This year, I need to focus on making some changes within myself. I really struggle with disappointment in myself. I always feel as though I could be doing better. I could be a better wife, a better mom, a better business owner, a better student, a better daughter, sister, etc.
Now, I don’t feel like there is anything inherently wrong with the desire to better oneself. In fact, I think it is a great thing to always strive to be better in life. It is great to have the desire to not only better oneself but to have a positive impact on others’ lives by being a better person. Striving to be better is honorable.
My problem is that I have this unattainable standard of “better” for myself. I am very hard on myself. I am not good enough, period, no matter how hard I try. I’m not talking about materialistic things here. I’m okay with my body, my looks, my car, my wardrobe, etc. I realize that I live an incredibly blessed life with a wonderful (patient, understanding, kind, and – I’ll be a little shallow – handsome) husband, a healthy, intelligent, vivacious son, and incredibly supportive family. We do not know need. We do not know true suffering. We are truly blessed.
The root of my issues, I think, is a result of this issue I have with wasted potential. I know that I am capable of so much, there is all this potential within me, but I cannot seem to do anything 100%. I cannot give all of myself to any one thing and that frustrates me. I have anxiety issues and, as a result, control issues. This wasted potential seems to be within my control, yet at the same time beyond my control. When I feel like I am not the best I can be at whatever it is I am attempting to accomplish, I really, really, really beat myself up. Badly. This has to stop. Because when I beat myself up, I feel rotten about myself and this rotten feeling seeps into other areas of my life and I wind up hurting those wonderful people I mentioned above.
This year I am going to attempt to focus on the idea that acceptable is, well, acceptable. Of course, I won’t give up on being the best I can be at whatever it is I am taking on, but if I fall short of excellence, acceptable is acceptable. If I don’t miss a deadline but my work is still accomplished and not inconveniencing others, acceptable is acceptable. If I don’t manage to get all As and Bs in my (final three!!!) classes and get a C, acceptable is acceptable.
I have to lose this need to control everything. Wasted potential is sad; it is not the end of the world. There is always next week, next month, next year to refocus on certain goals and to be better. Obviously, we do not live forever and we are not promised tomorrow, but today I am going to focus on being kind to me, doing the best I can, and being accepting of myself at the times when I fall short of my potential.