I was driving around in Chavo (my awesome Wrangler) yesterday after doing some hurdle drills at the track. I had my windows down, the sun was shining, and it was 70 out. In other words, it was a perfect day. Despite the seemingly perfect day, I could feel tension in my body and for some reason I knew stress was crawling around deep inside of me. But why? It was a beautiful day and I was free. I had literally nothing planned that day besides workout and meeting up with my grandparents for dinner. I had already finished my workout and I was headed to one of my favorite places, a park in my hometown with beautiful trails, scenery, and places to sit and relax. School hadn’t started yet so I had no classes, no assignments, nothing. So why this stress? Then I realized:
It’s because of this constant pressure I put on myself that I have to be the best. I cannot fail. It’s in everything, not just running. I have to succeed. I’m constantly wondering what I can be doing to make myself the best because if I’m not making myself better, I automatically think that I’m making myself worse. I had just finished hurdle drills (which is one of my weaker skills) and until I recognized the tension within myself, I didn’t realize that all during hurdles I had been superrr hard on myself.
That’s not right ¦ You’re not good at this ¦ Relax ¦ Stop moving so awkwardly, why do you move so weirdly? You have the most awkward movements ever. Do you look this strange when you’re just walking around?
Â Thoughts like that, very negative. So of course I had tension and of course I was stressed out; I had just finished putting myself down for an hour! This made me think of a quote one of my professors told me once:
“Be careful what you say to yourself,
you are listening.”
It’s true! The person you talk with the most every day is your own self. You can be your own best friend or you can be your own worst enemy- and you WILL be one or the other. If you think I’m crazy and you think that you don’t talk to yourself much, you do! We have so many sub conscious thoughts and we tell ourselves so many things, it’s very dangerous not to recognize and think about the conversations we have with ourselves. So many people go through life putting themselves down and not even realizing they are doing it. Think about how that affects them. Let’s just say, hypothetically, that someone walked up to you five times every day and told you that you weren’t good enough for ___________ or that you would never accomplish _____________. Eventually, wouldn’t you start to believe them? You would probably be worse at __________ even if you believed you were good at __________ because they put failure in your mind so many times. So why would I do this to myself? And what can I do to stop it? I figured it out: I’m going to be perfect.
But not “perfect” in the normal sense of the word. I will be…
This is one of the Greek words for perfection. It means “in the state of maturing.” We grow by realizing we are doing something inefficiently and then changing what we are doing, but we don’t have to put ourselves down in order to do that. I want to be constantly changing and getting better, becoming a stronger, more perfect version of myself each day. I want to be maturing. Teleiotes. When I look at perfection like this, it’s much easier for me to want to practice and become better because I realize that failure is ok. I don’t have to be the best but I can always be growing. I can allow myself to mess up because I know that I will get better from correcting my flaws and I won’t get angry at myself for trying. That’s what practice is for! If I were already perfect (in the English definition of the word) then I would be wasting my time practicing. I’m not perfect and I won’t ever be so each day I get the chance to mature. How awesome is that?? We are not stagnate and we haven’t reached our potential; we are created to get better and better. You don’t have to settle for what you are now. You can accept where you are while you progress toward something even better!
I just posted a blog about goals and goal setting. I talked about how important it is for me to set small goals for myself each day to keep me focused on the small things that make up the big picture. These small everyday things are the things I want to check myself on. What am I thinking about during these times? Am I being my own best friend or worst enemy? Am I being forgiving with myself and accepting of any “failures” I may have? Are you? Can we be perfect? I think we can. Let’s do it. Let’s constantly change, grow, and mature. Let’s be teleiotes.
Thanks for reading! Get out there and run the world! 🙂