Tag Archives: perfectionism

Being “Good Enough”

Encouragement from the iGnite Archives: March 2012

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Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with feeling “good enough”?

Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are not “good enough”?

I recall being in 3rd grade and feeling sadly disappointed with all A’s, and a B in Penmanship on my report card. I thought my handwriting was good, but it wasn’t “good enough.” As a teen I struggled with feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance. I was never “thin enough” or “confident enough.” Then, as a busy Mom of three, one of my favorite free-time activities was training for triathlons. One year, I placed 3rd (in my age group) in a sprint triathlon and decided I could do better, so I trained harder. The next year I came in 2nd place and elusive 1st place was never an option, as the triathlon series was discontinued. Equally elusive were my feelings of being “good enough.”

I now know why God graced me with my three children. They were pre-destined to be some of my greatest teachers. At age 16 and in a fit of frustration, I recall my oldest daughter blurting out “Nothing is ever good enough for you!” Taking the comment to heart, I began a long, slow journey of learning to let go of desired outcomes and needing to control what I perceived as the necessary end result. I passionately want the best for my kids and for myself, therefore I continually struggle to ease up on my expectations and instead, to learn the lessons the present has to offer.

Meanwhile, the little voice in my head continues to taunt me… “Are you really a good enough Mom, wife, friend, yoga teacher??”  I have to stop, breathe and ask for help. I realize I am an imperfect human who, though flawed, does the best she can with a faith-filled heart. And then I offer the rest to God. Doing this frees me from the need to be perfect and in control. Divine design is constantly working through me, and I am only a small vessel amidst a fleet of God’s angels.

My yoga mat is a laboratory for my life. Every day offers new experiments and discoveries. I have found immense peace of mind through merely showing up on my mat, paying attention to my breath, and letting my body guide me as it opens and unfolds in it’s own time to receive grace. Learning to receive is a lesson unto itself. I don’t have to be a superstar on the mat; just showing up, willing to learn is “good enough.”

The beauty I have found in iGnite is that we don’t measure success by inches lost, pounds shed, or winning times; instead we focus on nurturing relationships, finding fun in the every day, and being fed in body, mind and spirit. If we can do that, it is most definitely “good enough.”

I challenge you to look at your own life vocation and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?”  Today may be different from yesterday, or tomorrow. Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


Action Item:
Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.


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View Life As An Experiment

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Point to Ponder:

Do you ever find yourself paralyzed by the fear of making the ‘wrong’ decisions?

 

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Sometimes life just plain eats. my. lunch!  Things sometimes feel like more than I can emotionally, mentally and physically handle and at times take my breath away. I am unfortunately not referring to a “joyful, this is awesome” kind of take my breath away, but a “what the heck! I throw the towel in” kind of way. With that said, the timing of a conversation I had last week with iGnite member Kristy couldn’t have been more perfect, as her wisdom actually took my breath away — in a good way this time — and allowed me to exhale.

After class, Kristy and I were visiting and sharing our life experiences when she said the most encouraging statement that she heard from Liz Gilbert, one of her mentors. Kristy’s paraphrased words were:

“All of life is an experiment. Most all decisions are not permanent and once we begin living without fear and remembering that life is an experiment, we can finally live freely and live the life we want.”

Okay, so I think of myself as someone who loves a good challenge and is completely open to risks, but I, like you, take life very seriously and I really want to get it right! And with that “I’ve gotta get it right” mentality comes a paralysis that inhibits my personal, professional and spiritual development.

The crazy thing is, I know this! This is what I preach and try very hard to live by, but when life feels heavy with parenting, relationship, and professional responsibilities, this way of approaching life is much easier said than done. The truth is that I really want all of my ‘experiments’ to have the positive results and outcomes that I want. But, as life has taught me, there are no guarantees, and where there is risk there is always some level of reward, which typically never turns out to be what we planned. Interestingly, the outcome is almost always better and is essential to propel us to the next level.

Kristy later told me:

“Given that life is an experiment, this isn’t to say that we should live with no forethought and be guided by sheer impetuousness, but we can be paralyzed by the fear of getting life wrong and miss out on the opportunities that would make our hearts sing with satisfaction.”

On that important note, this week’s self-improvement invitation is to relax, breathe and avoid the pressure and desire to be perfect or get life exactly right. Welcome the unknown and resist the urge to have guaranteed results or outcomes. This will grow your faith and confidence. Shift your mindset to seeing life and your decisions as an experiment, which will stretch you. This will sharpen your saw and enable you to live a life without fear and full of the satisfaction of trying. You are worthy of being and living your best, just at Bishop T.D. Jake’s reveals in this week’s video:

Action Item:

Relax, breathe and avoid the pressure and desire to be perfect or get life exactly right.  Welcome the unknown and resist the urge to have guaranteed results or outcomes.

 

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Practice Confidence Everyday

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but not fearing to be wrong.”
(Anonymous)

Point to Ponder:
Do you often…
Over-think things? People-please? Hold on to defeats? Strive for perfection?
Undersell yourself? Play it safe? Doubt yourself?

Action Item:
This week, avoid people pleasing, over-thinking, perfectionism and self-doubt.
Practice letting go of your mistakes, speaking up, and taking risks.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Having grown up in a very small town, I had the fortunate experience of playing every sport available to me. I’d like to think I was pretty good, but because I was 1 out of 140 students in my entire high school (9th through 12th grades), the competition was limited.

I loved sports — especially basketball. And while I was very confident in my ability, there were times when I would get into a shooting slump and my dad (a basketball coach) would tell me, “You are shooting to keep from missing rather than shooting to score,” or “You are playing to keep from losing instead of playing to win!”  He was right, I was playing timid and without confidence.  As soon as I would get my head straight, I’d get out of my slump, play aggressive, be a team leader and have fun.

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to compete in team sports because I really do think athletics taught me some of my most valuable life skills — confidence and teamwork being two of them. However, I’d be lying if I said that I am confident all of the time.  In fact, I get a nervous stomach when I speak in public, teach an iGnite class, or hold an iGnite team meeting because…I fear saying the wrong thing, I fear not being liked and I fear not being perfect! Okay, there. I said it… and now I want to go throw up.

I recently began reading the book The Confidence Code, which I am suggesting for our summer read. I am only on page 22 and it already looks like a marked-up text book, filled with notes, underlines and highlights. It’s written by two female journalists and specifically covers women’s confidence, self-assurance — why we lack them more than men, and why that lacking keep us from speaking up, fully believing in ourselves and striving for everything we desire.

Because I am only on page 22, I have no idea what the solution is; however, what I can share with you are a few mind-blowing findings I’ve stumbled across thus far:

  1. Regardless of power, prestige, or position, every woman is guilty of: over-thinking, people pleasing, and an inability to let go of defeats
  2. Perfectionism: We assume somehow that we don’t have the level of expertise or knowledge needed and therefore we over-prepare, hesitate or simply don’t try. And women are only confident when we feel perfect.
  3. We Undersell Ourselves: We often keep our thoughts (which we decide can’t be that impressive) to ourselves.
  4. ‘Safe’ Syndrome: Rather than take a risk to experience victory, we stay in the safe zone to avoid defeat.
  5. Self Doubt and Setbacks: Men do experience self-doubt, but they shrug it off, have the ability to get restarted more quickly and don’t let setbacks linger as long. Women tend to dwell and examine those doubts in excruciating detail, which is paralyzing.

I can with confidence, say that I experience ALL of these myself to some extent!

Let’s face it, we women are emotional and complicated creatures as a result of many things — estrogen, how we were raised, life experiences, society, etc. I am certainly not suggesting that we should take the place of men, because I do think we are designed to play necessary key roles, but we must be aware of when our self-doubting, self-limiting and self-defeating tendencies arise so we can call them out and press on!

Confidence — what a loaded word. It’s complicated, but it’s ours to have and keep if we want it. By practicing confidence everyday, we will crack “the confidence code” and unlock our potential and ability to experience the many prizes that await us in life.  What do we have to lose?!

 

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The Pursuit of Perfection: A Social Networking Challenge

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I’m doing it: posting one of the most UNflattering photos of me out there…here I am world!

Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.

Point to Ponder:
Do you strive for physical and life perfection or wish you had the body or life of someone else?

Action Item:
Be grateful for all of your God-given unique attributes and life and share your imperfections, life struggles and even embarrassing moments with others.

By Neissa Springmann

By Neissa Springmann

Have you ever ventured on Facebook to accept a quick friend request, to then look at the clock and shockingly realize a whole hour has passed?! Or maybe you found yourself looking through a friend’s pictures admiring their travel adventures, beautiful family photos and even their life… Or maybe you quite possibly experienced an ego boost after noticing that you have more followers than someone else… These are only a few of my concerns with social media and the challenge it poses for us, our children and our society at large.

When my son Durant was born I became diligent at posting his monthly albums on Facebook, as I thought it would be a great way to share our new life with friends (and because everyone else did it- a good reason, right?!?!)  Although at the  time I thought it was a good idea, I found I couldn’t keep up with the demand or justify the time it took to upload, organize and post the pictures. The other problem was that I could never just post and log out. I would get sucked into other friends’ profiles and it quickly became too much for me. Furthermore, I always felt obligated to respond to a nice comment and even hoped for one in return, which eventually stressed me out…so finally I just quit all together.

One time, I distinctly remember a friend saying that Durant was the happiest baby ever, as he smiled in every picture! I laughed and told him that my objective was to not show the many horrible pictures of him covered in spit up while screaming his head off, or the ones of me holding him while in my pajamas, with no makeup, hair everywhere and glasses on…..and it was 3:00 in the afternoon! NO WAY was I about to show the world that my newborn wasn’t always happy, I was losing my mind and my life wasn’t perfect.

I think social networking has many redeeming qualities, as I still have a personal account and iGnite has one too! It allows us to quickly connect with people and friends from around the world that we otherwise would not be able to contact, quite an extraordinary opportunity. However, I also think it is important to put on our safety goggles when using it, and always be aware of its challenges and even dangers, like judging and comparing ourselves and our lives to others.

Last week during class, Claire S. told me about a great article she read on perfection and how

our imperfections are actually a blessing, as they enable us to relate to one another.

I couldn’t agree more and I want to relate with you so badly that I’ve included one of the most unattractive and unathletic picture of myself, which is above. What’s most crazy is that I do not keep unflattering pictures of myself, so finding one that was worthy of the weekly inspiration was very difficult!

All in all, the pursuit of perfection will keep you in a vicious, unhappy and never-ending downward cycle. Perfection is impossible and despite all of the seemingly “perfect pictures” posted on Facebook, no one lives a perfect life, everyone struggles, has problems, and gets bumps and hairs in embarrassing places. Therefore, I encourage you to embrace your imperfect beautiful body and life and share it with others….and join iGnite as we start an imperfect and relatable Facebook and Life Revolution! Join us on Facebook here!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION HERE

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Being “Good Enough”

You Are Good Enough

“Good enough means being able to accept who and where we are with grace and gratitude and being content with ourselves as works in progress.” — Kristin Armstrong

Action Item:
Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.

by Amy Younkman

by Amy Younkman

Have you ever struggled with the feeling that you are not “good enough?”

I recall being in 3rd grade and feeling sadly disappointed with all A’s, and a B in Penmanship on my report card. I thought my handwriting was good, but it wasn’t “good enough.” As a teen I struggled with feelings of self-worth and self-acceptance. I was never “thin enough” or “confident enough.” Then, as a busy Mom of three, one of my favorite free-time activities was training for triathlons. One year, I placed 3rd (in my age group) in a sprint triathlon and decided I could do better, so I trained harder. The next year I came in 2nd place and elusive 1st place was never an option, as the triathlon series was discontinued. Equally elusive were my feelings of being “good enough.”

I now know why God graced me with my three children. They were pre-destined to be some of my greatest teachers. At age 16 and in a fit of frustration, I recall my oldest daughter blurting out “Nothing is ever good enough for you!” Taking the comment to heart, I began a long, slow journey of learning to let go of desired outcomes and needing to control what I perceived as the necessary end result. I passionately want the best for my kids and for myself, therefore I continually struggle to ease up on my expectations and instead, to learn the lessons the present has to offer.

Meanwhile, the little voice in my head continues to taunt me… “Are you really a good enough Mom, wife, friend, yoga teacher??”  I have to stop, breathe and ask for help. I realize I am an imperfect human who, though flawed, does the best she can with a faith-filled heart. And then I offer the rest to God. Doing this frees me from the need to be perfect and in control. Divine design is constantly working through me, and I am only a small vessel amidst a fleet of God’s angels.

My yoga mat is a laboratory for my life. Every day offers new experiments and discoveries. I have found immense peace of mind through merely showing up on my mat, paying attention to my breath, and letting my body guide me as it opens and unfolds in it’s own time to receive grace. Learning to receive is a lesson unto itself. I don’t have to be a superstar on the mat; just showing up, willing to learn is “good enough.”

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals...realizing that we are all "works in progress."

iGniters come to class starting where they are, taking one step at a time toward their goals…realizing that we are all “works in progress.”

The beauty I have found in iGnite is that we don’t measure success by inches lost, pounds shed, or winning times; instead we focus on nurturing relationships, finding fun in the everyday, and being fed in body, mind and spirit. If we can do that, it is most definitely “good enough.”

I challenge you to look at your own life vocation (and yes, motherhood is a vocation) and ask yourself, “Am I good enough?” Let the Weekly Intention Guide inspire you. Today may be different from yesterday, or tomorrow. Accept yourself in the here and now, realizing you are a work in progress and God is not yet through with you.

And for all moms, step-moms and future moms-to-be, you’ll want to check out this weeks video, as it features a new and hysterical online motherhood show based on true motherhood stories. Sharing, accepting and laughing at our successes and opportunities (including those of our children, spouse, family and friends) is the key to everyone “feeling good enough.”

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