Friday, November 6, 2009

The Perfection Illusion.

Do you often find yourself thinking you are "not good enough?" Honesly, this is something that frequents my thoughts. I am a comparer, one in recovery. My newest tactic: Compare old me to new me. Yesterday I read this post, and my friend shared many of my thoughts. I actually chatted with her in her driveway a few months back about the same thing.I have always seen here as one of the Perfects, and have had to learn that she struggles too. (Sorry, Jen, I am just being honest. You always seem so on top of everthing!) There are just so many people out there inflicting issues on themselves by inaccurately comparing something they are not good at with something the neighbor is great at. Why are we always comparing our worst to someone else’s best? All of us struggle.

Anya Bateman said, “Such feelings of inadequacy, discouragement, and even jealousy are unfortunately common to many of us when we compare ourselves to others. Yet it’s difficult not to compare—and too often as we do, we feel we are lacking. We respond with: “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be like that?” or “He has all the luck. It just isn’t fair.” We may even feel guilty that we aren’t doing more because some other person we know of seems to be doing so much. Sometimes we develop the “why try?” attitude: “I could never do as well, so why try?”

“It seems the adversary does his best work when he convinces people to concentrate on what they don’t do or don’t have, rather than on what they can do and do have. We each have special gifts and blessings. The trick is realizing what they are and acknowledging them.” Read the whole article here.

Perfection is an illusion (at least in this life) and if we actually had perfection there would be no reason to be here. Do you agree? Without trial there would be no reason to come to earth. Isn’t this life about trial and error? Would you want to limit your growth potential? Isn’t that essentially what we are doing when we compare ourselves to others, limited our potential. Giving up before we've earnestly tried.

If you are so focused on others will you look back with regret at lost opportunities?

One of my favorite quotes:
Hell is the knowledge of opportunity lost; the place where the man I am comes face to face with the man I might have been. - Anonymous

Perhaps we all live under some misconceptions . . . It is natural to assume that everyone else has his life under control and doesn’t have to deal with dark little weaknesses and imperfections.

"There is a natural, probably a mortal, tendency to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, when we make these comparisons, we tend to compare our weakest attributes with someone else’s strongest. . . . comparisons are destructive and only reinforce the fear that somehow we don’t measure up and therefore we must not be as worthy as the next person.

"We need to come to terms with our desire to reach perfection and our frustration when our accomplishments or behaviors are less than perfect. I feel that one of the great myths we would do well to dispel is that we’ve come to earth to perfect ourselves, and nothing short of that will do. If I understand the teachings of the prophets of this dispensation correctly, we will not become perfect in this life, though we can make significant strides toward that goal.” (From Marvin J Ashton's Ensign Atricle)

I guess what this all boils down to what Jen said, "life doesn't have to be about looking perfect and having everything that you see others have to be successful. You can find happiness in your imperfections and weaknesses."

Gordon B Hinckley always said to do the very best we can. That is all we can do. Do your best. Try to be better than your former you! It's hard to stop wishing for the greener grass, the grass isn't alway greener on the other side. Maybe they appear to have everything in balance, but behind closed doors they unleash the beast we all try to keep sedated in public.

I think that is the the most important thing I learned in my yoga training. Yoga is about self-awareness. Not others-awareness. You can look to others for ideas, as a guide, but that is all. We all do things differently. You take time to breath, look inside, discover your strengths, aknowledge your weakness, and push forward to something better. A better you. You have to look inside and find the strength to continue through a difficult vinyasa, hold, or balancing pose. In yoga you have to be honest with yourself about your ability or you can hurt yourself. So it is with life. Find your strengths and build on them.

I think we are all similar in the fact that we all have hardships to deal with. Maybe if we think of that next time that judgemental voice pops in our head we will be less likely to harm ourselves or others. We need to help one another.

What has helped you stop playing in the comparing game?


Connie said...

Age. Seriously, I've decided it doesn't matter. I'll do the best I can do. There's so much you can do! Stop comparing!

Lindsay said...

So true.

Camille said...

very insightful. You have so many great qualities of your own! So, stop comparing! It only diminishes your own feelings of yourself (talking to myself) :) Thanks for this post, Rachy