Blogger | Teacher
It has been said again and again throughout history – no matter how hard you strive to be perfect and get everything right all the time, all you can really ever do is your best and hope that it’s good enough. Somehow, we forget about our best while trying to be the best: the best mom, the best friend, the best worker, the best person. We want to reach the pinnacle of perfection, but end up feeling like we’ve fallen into the trenches along the way. During these moments of disappointment, we must reiterate the truth to ourselves: you are doing your best and that’s good enough.
Personally, I’m horrible about trying to be better than myself. I’m an anxious perfectionist who can only see the big picture. And, in my efforts to attain this perfection, I overwhelm myself and believe that my failure to be this image in my head makes me a failure as a person.
This can be especially difficult at the beginning of the year. We make all these resolutions to be better, but find ourselves unable to follow these impossible schedules and ideals as everyday life begins to come back into play. Then, when the motivation begins to run out, we become devastated that we couldn’t live up to the image in our heads.
But that’s the thing: the image is completely in your head. It’s not a physical, unchanging object. The image isn’t concrete. It’s as flexible to change as you are, meaning that as your life adjusts to post-new year’s days, your ideal should, too.
And this change is completely okay. Maybe you made the resolution that you would lose 10 pounds in the first two weeks, but spending time with your family for the holidays kept you from being able to exercise and you didn’t lose any. That’s alright – dates are flexible! Make two weeks into the first month and you’ve still accomplished something amazing. You’re still on track with your goals. It’s not about the time frame or the weight change, it’s about encouraging yourself to be more active to improve your health. You’re doing your best to accomplish that and that’s good enough.
Maybe your resolution wasn’t physical, but mental. You told yourself you’d quit social media and find that you could only make it a few days before you were back to checking your notifications. Don’t panic, there are still ways to make your resolution possible. Sometimes cutting off social media entirely can be difficult because it keeps you connected with friends and family you couldn’t talk to otherwise. Instead, try making your resolution revolve around limiting your screen time – instead of 2 hours of phone time a day, change it to 1. This is still a change for the better in your life and you’ve done something good for yourself, while still allowing yourself to have contact with the ones you care about.
Maybe you want to be better this year about spending time with your family. 2020 was crazy and hectic and we all ended up a little overwhelmed, and while some were forced into quarantine and had more time to spend with their loved ones, others were working even harder day by day to make ends meet. Unfortunately, the daily grind may not change just because the year is over, so trying to make time available that isn’t there can feel impossible. Consider this: instead of resolving to spend more time (which you may not have) with your family, make the change just further optimizing the time that is available to you. Your family will not think less of you – they see how hard you’re working. You are doing your best to be a good mother, a good father, and that’s enough.
Here’s the thing: no one expects you to be perfect because no one is perfect. Even celebrities who seem like they have their whole lives together are struggling with the image in their heads of what they should be like. Everyone you meet is struggling with battles you can’t see, just like you are. In the end, it’s not really about being the best, but about finding your best and being okay with that.
We can’t let our image of ourselves be based on what other people’s lives look like or the ideal in our minds. We have to recognize the best that we can be and accept that as being good enough. You are good enough. Your best is wonderful, and no one should ask for you to be anything else.
So, here’s my challenge for you: this year, choose to be kind to yourself. Choose to accept yourself at your best and tell yourself that it’s good enough. Decide to be flexible with your resolutions and forgive yourself when you can’t match them or the image in your mind. Make the most of your moments and understand that you don’t have to be anything more than you are to be good enough.
We put in so much effort to be kind to others and forgive them for their mistakes. We don’t view them as lesser just because they couldn’t be perfect. In 2021, choose to do the same for yourself.
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.