Today, I want to take a long overdue moment to discuss the title of this column: Practice Makes Positive.
The saying goes: Practice makes perfect. We were told this in school to encourage us not to give up on a difficult math problem. Our parents’ voice echoed these words in the car after a dance rehearsal or baseball game when we slipped on the floor or the ball slipped from our glove. We were meant to be encouraged to try hard and make an effort to achieve success with these three words.
But instead, we were encouraged to believe an empty promise.
We have since learned through life experience – good and bad – that perfection does not exist. And most importantly, being positive has nothing to do with being perfect. We understand that, in fact, creativity, growth and change flee in the wake of unrealistic, unattainable expectations.
And yet, I strived for it for years. I spent so much energy, time and emotion trying to achieve the unachievable. I would cry when I got a B on a test because that simply was not good enough. I would lose weight, but all I would see in the mirror were the areas I still deemed not up to snuff. I worked very hard to morph my heart to please others in relationships and friendships that did not serve me. I wanted to be everyone else’s idea of perfect to earn a successful, beautiful, and even enviable identity in the world.
And in doing so, I missed out on many moments I could have been celebrating my life – my gifts, quirks, sensitivity, compassion, (man calves) – you know, all the things that make me, me.
But it is a daily practice – a choice that is not always easy, especially for someone who lived under perfection’s just out of reach illusion for the majority of my life. Even today, I catch myself falling victim to old habits and thought patterns – negative self-talk that spins into a cycle of defeat. And when those moments strike, I lean into what is true:
Practice builds character.
Practice teaches lessons that strengthen and better our perspective on the world. Practice makes courage, integrity and wisdom. Practice makes mistakes – but sometimes those mistakes are exactly what we need to grow in our own beauty and gifting.
In this column – this safe place void of self-judgment or criticism – is where I come not to be an expert claiming to have conquered positivity principles, but rather to show up as a partner in this journey – practicing daily the power of positive thinking and telling perfection to go eat shit and die ☺.
I don’t always succeed – I am not positive Polly. I have low points and moments when I have completely ignored the Universe in exchange for my own controlling ways. I have a happy light that emits vitamin D on my desk – so take it from me, the struggle is real. But in this place, I want to talk about all the good, the bad, the positive and the negative of my story in a transparent manner that is relatable and in the end, brings hope.
Because while there will never be perfection, there will always be hope and power in embracing your wholehearted true self – flaws, scars, imperfections and all.
What area of your life can you reframe perfection with progress? What negative self-talk and impossible expectations you are putting on yourself? Are you ready to see what incredible things can happen when you stop letting “perfection” keeping you from loving your imperfect, wonderful self?
I hope you’ll join me in this practice, and share with me your journey to making the universe a friend.