Why Good Enough is Better than Perfect
Have you ever had one of those magical days in which from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, everything goes exactly as planned? You check every box on your to-do list, never cut anyone off in traffic, have only kind words for people who are rude to you, and manage to get both a yoga practice and a weight lifting session at the gym in all before eating a healthy dinner and going to bed exactly at 10pm to maximize your REM sleep?
If you have, then I’m not quite sure you’re human, and this post is for humans. I, my friends, am a human and I have never had one of those magical days. I have had days in which I have been more productive than most, or kinder than most, but I have never had a day where I was absolutely perfect (whatever the heck that even means). I am telling you this because I am a full-time yoga teacher, and there seems to be a myth out there that yoga teachers are somehow slated for perfection. Honestly, in my personal experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
If there is anything my yoga practice continues to teach me over and over again, it’s that perfect is an illusion and a completely unrealistic goal.
If there is anything my yoga practice continues to teach me over and over again, it’s that perfect is an illusion and a completely unrealistic goal. It was probably either the Yogaland Podcast or one of Brene Brown’s books where I stumbled upon the saying “good enough is usually good enough,” and I believe no truer, or more useful words were ever spoken.
Whether it’s losing weight, getting a promotion, or advancing a yoga practice, I find that all too often we set goals based on the rigid ideal of perfection and eventually, we “fail.” Why? Because the rigidity of perfection doesn’t allow for the days when we sleep through our alarm clocks or forget to send out that email. Rigidity is not life-affirming.
Life is fluid and full of change and shifts, and because rigid structures can’t hold space for shift or fluidity, they break.
Life is fluid and full of change and shifts, and because rigid structures can’t hold space for shift or fluidity, they break. This is why extreme diets work for a time, but then can cause us to gain back more weight than we lost. It’s why we can all force ourselves into a yoga posture one day, but then can’t get back into it the next day because we pulled something in the process.
So if perfection isn’t a worthwhile goal, what is? Compassionate consistency. Compassionate consistency is the commitment to do our best at any given moment, day after day. It requires that we’re real with ourselves. It invites us to look at where we are, where we want to go, and what we can honestly do to get there. Going to three yoga classes a week after avoiding the yoga studio for three months is a tall order. Try going to one class a week. That may even be a struggle.
And that’s okay. It’s okay to struggle through that yoga class- to feel tight and out of shape. Just go, and keep going. I promise that if you keep going eventually the struggle will decrease. It may even turn into something you enjoy so much that after a delineated amount of time you find yourself struggling through two yoga classes a week.
Compassionate consistency gives us permission to be flawed; it takes into account that we are human and encourages us to focus on doing what we can on any given day, without judgment or comparison.
That’s the beauty of compassionate consistency- it takes the value judgment out of the equation. Compassionate consistency gives us permission to be flawed; it takes into account that we are human and encourages us to focus on doing what we can on any given day, without judgment or comparison. We are all going to have days where our work is rewarding and we make some real breakthroughs. And we are also all going to have days when we are not the highest version of ourselves and we kinda screw things up. Unless, of course, you are one of those super-human people who this post is not written for, in which case, shouldn’t you be out saving babies instead of reading this?
Bend perfection into accessibility.
So here’s a little piece of unsolicited advice: find out what your “good enough” is. Take a step back from your ideals and embrace your humanity. What can you incorporate into your day no matter what? Five minutes of sitting silently without your phone as you drink your morning coffee? Watching one less hour of TV a night? Bend perfection into accessibility. Then be consistent in that practice or behavior; commit to it everyday.
The truth is, good enough is better than perfect. Good enough is real; it’s honest, it’s sustainable, and most importantly, it honors and empowers us as humans.
Hello, I’m Daniela
I’m 30-year-old literature and philosophy geek turned full-time yoga teacher. I am passionate about living a wholehearted life that honors and allows me to enjoy the gift that is the human body, the power that is the human mind, and the beauty that is the human spirit. That’s how and why I practice and teach Yoga. I’m into making awkward jokes and being radically honest all in the hopes to bring light to truth, and connect. I aim show up in the world, both as a teacher and a human being, in a way that empowers us all to be the best versions of ourselves (most of the time). When I’m not in class, leading Yoga Teacher Training, or traveling, you can find me catching a Chargers game, binge-watching Survivor, or dancing and singing alone in my room to One Direction albums.