Integrative Approaches to Mastering Wellness


Oct 17, 2022

Many of us have a standard to which we hold ourselves. This can be related to any number of things. For some, it's work performance, and/or academic performance. For others it is appearance - their personal physical appearance, the appearance of their home, or even the appearance of looking 'in control.'  For others, it may be related to parenting and how high-achieving their children are. It can be a combination of these things. 

Sometimes, we set the bar so high that it can be impossible to reach. What happens when we don't reach that bar? Do we get down on ourselves? Beat ourselves up with our self-criticisms? Tell ourselves that we will never be 'good enough'? What does 'good enough' even mean? 

When we were kids, the game was so easy. Study hard, do well on the test, and you get a sticker and a smile from your teacher. When you go home, you get a hug from your parent. If your parents are the type to share your accomplishments, then you get to overhear them say wonderful things about you. 

What about when you're older? When we are 'perfect,' we praise ourselves internally. Many of us still seek that external validation and when we don't get it, we repeatedly try to go above and beyond again and again until we get it. 

Our idea of what is 'perfect' is not a fact. It's an opinion. It's sometimes also a social construct which we have adopted without even realizing it.

A 'perfect' meal.

A 'perfect' piece of art.

A 'perfect' body.

A 'perfect' employee.

The list goes on and on. 

Have you stopped to ask yourself what 'perfect' really means to you and whether this idea of perfection is serving you versus harming you?

Let's take the 'perfect' parent. I'll give you a personal example. I always strive to cook fresh, healthy meals for my kids. I used to get frustrated when I didn't feel like I had enough time to make the meal just the way I had imagined it. But what do my kids actually want? "Mommy, can you play with me?" "Mommy, watch me!" Hugs. Kisses. Attention. They want my attention. To them, their idea of the perfect mom is not someone who can cook amazing meals. It's not someone who is smart. It's not how much money I make. It's simply my loving attention and unconditional regard.  When I stepped back and realized this, it not only changed my idea of what a 'perfect mother' is, it also transformed my relationship with my kids and what elements I prioritized. When I took this greater understanding to other areas of my life, my ideas of perfection started to fall away, and out came a truer version of myself. This was a version of myself that I was actually more proud of because of how much more expansive and willing I was to grow in a greater way.

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