By: Laura Bishop, Guest Blogger
Have any of you ever been committed to a story? I mean, the story in your head. The one that tells you, mostly from past experiences, that you’re not good enough, or that you’re failure. This story is one of the most difficult things for me to let go of. Even during a time in which I am feeling confident, secure and at peace, that story is hard to shake. Today, I am in one of the best places. I’m happy in my relationship and in my personal life. I have amazing people around me, and still with so much joy, I sometimes find myself in fear. I’m fixated on the idea that I will lose all this great fortune. As a result, I put unrealistic expectations on myself, striving to be perfect.
For me, that old story and perfection goes hand in hand. I believe it’s a result of my childhood. At some point, I started thinking that if I succeeded, was good in school, polite, agreeable, or whatever, that everyone around me would somehow be okay. Let me tell you, this is an extremely uncomfortable way to live. Not to mention, it’s absolute crap. I AM NOT INFALLIABLE! At a certain point, I just had to learn to be perfectly imperfect. I have this amazing person in my life who points out all the things imperfect about me that he loves and admires. Why is it that it’s easier for us to see the beauty in others but not in ourselves? Once I learned to let go of that unrealistic expectation, life was easier to navigate.
It’s hard letting go of old beliefs, especially ones that are so ingrained in us. I find myself doing really well for extended periods of time, and then getting sucked back into that old way of thinking. Here’s the thing, that one badass woman reminds me of daily: there is no need for that old story. It’s useless, and it serves no purpose in my life. I guess for me, at times it’s safer to hold onto because it keeps me in control. Keeps me from having to get blindsided by disappointment or hurt. However, that’s not reality, and even if I strive for perfection, there will still be moments of disappointment.
For me, the biggest practice is not engaging in these old ideas and just reminding myself that I am good enough regardless of my flaws. I invite myself to let go of that story because it has nothing to do with who I am today. It’s called the past for a reason, so it’s time to close that book.
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Laura is a Bay Area native, with a master’s degree in counseling/psychology. She loves helping others become the best versions of themselves. When she’s not working with clients, she can be found spending time with friends and family (especially her little goddaughter), practicing yoga, hiking, and baking cupcakes. She considers it an honor and a privilege to share her voice with the IATG community.