Practice Makes Perfect

devil_angelI’ve been pondering how we, as humans, can take ourselves incredibly seriously.

We get the most recent round of edits back from our graduate adviser. The words we worked so hard to craft wreathed and dripping in red ink. We feel like failures.

We walk during part of our evening jog, even though we know that we can run the whole thing. We feel like we haven’t made any progress at all.

Our child has been naughty all day, and we finally yell at him or her when they get on our last nerve, causing them to cry. Immediately we feel like we are “World’s Worst Parent.”

Our boss puts many positive comments and one or two negative comments on our yearly review. We feel like we’re the worst employee ever.

The person you are dating calls things off. In your mind, it is most certainly because you talk too much. Or maybe it’s because you ordered the steak. Regardless, you feel that it’s all your fault.

Pass or fail. Win or lose. Do or do not; there is no try. There is no in between.

There’s also no room for compassion with that way of thinking, which results in a rough life in the long run.

But what if we start looking at life a little differently?

Yoga is described as a practice.

Meditation is described as a practice

Even love has been described as an art that requires practice.

What if we started applying that idea to all aspects of life?

Life is an art that requires practice.

With that perspective on life, our sole purpose is to be a little better than we were the day before.

We aren’t failures as graduate students! Our adviser offered feedback that will make the manuscript/thesis/dissertation a better product (even if there are 1,000 better ways to offer said feedback…  😐 ).

Every day is different, and our bodies have different needs. We are honoring our bodies by giving it the rest it needs when we walk during our evening jog!

We aren’t the “World’s Worst Parents.” We can use the times that we yell at our child as a teaching tool so that the child can understand our frustration. We can forgive ourselves for making a mistake. We can make efforts to behave differently when we are reaching our patience threshold next time.

We aren’t failures in our jobs. Our boss gave us feedback that will allow us to grow and do better in the future.

We aren’t flawed! Relationships take action and commitment from both parties to work. Endings are hard, but being in a relationship with the wrong person is harder.

We can make the little devil on our shoulder shut up when he’s screaming, “You aren’t enough.” We can give the angel on our shoulder a megaphone to remind us that, yes, we ARE enough.We CAN do that, but it takes practice. As Steph over at OrangeSpoken might say: never stop starting! Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice is perfect. And all we have to do is keep practicing as this great thing called life. 🙂

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