[6 June 2021] Day 6 of the fmco* in Malaysia.
Everyone is selling happiness. Everyday, we are overloaded on social media with well-intentioned messages. If we follow their advise, you’ll be a better at what you do or you’ll live better, and hence there’s a promise of achieving happiness at the end of the journey.
“Buy my product. Follow my plan. Invest.”
Too much positivity is toxic.
You can do it! See, I’ve done it! If I can do it, you can do it! Aim high.
What if I cannot? What if I cannot make it to my goal? Should I give up? This is not for me.
Recently, I read a comment on social media. The commenter says she feels so much better on a channel with dysfunctional folks than on the channel with lots of polished experts. She was more depressed after spending time on the latter. For her, the former was more authentic. (More on this in another musing.) Everyone could laugh at themselves.
The Journey is the Destination.
I believe some of us are too harsh on ourselves A few years ago, I came about this realisation. I now aim for progress in my journey, not perfection in my goal. Often, we confuse perfectionism with striving for excellence.
Here are some examples of what perfectionism sounds like:
- If I don’t succeed/get rejected, I should quit. It’s not right for me.
- I cannot tell anyone/show this to anyone until it’s perfect.
- I have set this goal and I must keep to this, regardless!
- If I believe I cannot achieve it, it’s better I don’t start.
- If we cannot get everything right, it’s not worth doing it.
This sounds really stressful. Be kind to yourself.
Compare this to how progress sounds like:
- Take a step at a time, and see where it takes me.
- I made a mistake. It is not the end of the world. How can I improve tomorrow?
- Let’s start small and see what we learn along the way.
- Let’s adjust as we know more, as we are able to do more.
- Let me enjoy this journey and celebrate small successes along the way.
- I am doubting myself right now. It’s ok. It’s only natural but this does not mean I have failed.
I visualise progress as taking a drive along country roads – taking simple joys in the pace, in the scenery, and if we are lucky, friends we make along the way. And with each stop, we are a better version of ourselves than in the previous stop.
To me, happiness is not a destination. It’s the journey itself. Take joy in your successes, and also in your setbacks. Progress is what fills the gap between your abilities and your aspirations.
About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to contact her, follow her on Facebook or connect with her on Linkedin.
#progress #kaizen #bekindtoyourself #acceptance #openmindset #happiness #growthmindset
#trainergina #ginaphan #gp
*fmco stands for Full Movement Control Order.