Thursday, April 12, 2012

'Let go of perfection in order to get better'...

Quotation from a knitting/spinning blog that I stumbled upon earlier. It just resonates, though.

I know this person, I'll just call her "bird". As in "little bird." Bird always tries to fly, and gets massively disappointed when her wings won't hold her up, when she can't do those amazing barrel rolls she sees all the other cool kids doing in the skies. She ends up hacking away at her sense-of-self because she's not instantly perfect at something she's only attempted a few times, shouting internal recriminations and pithily-devastating refrains. Sound familiar?

The thing is, we are all born with this wondrous quality of having to do something before knowing how to do it well. It's called experiential learning (just in case you were wondering). Now while there are those of us on this planet born with innate grace (I wouldn't know anything about that, trust me) and an immediate sense of how things are done, the vast majority of us still have to learn by doing. And not just doing once. Your brain hasn't had time to dot the i's and cross the t's yet. It takes time for all that neuronal sheathing to connect in new neural pathways, enhancing the chem trails, much like ants leaving scent markers (Hey! This way for food!) for their brethren. Increased repetition equals increased skill, despite how you may abhor how silly you think you look whilst in the process.

Listen, I hate to break it to ya, but you're not perfect and you absolutely weren't born perfect, either. And guess what? You weren't meant to be. The journey is the process, and the process is the journey. We're talking all the time about compassion towards our fellow man, being aware of how we treat others, etc... But what we neglect to mention is how we're treating ourselves, whether we treat our own selves with compassion, or disdain and ill humor. Nine times out of ten, if you run across someone who is negative-nanny to the folks around them, you don't want to hear what they have to say about themselves. We're 100 times deadlier and devastating to ourselves than we are to others, remarkable as that sounds.

So the next time you end up feeling like Bird, upset that you're not doing something perfect the first time around (or the second, or the third, or hell, even the fiftieth) cut yourself some slack. Extend some compassion towards your learning self, and take a deep breath. Let go of your need to be perfection personified, and instead, grant a little mercy.

You just may find that you'll make greater strides.