We are wired to strive for perfection. It's in our blood, it runs through our veins; we seek to be the very best in all that we do. It usually takes some trial and error, some rough drafts, or some run throughs before we get to where we need to be going, but when we hit that consistency, that repetitive notion of always doing well, it gets kind of addicting. There are good things about it. We tend to learn about our capabilities and our strengths. We see what it takes to work hard. But when things get tough and we aren't at the top of the list or the recipient of the gold medal, receiving the good grades or the honorable mention, we tend to crumble. We tend to treat ourselves in a way we would never treat another human being. We tend to refocus our minds towards achieving this perfection.
My heart sank the other day as my midterm grades were posted. Most of them were aligned with my personal academic expectations, but one stood out as not up to standard. That one letter hung around me all day long, reminding me that I wasn't in my comfort zone anymore. It wasn't easy to shake because I cared; that seems to be an important essence to this phenomenon. The more we care about something and the less we reach our goals in relation to it, the more we find ourselves discouraged. The more we see ourselves as not doing all we can. The more we tend to doubt our ability to bounce back. However, there is so much beauty in the process. There is so much engagement and empowerment in learning from mistakes, in understanding how we can grow. We can reassess, we can refocus our energy, and we can keep our eyes on a new prize.
Amidst these days of uncertainty, there are days where we know we are right where we need to be. We feel the elation of doing well on a test, rocking a presentation, being a good friend, and realizing we were blessed with one kick ass life, filled with an amalgamation of opportunities to learn and grow. Amidst those moments, we see that we can only grow stronger, breed bigger hearts, foster more worldly minds if we see what it's like to not succeed. If we seek support and guidance to help us reach where we want to be. And once we reach that point, our eyes will be set on a new goal, something bigger that will take every ounce of effort, trial, error, and yes, failure, to reach. But that's development. That's life.
Remember, the only perfect person to grace this earth was nailed to a cross. That's what my dad always reminds me. So in turn, I'm relaying this same advice to you; you were not put on this earth to be perfect. You were put on this earth to realize your utmost potential, and guess what? Science and psychology says we can't reach that alone. So embrace those setbacks, welcome the adversity, and stop second guessing yourself. You're doing just fine, kid, I promise you.