I was having a conversation with my 11-year-old the other day about a movie we had just seen, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
No spoilers, I promise!
To stage the scene, there is a bad guy that is trying to create the “perfect species.” There is a lot of cruelty and murder along the way. That’s where I’ll leave the movie analogy.
My son said, “Why was that guy so obsessed with perfection? What is perfect anyway?”
I got really excited and put on my teacher’s hat, and said, “Wow! That is a great question.”
And here is, in a nutshell, what I told him…
What may be perfect to you won’t be perfect to me or anyone else.
For example, you love the color purple. So you may see a shirt that is the perfect shade of purple and think, “This is the perfect shirt!”
However, Daddy doesn’t like the color purple, so he won’t think that shirt is perfect. The blue one will seem perfect to him, and yellow for me, and so on.
Rather than striving for perfection, you should strive to be “good enough.” Put in your best effort, and that, for you, is perfection.
He smiled and ran off to play, but I kept thinking about this idea of perfection. I remember all the times in my past, I thought, I’ll never be good enough. Or why bother? It’ll never be perfect.
Somewhere along the way, whether in childhood, our tumultuous teens year, or adulthood, we are bought into the idea that we aren’t good enough, so we decide to try and become perfect, which is an endless, tireless pursuit.
Because, again, your ideal of perfection is different than the person you are trying to impress. Think back to your teenage years. How many times did you change your look to attract someone you liked? Then when they didn’t think you were ‘perfect,’ it was devasting. Why? Because a boy or a girl didn’t find us attractive enough? Smart enough? Athletic enough?
“We learn our belief systems as very little children, and then we move through life creating experiences to match our beliefs. Look back in your own life and notice how often you have gone through the same experience.” – Louise L. Hay.
It’s never too late to change this perception because…guess what?
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.
Repeat it to yourself a few times right now.
Now, take some time to reflect and consider how this limiting belief, ‘I’m not good enough,’ affects your life. Get out a notebook and answer honestly.
- In what ways do you recognize this belief in your own life?
- How has your life been affected as a result of carrying this negative limiting belief? What results have you got?
As we begin to think differently and take ownership of new ideas, we can change the way we think, change the way we interpret the past, and change and modify our expectations of the future.
If we’re bold enough to accept the fact that who we are as individuals is ‘good enough’ – not perfect – but ‘good enough’, then this sets us free for the rest of our lives.
We no longer have to strive for perfection and can simply commit to a journey of self-improvement, where we work on being a better version of ourselves today than we were yesterday.
Every time you start to think, “I’m not perfect or good enough,” stop yourself in your tracks and say proudly, “I am enough.”