“We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right.” ~Marianne Williamson
I have not had lunch yet. :) But I woke up today thinking about perfectionism and how it has impacted my life. I wrote about this a couple of days before the 37 Day Journey started, but since it is so present with me today, I decided to get a couple of things out of the way so that I could continue my day.
I started the day thinking, "How will I ever be able to finish this task? Is it big enough? Is it small enough? Will I do it? Did I pick something that won't allow me maximum growth? Was I taking the easy way out? Is it too hard?" "Why did you wait till the last minute to choose?" Other thoughts creeped in, "Am I a different person in my personal life than in my work life?" "If I am different, why? What does it serve? Can I change it? Should I change it?" "How does this relate to my chosen challenge anyway?"
I started worrying about what would happen if I wasn't able to complete the challenge or what would happen if it leads me down a different path...would I just throw up my hands and give up or would I continue on because I promised myself I would? (Carolynn wrote in yesterday and reminded me to add "Keeping my word" to the list of qualities I respect in people. Keeping my word to myself is as important as keeping my word to anyone else. I am incorporating this into my journey.)
As all these thoughts swirled around me, I realized that this was that perfectionism thing rearing its ugly head again. That started a whole round of other thoughts, "Perfectionism is really self-centered...why can't you think about other people? You don't expect perfection from other people..." and other unhelpful ways of thinking.
I decided to look up "perfectionism" on Google and let my findings lead me. I finally landed on the quote above from Marianne Williamson and I realized what I needed to add to this journey/project/challenge. Somewhere in my head, when I read the question, "Am I becoming the kind of person I respect?" I hear, "What are all the ways you are not a person worthy of respect." Even though I was able to come up with a list of qualities I respect, even though I KNOW I embody some of those qualities, I was still focused on all the ways I have failed to become a person I respect. Growth is not just from looking at all the things I haven't done, but acknowledging the road I have already travelled.
I had to refocus my question: "Am I becoming a person I respect? What were my successes today? Where do I still need focus?"
Silly! I realized that perhaps what I chose to focus on for these 37 Days is much bigger than I ever dreamed.
If none of this makes sense at all, that's all right. It makes sense to me.