“If we constantly strive for perfection, we will never focus on our basic happiness, which can oftentimes be found in activities we don’t necessarily excel at. We can sing even if we aren’t the next Beyoncé, dance without striving for Broadway, and we paint knowing full well we are not Picasso. There is more to life than achieving a level of proficiency in all we do; sometimes it’s better to relish in our unskilled selves.”Jordan Lee, Student at SLO
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Growing up, I always placed an emphasis on perfection. If I found a skill that I didn’t believe that I would excel in, I would quit immediately to spare myself from what I believed would be insurmountable embarrassment. Over time, the unattainability of perfection left me in a rut of dissatisfaction. I was constantly dissatisfied with who I was until I had a realization: I would be much happier if I allowed myself to be bad at something. I don’t need to do an activity for the sake of improving at it–I can do it because it sparks joy within me. It’s a process, but I am continuously working on letting go of tension and negative self-talk telling me that I’m not good enough. As a result, I find myself feeling free of the burden of inadequacy.
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How would you like to inspire others?
There is no better way to find what brings you joy than to try it. Take a beginner’s class in whatever interests you. If you find that you’re bad at it, do it anyways. Realize that everyone is so consumed in their own development that they’re not focused on yours. Of course, with practice comes progress in any skill, but learn to enjoy yourself in the moment rather than focusing on the end result.
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