Here’s a conundrum: What I’m wondering is why we expect ourselves to be perfect when there’s really no such thing? When we do this, we only set ourselves up for a losing battle. Some of us put such high expectations on ourselves – expectations that are rarely, if ever, reachable and then we punish ourselves with feeling like inadequate failures when we can’t possibly reach our pretty much unreachable standards.
I’ve talked to people who have almost literally been on the edge of a nervous breakdown because of all of the expectations they have of themselves, and absolutely refuse to take themselves off the hook – even just a little bit. Some of us over expect of ourselves and over commit ourselves to such a degree that if any tiny little unexpected something comes up out of the blue we literally have no space for it and thus go into an overwhelmed crisis panic mode.
Sometimes over committing or over expecting of ourselves can happen accidentally – even when we are doing our best to achieve some sort of life balance, we can sometimes find that we have said yes one too many times. That’s okay. It happens to the best of us. What’s less okay, is the intense over expecting of ourselves in these circumstances. This looks like absolutely not then allowing ourselves to look at the (over) commitments we’ve made and chose a couple of them that we need to go back and say, “I’m really sorry, but I realize I’ve over committed myself right now and am not able to be involved or help out at this time.” To some, having this completely fair and understandable conversation seems absolutely unthinkable. But why? Do we really think that everything for everyone will fall apart if we’re not there? Then how did things work before we came along? Sure, it’s not ideal to make a commitment and then have to go back and alter it or renege on it, but guess what? This doesn’t mean we are horrible, awful, unworthy, and unlovable individuals. We are only human, and thus, sometimes aren’t perfect, therefore we need to learn to free ourselves to actually be human and not perfect.