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Coaching

Why Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I want to be the best at everything. There I got it out. 

I am envious of other women my age and my season of life who seem to have stumbled upon success, accidentally trying something and surprising themselves with the fruit and the response they receive.

I want that.

Not only do I want that, but I want to be that woman. That bubbly, fun, spontaneous mom who is also creative, confident, stable and secure. Not only do I want overnight success, I want to be a different person when I wake up.

You can imagine how extremely disappointed I feel when I wake up every single morning and I see the same person in the mirror.

My jealousy and comparison have deep roots of perfection.

I’ve been ruminating over these wise words lately,

“The idea of being in the middle makes us worry about being left behind or forgotten, doesn’t it?”

“Moderation isn’t an option because we fear losing control.”

“Many times, the thing we go to extremes for is not the thing we need the most.” Lara Casey, Make it Happen

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What if you and I became content with being good, great, or just okay at something? A good wife. A great mom. A good athlete. A great teacher. An okay writer. An okay gardener.

Yikes! For me, that’s difficult. I grew up wanting to be the straight A student, the fastest runner on the team, the best, best friend. And now, well, it hasn’t changed. I still want to be the fastest and the best, the most beautiful wife, the strongest mother, the most stable woman.

Being just good or great or ok…those are like swear words to me. It gives the idea that I settled in mediocrity and didn’t give it my all…that ultimately, I failed. 

But friends, can I tell you this…

Being good at something is good enough. Even being okay is okay. 

Our desires to be the most successful, the best, the fastest, the thinnest, the most stable and secure are paralyzing us from living an adventure with God!  For me, I know I back out, quit, step down, or hide, all because of this lie– that if something I do is not excellent or perfect or whole-hearted than it’s simple not worth it.

In other words, it’s a failure.

I am a failure.

I feel this in mothering, hobbies, writing, relationship with God, friendships, work, and my character.

I feel it strongly everyday…Do you?

The pressure to be the best, the most beautiful, the most creative, the most put together, the most daring, the most adventurous…it subtly pervades our lives.

But here’s the truth about it all- I’M NOT the best, the most put together, the most adventurous… And neither are you.

Because this is the deal – life is all about practicing.

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Practicing means stepping out, taking action, training, working on, becoming…

It signifies we’re on our way, but not there yet.

So give yourself the grace to be good enough, to practice, to fail, to try, to step out. Become content with not having to be the best or have it all together.

In every area of my life I am choosing to practice! Practice is the secret to becoming good at just about anything. But practice doesn’t make perfect!

Because practicing… whether it’s art of adventure, mothering, writing, intimacy with God, playing piano, loving my husband, running, baking bread, growing a garden… means we are moving awkwardly in faith instead of being gripped with fear.

Instead of practice making perfect, practice releases the pressure of having to be perfect.

Giving myself the freedom to simply practice, places my eyes on the real race- becoming more like Jesus, travelling deeper into His heart. All of life, everything we do and are, is all just a practice.

Practicing is not about striving, but consistency. It’s not overnight success, but faithfulness. It’s not about winning the race, but just running.

In highschool I ran track and cross country. Practice was the secret to becoming fit and healthy.

Practice is where we built confidence and stamina. It’s where we stepped out of our comfort zones and sometimes failed. It’s where we were okay with being good, not the best.

And actually, any athlete knows you don’t want to the best in practice.

So, will you join me in practicing this art of adventure with God, and giving ourselves permission to fail, to try, to step out, and to simply be good or great, but definitely not perfect?

How would your life look different if you didn’t feel pressure to be perfect or the best?

Walking with you into the unknown,

Charissa

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