enjoy your life and all that it offers. You deserve the best and it will make you a lot happier in the long run.