As you probably know, there has been a lot going on in the past couple of months in my life (most of which I discuss in my most recent video). I entitled my last post “Saying No to Perfectionism” and I discussed what that means and what pushed me to making that decision. However, I’m the type of person that likes things to balance out – and so when I say I am saying no to something, I also like to balance it out by talking about what I am saying yes to.
The truth is, when I wrote that last post, I didn’t know what I was saying yes to quite yet – and that’s OK, sometimes we don’t know – but after much reflection, reading, counselling, and (most importantly) listening to this song, I’ve decided what it is I am saying yes to:
I am saying yes to the fact I am “only human”
I – like many people – put a lot of high expectations on myself. And when I fall short, or mess up, or lose control of my emotions, or get misunderstood or misinterpreted, I take it out on myself. I start second-guessing, questioning, re-evaluating, and, in essence, beating myself up. I expect myself to always do the right thing, say the right thing, feel the right things – I expect myself to be a robot.
But I am not a robot; I am a human and humans have limitations, and that is OK. I am not perfect – nor should I expect myself to be or even strive to be.
To strive to be something you can never be is both futile and destructive. (click to tweet)
We are only human.
In the song, which you should listen to if you haven’t (right now, stop reading, scroll down and listen, and then come back. I’ll still be here), Christina Perri lists all the things she can do –
I can fake a smile / I can force a laugh / I can dance and play the part / If that’s what you ask / Give you all I am
but this is quickly followed by her acknowledgement of her limitations –
But I’m only human / And I bleed when I fall down / I’m only human / And I crash and I break down / Your words in my head, knives in my heart / You build me up and then I fall apart / ‘Cause I’m only human
The truth is, we are all only human – and that’s ok.
So why do we expect ourselves to be so much more? Why do we push ourselves? Why can’t we just be OK with being imperfect, being flawed, being human?
Maybe your ways look different than mine, but I believe we all put unrealistic (or “un-human”) expectations on ourselves – when in reality we are all made up of flaws as well as beauty, strengths as well as shortcomings.
And so I thought I would make my own list – so here it goes…
- I’m only human, and I retreat when I am scared
- I’m only human, and words cut me deep.
- I’m only human, and sometimes memories overtake me.
- I’m only human, and I get anxiety when you walk in the room.
- I’m only human, and I second guess myself.
- I’m only human, and I feel overwhelmed.
- I’m only human, and when I’m hurt, I shy away.
- I’m only human, and your words still ring in my head.
- I’m only human, and sometimes I cry myself to sleep.
But all of these things are OK because I’m only human.
What expectations have you been putting on yourself lately? Are you expecting yourself to be more than human? I encourage you to list the things you do – and to remind yourself you’re only human, and that’s perfectly OK.