Progress Not Perfection

In order to focus on attaining a happy and healthy life, it is important to pay attention to the progress we make toward our goals and not expect perfection along the way.

Every one of us, when attempting to realize a new goal, starts off with enthusiasm and drive.  Our motivation is high and we are determined to succeed.  We may have anticipated some pitfalls along the way, but it is rare that we factor in all the problems we will face on our journey.  It is when we are faced with these challenges that we need to look at the progress we have made at each step.  It is normal to feel defeated and even to lose some of the initial excitement we felt when we started.

“Fail early, fail often, in order to succeed sooner.” 

Tom Kelley

The truth is we need to expect these setbacks as we work toward achieving our goals.  Thinking we are going to be perfect and nothing will go wrong will be a roadblock to our success.  Our inner negative voice will speak out telling us that we are a failure.  

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Progress, not perfection allows us to recognize that we are a work in development and doing the best that we can do.  It allows us to keep moving forward and not let the obstacles stop us.

By thinking we need to be perfect, life becomes a matter of right or wrong, black or white, success or failure. There is no middle ground in this type of thinking.  It is very difficult to remain committed to your goals when there is no room for a setback.  Trials and tribulations are a natural part of growth.  

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In focusing on progress, you can celebrate your mini successes along the way.  Look back and see how far you’ve come and all you’ve achieved.  Use these successes to help you move forward.  Recognize your growth and the fact that your goals are possible.  

Viewing your setbacks as learning experiences and not failures, allows you to view them in a different light.  There are no failures, only opportunities to grow.  All successful people got where they are by experiencing failures along the way.  They are necessary to move forward.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” 

Albert Einstein

By focusing on progress, your mind becomes adept at seeing each small accomplishment and success.  In doing this, you are then able to feel proud along the way and celebrate these small wins. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Perfectionism isn’t possible to maintain for the long-term because life is always changing. There will always be new setbacks that will challenge your progress. You need to be flexible to manage all of the challenges in store for you. By focusing on progress, you can more easily overcome obstacles, because you know there will be ups and downs. You know that you don’t have to be perfect. You know that the path to success isn’t a straight line and this knowledge helps you to stay the path.  

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