What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

Forget Perfection!

Do you insist that everything be done a certain way? Do you have a hard time relaxing if your house is a mess or things are out of order? Do you beat yourself up for making mistakes? I’ve got a simple message for you today: It’s time to let go of your perfectionism. It may just be the stumbling block that’s keeping you from contentment and the happiness you say you want.

The quest for a perfect job, a perfect mate, a perfect life – is a never ending quest that none of us will ever achieve. It is a futile habit that keeps you from relaxing and enjoying life – and appreciating the lessons, opportunities and blessings that are right in front of you. So what can you do to tame your perfectionism?

1. Be willing to leave some things undone.
Recognize that the world won’t come to an end because there are dishes in the sink, or you didn’t plan the perfect vacation.

2. Recognize that it’s often the imperfections of a situation that foster growth, laughter and even lasting memories.
Tune in to the divine wisdom being offered to you everyday through the frustrations, inconveniences and struggles of life.

3. Let the people in your life be who they are.
One of life’s greatest frustrations can come from expecting others to meet our expectations when they simply cannot or will not do so. Stop requiring others to meet your expectations of perfection, and your relationships will be more peaceful and joyful.

4. Give yourself a break.
We are all imperfect. Even if you are excellent, thoughtful, careful and intelligent, you will do things wrong at times, make mistakes and get yourself into situations you wish you could reverse. Learn from them and move forward.

As you let go of your need for perfection, you embrace the perfect ways in which life often lines up just the way you need it, just when you need it.

Journaling assignment:
In what ways are you demanding perfection? How could you ease up and allow yourself to enjoy life more? Consider your relationships, finances, work, health and spiritual life.

My challenge to you this week:
Give yourself a break. Let go of the quest for perfection and notice the opportunities for joy that show up on your path this week. Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Finish Each Day and Be Done with It!

Do you have a hard time leaving work at work? Is your to-do list so long that it is never possible to finish everything you set out to do in a day? I have always loved this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

The quote serves as a reminder of the importance of putting boundaries around our time and expectations of each new day. This week, I would like to simply remind you to “finish each day and be done with it.” Forgive yourself for not accomplishing everything you “could” have. Relax and be at peace with simply doing what you were able. Give yourself permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect and inadvertently get off track from time to time. After all, you are human. One of my friends – a successful executive and single mom of three – told me a few years ago that she had learned that “being superwoman is a super myth.” She was right on point. You can get into the habit of taking on too much responsibility and then expecting yourself to handle every responsibility perfectly and expediently. Before long, you can become exhausted and even burn out.

Here are a few ways to practice “finishing each day and being done with it” this week:

If you work from home, do the same. When your work day ends, mentally shift from professional life mode to personal life mode.

Often, to-do lists are quite unrealistic. Be honest with yourself about what you can actually accomplish in a day. If something doesn’t get completed, move it to another day. Put your to-dos into proper perspective. Sometimes we stress out over tasks that are not urgent matters.

If you’ve had a tough day with co-workers, your children, a spouse or a friend, don’t feel pressured to always resolve the issue the same day. I’m not suggesting that you should avoid difficult conversations, but rather that it is important to identify the right time and place to have them. Sometimes, waiting a day or two can allow heated emotions to simmer, and a more productive conversation to occur.

When you find yourself focused on all that you did not accomplish during the day, take a deep breath and make a decision to focus on your goal again tomorrow. Refuse to beat yourself up over moments that have passed earlier in your day that you will never get back. Instead, maximize the moment you are in right now by enjoying it fully. For it, too, will never be regained.

Do you sometimes fall asleep on the sofa? Do you drift off to sleep vowing to read one more chapter in a book only to wake up with the lights on and an open book on your pillow? Studies show that most people have a more restful night’s sleep when they have a bedtime routine consisting of dimmed lights and low or no noise in the hour before going to sleep – followed by turning off the lights and resting until drifting off to sleep. End your day intentionally and you will find yourself energized to begin your next day!

Journaling assignment:
What tends to burden you at the end of each day? What will you do differently beginning today to let it go until a new day begins?

My challenge to you this week:
Finish each day this week and be done with it!

Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!