I’ve found that there’s a really interesting aspect about being on a path towards self-improvement: we try really hard to get clear, grounded, and aligned, but we often forget that part of being a human being means that we are going to mess up and make the “wrong” choices. Sometimes we can have all the right answers in front of us, and still make mistakes.
I’ve never thought of myself as a perfectionist, until recently, when I made a handful of subpar life choices, and found myself very deep in self-judgment and punishment. In my mind, I felt that I should be better than that, I’ve worked on myself, and so, I assumed I might not ever make a mistake or take a misstep again.
Which is simply setting myself up for failure and unnecessary heartache.
Just because we cultivate clarity and alignment doesn’t mean that we are always going to act accordingly, and that’s okay; our humanness is always okay.
As I’ve been unravelling some of the errors in judgment I’ve made over the past few months, it has been a full time job to remember, not to pile on to the anxiety that I felt for making the mistakes; not to make my life more uncomfortable by being extra hard on myself. I had to remember that it doesn’t do me any good to punish myself even more than the natural consequences that unfolded for acting out of my own best interests.
When we are fully in the midst of difficult consequences it can feel like we’ll never get out of our own self-induced pressure cooker. What’s helpful to remember is that everything passes, no feelings are permanent, and that we can always right our wrongs through thoughtful action and changed behavior.
I truly believe that life presents us with diverse experiences, opportunities, and yes, hardships. I trust that whatever is placed on my path, I can handle, and that even when I choose out of my own best interest, my self-awareness and commitment to growth can assist me through anything with grace and a little bit of grit.
We are not perfect human beings, so it’s fruitless to expect that we will act perfectly. The beautiful lesson of mistakes or missteps is the grace that we can bring upon ourselves to know that forgiveness is always possible, growth is always happening, and our story doesn’t end when we take a misaligned turn.
If you’re going through something that makes you feel like you’ve messed it all up, forgive yourself, be present to your feelings, and allow yourself the space to move through what life has presented to you without your own self-judgment. Remember, the personal, inner work we do for ourselves gives us the strength and wisdom to maneuver through whatever life choices we make. Cultivate the awareness to see the lessons that are at the surface and know that in every single present moment, we have the opportunity to choose again.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org