By: Cami Ostman M.S. | June 20, 2012
"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." — G. K. Chesterton
"One of my favorite quotes is from G. K. Chesterton, a Christian philosopher who argued that most of what must be done to make the world go 'round is done by the average Joe who does not do it perfectly — or sometimes even well.
For reasons that may be obvious to those who know me, I love this sentiment. Like many of you, I exited my childhood as a perfectionist, afraid of making mistakes and determined to do everything I undertook as flawlessly as I could. I approached college with a soul-killing effort that left me exhausted, albeit graduating with honors. And in my first marriage, I was guided by religious ideas about gender roles that sucked me (and I daresay my ex-husband) dry after a decade.
It was an unlikely teacher — the marathon — that taught me, once and for all, to dispense with perfectionism. You see, I don't come from a family of athletes. In my family, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents — all have eschewed regular exercise. Even in my own generation (brothers and cousins), there are very few who played soccer or softball. We just aren't an athletic clan. But in my first year at community college, I took a dance aerobics class and learned that I enjoyed moving my body. For years, I happily kept up a moderate routine of exercise. And then in my mid-thirties, a friend of mine challenged me to train for a marathon.
I took the challenge and quickly discovered that my body was not built for running. I slogged along on my training runs, barely managing the effort it took to build up my miles. Even now, after nearly a decade of marathoning, I'm no faster than I was when I trained for my first 26.2 race.
Unlike in my education, pure will and effort have not made me better at running. I do not run because I'm good at it. I run because of what I get out of it. I get exercise, yes, but I also get time to meditate, a way to challenge myself, a clear, deep breath during stressful times, and a regular reminder that perfection is overrated.
In this life, we sometimes do what we do because we do it well. Other times we partake in an activity or engage in a task because it is worth doing. None of us is perfect at marriage, parenting, work, friendship, or any number of other things we value. Some days, if we are honest, we will admit that we aren't even good at whatever we're doing. Does that mean we close up shop and quit?
I daresay most of us live with the paradox of working toward “excellence” while making do with "good enough." Perfectionism, that pesky drive to meet some pinnacle of an outwardly defined ideal, is a mean task-master. For those it does not drive into flurries of striving, it often paralyzes."
By: Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, TED Talk
"Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success. Dr. Duckwork describes "grit" as passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. She states that grit is having stamina; sticking with your future, day-in, day-out, not just for the week, or month, but for years. Additionally, she says that grit is working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is like living life like a marathon, not a sprint." Do you have grit? If you don't, what things do you think you can do to change your perspective on long-term goals?
By: Azriel ReShel
"We seem to do it naturally for others, but what does it mean to do it for ourselves? For me, holding space means becoming the container to experience myself; to grow, to feel, to express, to test out, to live. It is being present, treating yourself with care, consideration, kindness, compassion and love. Hearing the needs of your body and mind, feeling your emotions, and listening to the yearning of your soul. It’s a way of being, a lifestyle, a profound choice and a stand you take. It’s not a belief system, but is rather a way of being with yourself and meeting your own needs. This can be lifesaving in intimate relationships, where we can ruin a good thing by trying to make the other meet all our needs. We spend every minute of the day with ourselves. How much of it is good, supportive, and kind?"
Click on the link below to read a more in-depth description on 9 examples of how you can shape your life for the purpose of 'being there' for yourself.
9 steps to holding space for yourself:
1. Embracing your imperfection
2. Saying no
3. Developing boundaries.
4. Communing with yourself
6. Reaching for support
7. Being authentic
8. Being a good parent to yourself
9. Developing supportive rituals
Billionaire CEO of Spanx, Sara Blakely, shares how her father taught her to deal with failure. She says, "failure for me became not trying versus the outcome." Click below to watch a portion of her interview regarding the impact of failure on her success...
by Robin Shreeves
"Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together."