Sometimes we all need a dose of reality. Not the harsh wakeup call that might come when naysayers try to squash your desires and tell you you're dreaming, but the other kind. I call it, "Reality with a big 'R.'" This sort of reality comes when we get useful feedback from those who love and care about us unconditionally, or from the knowledge of our true inner selves.
I've been aware for a long time now of my propensity to be a perfectionist. The kind of perfectionist which stops me from doing things midstream because I don't think whatever I've created is good enough. Instead of achieving a more perfect finished product, this tendency produces a form of self-sabotage. Maybe it's simply a method that allows me to avoid others' judgement, so I stop short myself. Either way I look at it, I'm not proud of this trait because it doesn't serve me very well.
When I'm spiraling in a cycle of not-good-enough thoughts, what does serve me well is a reality (with a big 'R') check with one or more of these three easy steps.
1. Get objective feedback from a trustworthy source.
Checking in with those closest to us can give you a fresh perspective on your life. People who love us and know us well often can provide insight on what we might be missing. Maybe we're too close to a project or a relationship to see how it may or may not serve us, and just need a fresh lens to look at the situation and see what it's reflecting back to us.
2. Receive acknowledgement on what's working.
Allow yourself to receive some light on the beauty and specialness of who you really are. Tapping into the deeper reality of the spirit instead of where the ego is stuck can be all that's needed to pick yourself up, dust off and keep on going. Remember, your talents and abilities are unique. Regardless of how many times you think you fall short, it's really about your perspective. You may be missing the mark in one way, but achieving something magnificent from a different vantage point.
3. Meditate on gratitude and appreciation.
It's always a good time to have gratitude. Even if you're trapped in feelings of frustration or depression, there's usually something simple and general in your life you can be grateful for. This can be a walking meditation in nature, or even 15 minutes of looking inward and breathing. Sometimes a brief moment of stepping out of a disheartening situation to appreciate something general, however small, can take us a few steps toward detaching. I find that when I let go of what's not working, this space gives me space to shift into a better point of view.
Finding the courage to cultivate these support systems can help us toss out egoic self-pity conversations, through receiving kind-hearted acknowledgement and opening to new perspectives. These steps can be amazing tools for self-discovery if we allow them in. There's magic in our human connection with each other, with nature, and most of all with ourselves.