Child in a maze playgroundIt is the demand for perfection that stops progress.

Then we get to be frustrated and point to how very hard we tried, and we are victims once again. The harder we try, the worse it gets. The secret is in learning how to tolerate imperfection.

I am not even close. I want what I want. Exactly as I want it and the moment it occurs to me to have it. No waiting. I am willing to work hard. I am not an idiot. But I do demand results and they had best be imminent if not immediate. I can smile as I write this, but right this minute I have everything I want. Once I step out this door I will be challenged and this smile will be wiped off my face.

How can the desire to improve, grow, be successful, change bad habits, etc. be balanced with reality – reality being the real world in which we can experience failure sometimes? How do we muster the courage to keep doing our work despite the fact that we still don’t see results? The answer lies in the child within.

Some of us do not acknowledge the existence of such a presence. It took some years to do so myself. But if you observe human behavior objectively, you will see the child in the other. And, if you are a brave soul, in yourself.

Watch the tantrums being thrown. Witness the demand for everything now with no room for sharing or acceptance of the 50/50 principle (i.e., none of us are 100% all time time). The child always has the 100% world view. It is amazing how much of the time is spent living from this perspective. Embarrassing really, which is why we don’t have any desire to acknowledge this. It is a simple truth that does need to be recognized and dealt with.

The inner child, just like all children, needs to be heard and soothed and educated to the facts of life as they are now. Find the places in yourself where, if you tell the truth, you are still acting like a child. Then, interact with this part of yourself. Gently ask this part of yourself what emotions, thoughts, attitudes are being felt. You may be surprised by the answers if you are willing to listen, and the ultimate lessening of negative feelings that result from allowing yourself to feel what the child feels. The information gathered in this dialogue is vital.

The solution to whatever you continue to bump up against is here. By soothing this part of yourself, and with compassion, explaining to the child within that life really is just 50/50, the demand for perfection lessens. Not immediately, not 100%, but now progress can be made.


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