By appointment, Monday-Thursday

Last week we wrote about New Year’s Resolutions and joining the “Top 40,” those who succeed.  Today we visit one of the foundations to success: understanding our humanness and accepting our imperfection.  We tend to discard our resolutions when we encounter imperfect implementation.  One blogger quoted psychologist Janet Polivy regarding the “What the Hell” effect (  Giving up when we cannot stick perfectly to a resolution.

The shame of not achieving perfection limits our growth.  It impedes our ability to be flexible with our circumstances.  It causes us to retreat, hide.  Many people avoid setting goals knowing that they cannot perfectly succeed–so, why even try?  Others cite mild slip-ups, “mistakes” as cause for avoiding or giving up completely.  When we allow ourselves to be human and flex with circumstances beyond our control, we are less likely to abandon our goals.

How much healthier and happier we become when we adopt a belief that our “mistakes” are our best teachers.  Life lessons.  With this attitude, we enjoy the power to try new things.  Reach.  I ask my clients daily, in reference to missteps, “What is this trying to teach you?” This is an integral component of success in therapy.

Some believe there are no mistakes. Perhaps our only real blunder is not accepting, learning, and growing from what we label as “mistakes.”  The burden of perfection is counter intuitive to the human condition.

I submit that the “Top 40,” are those who accept their humanness, allowing for “mistakes,” life lessons.  If you have created a goal or resolution, I invite you to join me in imperfection.  As a human being, we will forget, become bored, distracted, or called to other priorities.  It’s okay.  We can rest in knowing that we will be blessed with the opportunity to begin fresh, each day.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ~Neil Gaiman


Next week we tackle what I believe to be tantamount to the root of all evil: Shame.

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