This is a guest post by iNLP student Kelli Cooper.
None of us are perfect, no major revelations there. We know this. But, I think on some level, many of us who seriously take on the path of personal development believe we will reach some state of perfection.
I know when I first started on my path, I thought that I would become this person that was calm, cool and collected all the time floating on a cloud of expanded consciousness and peace 24/7. Yeah right!
Maybe this is possible for those spiritual gurus who retire to caves and mountaintops where they never have to deal with other human beings and the other aspects of daily living. I have come pretty far but I have yet to reach this goal. Perhaps it is possible and I just need to work on myself more!
As I progress on my journey, I have learned to be a bit more forgiving of myself.
I have a lot of deeply ingrained ways of being that are slowly being rooted out, but I still have my moments of irrational anger, self-pity, blaming other people for my problems, getting annoyed at things that really should not annoy me. The list could go on and on.
I have discovered I am not perfect nor will I ever be. When we actually internalize this realization, things become a lot easier. If we make perfection the goal, we are setting the bar way too high and when we do that, it is more likely we will quit our personal development work because we will think it is not working. You will have your moments.
Surely as you keep developing, they will become less frequent and less intense. It is highly likely you may be able to even completely eliminate certain beliefs, habits, etc…but some may linger and rear their ugly heads every once in a while. It is okay. Do not beat yourself up. At this point, the desire to change has been firmly entrenched in your awareness and you will make progress.
Once I started my NLP training, I made sure to remind myself of this. I am sure as I go through the course, I am going to learn a lot of amazing, life-changing things and I will diligently apply them as best I can. But I also know there is a good chance that there will be moments when an outside circumstance of a particularly bad mood will override this wisdom and I will act in a way not in line with the “me” I consciously work on creating every day.
If Perfection is not the goal, then what is?
So, if being perfect is off the table, what is the point of working on ourselves and doing programs like Mike’s iNLP training? I guess there are many answers to that, but the one that comes to mind most strongly as I write this is developing greater awareness of how we are thinking, being and doing and making our best effort to make the best choices in the moments of our lives — the choices that will bring us greater peace and happiness, and help us live the live we truly desire. We know we should not judge people but sometimes we will. The goal then becomes keeping it to ourselves. We know we should not talk badly about others, but we will sometimes get an itch to say something.
Again, the goal becomes keeping our trap shut. We know we should not hold other people responsible for our feelings, but we will likely do that a lot. The goal then becomes doing the sometimes uncomfortable process of self-examination to determine why this person made us feel the way we feel. The list could go on and on. As you progress through Mike’s program, any other program or any aspect of your personal development, remember that perfection is not the goal.
Stick with it, take in the information, and use it. Think deeply about the concepts you are learning about and do the best you can to implement. While you may not become the next Buddha, you can make changes in your life that you probably do not even think are possible right now. You can make significant strides that will help you live the life you want to live and be the person you want to be.
Focus on the process, on the journey and do not become obsessed with results. You will surely get them, no doubt about that, but there is no end point to this journey so you cannot view personal development in that way. Good luck!
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.