The biggest challenge of all.....
Monday, July 30, 2012
Here at spark you are challenged to drink 8 glasses of water daily, eat 8-9 f/v daily, exercise for "x" amount of time daily.......these challenges have the best of intentions, to help you break old habits.
But what if you just can't complete the spark challenges no matter how hard you try and your lifetime of experiences brings forth the child who tried so hard but couldn't live up to expectations set by others. That child who had to explain the one B on a report card full of A's, that child who tried to surprise her mom by cleaning the house and the areas where she could have done better were immediately pointed out, that child who could never get the best parts in dancing school, that child who was picked last for "teams" in gym class, the child who never fit in with "a" group during her lifetime.
Before continuing and before you all immediately begin to hate that mom, what she did was with the best of intentions. She only wanted that child to be the best that she could be, she often told her whatever she wanted to do she could. That mom is also an amazing person, an abuse survivor, so the fact that she broke the pattern of abuse is testament to her strength and courage to be a better mom, she made mistakes just as many of us do.
With that said, that doesn't change the effect on that child, feeling as though no matter how hard she tried, she could never live up to others expectations of her. Beginning to develop a personality where perfection was a must.....the dreaded type A personality, the all or nothing personality.
What effect does an all or nothing personality have on your life....duh it's all or nothing. If you can't drink 8 glasses of water a day, you become frustrated and give up. If you can't eat 8-9 f/v a day, you become frustrated and give up. If you can't exercise for "x" amount of time, you become frustrated and give up. That child has destined herself to fail for she is repeating a lifetime of all or nothing expectations.
With that said, that child is facing her biggest challenge of all.....challenging herself to do better and to be kind and encouraging to herself. To stop trying to live up to others expectations, to live up to her own expectations, to change her mindset from all or nothing to a work in progress.
As you may have guessed, that child is me and I'm facing my biggest spark challenge of all, eliminating the all or nothing mentality. I am a work in progress and it's ok to challenge myself to drink just two waters a day when I typically drink NONE, it's ok to challenge myself to eating 3 f/v daily when I typically eat NONE, it's ok to set "x" amount of daily exercise when I typically do NONE.
For some is far better than none even though it's not ALL. It is an important first step in a lifetime of "good enough". Good enough to establish healthy guidelines, good enough to start this thing called a healthy lifestyle, good enough to beat the all or nothing mentality.
So today I will be kind enough to myself to ditch the all or nothing mentality, today I will beat my biggest challenge of all.......acceptance that sometimes my best doesn't meet set expectations, but IS good enough when I've given it my all.