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A List of My Ridiculous Ideals

A large part of my personal growth has come from simply realizing, and accepting, where I have been wrong in my thinking. Perfectionism is my normal, and has been for a very long time – the high standards and unrealistic ideals are all too familiar to me and have unfortunately become my natural way of perceiving my world. Once I became aware of my harmful ways of thinking I began to analyze the ideals I was holding in my life. These ideals were causing me stress because they were unattainable. I was consistently being let down. I have to let go of the ideals and accept a more realistic view of the world. Here are some of the ideals that I am still working on letting go so that I can be a happier and more calm and content person:

– I will be good and successful at whatever I do (teaching, cooking, hobbies)

– My son will always be well-behaved and will listen to me

– My home will always be neat

– I will always be productive with my time

– I will always know and understand what I am doing; I will always feel competent

– My husband will be encouraging and supportive of all my ideas

– My friends will always include me in their plans

– I will be disciplined and good at changing and sticking to habits (exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness)

All of the above things will fall short at some time or another, some more often than others! Letting go of the ideals is a great way to reduce the stress and frustration in my life. I don’t know where the ideals came from or how I managed to convince myself they are realistic. All I do know is that life is never perfect, and some of my happiest moments have been when I’ve neglected the floor washing and taken my son to the playground instead.

What is an ideal that you’ve realized you need to let go in order to reduce the stress in your life? What helps you accept a new ideal for reality?

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2 thoughts on “A List of My Ridiculous Ideals

  1. Andrea, I’ve mentioned before that I am a planner and it is something I love doing. I like to brainstorm and research things and sometimes I fall in love with my plans. I expect my husband to jump on board and be just as excited about the “plan” as I am. (After all a lot of research went into the plan as well as a carefully thought out list of pros and cons so of course the plan is good.) i’ve had to become better at bringing him up to speed with regards to the plan and also being willing to amend the plan and accept his input to modify the plan. I’m also learning that any plans I make have to be offered up to God for him to breath on it because His plans are always bigger and better than mine. These are some of the areas where my thinking and ideals have changed recently.

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  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Michelle! I get attached to my thoughts and plans too (something I talk about in my most recent post). It’s challenging to let go and accept that others might have a better idea or more accurate perspective. But I’m realizing that things always turn out better when I am willing to loosen my attachment to such things!

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