In episode 3 of the Pint-Sized Healing Podcast , I spoke of the Personal Growth Paradox; the idea that we struggle to simultaneously feel the drive to improve ourselves while also loving ourselves with all our imperfections. There is so much emphasis on the eternal struggle to improve and do so quickly and perfectly, that we forget to enjoy our journey and notice all our strengths and successes.
Too much focus on our weaknesses and mistakes, can frustrate us to the point where we become a negative influence on our own healing. Learning and growing take time. However impatient we are, we need to take small baby steps in order not to become overwhelmed. A few years ago, I wrote: “Some days we leap forward, and other days we may take two steps back again. Nobody can overhaul their entire life all at once, and at some level I think we all know it. That would be like wanting to eat better and going vegan, gluten-free and expert kale-juicer, all in one afternoon (and sticking to it). Still so often I see survivors express frustration with their progress. It seems we all feel a need to work at ten things at once, and want to have perfect results every time.”
This can be a difficult process to manage. Every time we set ourselves overly ambitious goals that are doomed to get the better of us, we feel like a failure. Yet, we fail to realize that even the intention we had or the smallest progress we made towards that goal is a sign of growth. Or in the words of Australia TV chef Pete Evans: You cannot fail in attempting to become healthier (from Paleo Every Day by Pete Evans).
So when you are hard on yourself, remember that even the smallest action contributes to your healing and failure is not possible.