In Personal Growth

Free yourself from expecting the unattainable.

This picture encapsulates every “family photo” we’ve taken since 2011. Just this year, I pulled off the dreaded photoshoot (If I’m honest it’s really stressful for me to coordinate clothes then keep everyone clean and in a good mood for an extended period of time). I never really made family photos a priority which sort of sucks because the photos I’ve taken over the last 8 years, are selfies or I’m not in them. The photos Bruce has taken are mostly of truck parts he’s selling. But WHATEVER because we made it happen this year. #killingit #winning #bossmom

What about you? Do any of these expectations ring familiar in your own life?

  • Being the 30-something who hasn’t aged a day since high school.
  • Being the mom who never looses her cool.
  • Being the wife who wants to have sex as much as her husband.
  • Being the friend who never forgets a birthday.
  • Being the professional who gets all the promotions.
  • Being the business owner who can balance everything with ease.

You guys, NO ONE is achieving ANY ONE of these! Well, maybe the sex one, but she’s a mystical unicorn.

Now when you see these unrealistic expectations on your screen plain as day, can you see how ridiculous they are? And this is just the beginning of what we expect from ourselves. We beat ourselves up daily over all the things, big and small and I’m here to tell you to give it a rest already!

How to practice life instead of perfect it.

You know that jerk in your head who’s always talking smack? Say “no!”

Do not give her the power to label or criticize you. She is your inner critic and she can learn how to use nice words, just we did when we were little and realized the words we said mattered to other people. And by the way, she’ll be even harder to teach because she’s been rogue all these years. But, over time, notice her getting quieter about the shortcomings. Notice her actually start to cheer you on.

When you quiet the suffocating negativity, you can move into growth that is wide and far. But remember, nothing kills growth like negativity so keep shutting it down – every time. This has to be an intentional effort.

Give yourself permission to fail.

We can’t talk about growth without talking about failure. Failure is necessary for growth, but only the persistent will actually grow. The rest will give up. I don’t think they gave themselves permission to fail. I think they believed that failure meant it was over.

I want you to know that it’s never over until we take our last breath.

Learning when to listen and when not to takes practice too. When we’re presented with failure, consider your heart first and your  sources second. Whenever I would respond to failure with “so and so said this or that,” Bruce would quickly respond with well consider your source,” which is a kind way of saying what they’re saying has more to do with them than it does with you.”

When you weigh the two (your heart and your sources), you will know your next move.

Be persistent in your pursuit of growth.

If you failed (again), try a different approach. You know the saying so well, I probably don’t even need to say it but I will… “You can’t expect a different result by doing the same thing.”

This is a minor example, but might help you get the wheels spinning. I used to fall asleep in the middle of my bedtime prayers pretty much every night for about as long as I can remember. I would wake up every morning and the first thought that popped into my head was how I had failed, again. Then I had this brilliant idea. What if I didn’t lay in my bed when I prayed? Problem solved, until I fell asleep agains the headboard. Okay, criss cross applesauce in the middle of my bed. It worked!

Remember, when we practice we are constantly growing.

It’s a freeing feeling to know that perfect people do not exist. Even the facade of perfection will reveal this truth over time. If we’re real, give grace, and keep trying – life is better than perfect – it’s boundless.

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