You're not perfect.
That may be hard to admit, but no one is perfect, and no one will ever be. That doesn't mean your imperfections should hold you back from accomplishing your goals.
Babe Ruth struck out nearly twice as often as he hit one out of the park. Abraham Lincoln had numerous setbacks before becoming one of the most influential presidents in U.S. history. Silly Putty was a failed experiment, but still became a national sensation. Even Muhammad Ali lost a few fights.
The expectations we impart on ourselves can be demanding and rigid. We feel we have to perform to a set of standards. The danger in attempting to be perfect is not in making mistakes, but how they can so easily shatter the image we have built up for ourselves. That image, however, is often separate from reality. To learn to be comfortable with your imperfections, you need to be gentle on yourself. You are, after all, the only thing you have to work with.
Here's how to get started:
1. Focus on Your Achievements
While you don't want all the achievements of your life to be accomplishments from high school, you don't need to dwell on minor setbacks. Focusing on your accolades, instead of your faults, will create positivity within yourself that will help you keep your head up and enjoy the journey more.
2. Examine Your Goals
If you don't feel like you ever live up to your expectations, you might want to spend some time examining what your goals are and why. You need to ask yourself important questions like, "Are my expectations realistic?" and "Am I giving myself enough time to meet these goals?" Try to look at your goals, time, resources, and expectations as objectively as possible.
3. Set Small Goals
You can't get to where you're going without taking care of some small things first. Those things are just as important as achieving the small goals. For example, if your goal is quitting smoking, you should celebrate even making the decision to make a change. The first step is harder than the last, so be proud of yourself for beginning your journey.
4. Learn from Your Mistakes
Mistakes are where life's greatest lessons are learned. You not only gain an understanding of what you may have done wrong, but you get a clearer vision of what to do right.
5. Go Easy on Yourself
Just because you stumbled a bit doesn't mean you've fallen. While it might seem like you'll continue to fall, this isn't true if you're ready to pick yourself up again. Take the advice of Confucius: Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.
When stress hits, relaxing the coping tool that's often furthest from your mind, especially if you think you work best under stress. Unfortunately, people only think they act best under stress because they can't seem to find a way out of it. Practicing simple relaxation techniques can help clear your head.
7. Laugh at Your Mistakes
There's no need to take yourself so seriously. Smile. Laugh. Play. Be human. Make mistakes. Life is funny, so you shouldn't be afraid to make fun of yourself. The more fun you have on the journey to your goals, the better the outcome will be.