Presence Over Perfection: How Focusing On The Moment Makes Me Feel Confident About The Future
Remaining present might seem harder than it sounds, and while there are challenges that come with staying mindful and present throughout life, I’ve found that focusing on the present moment rather than striving for perfection all the time is actually better for my mental health and my progression forward in life. While striving for perfection can sometimes yield effective results in the moment, all too often it turns out to make me feel worse about myself when perfection inevitably can’t be achieved.
There’s a common saying that goes, “Done is better than perfect.” I find it to be extremely helpful. While simple, it’s also a great reminder that actually doing something, getting finished and staying on top of things is much more important than some image of perfection that can never be. Nobody is perfect. Not me, not anybody. And realizing that has helped me stay more mindful so I can focus on the present, and build a better future for myself in the process.
What is mindfulness?
One of the key points of learning how to be present for me was committing to a practice of mindfulness. While the term mindfulness is thrown around a lot, people often don’t slow down to define it or understand it in practice. Mindfulness is not the same as meditation, nor is it a religious belief — although it does have roots in Buddhist philosophies. Mindfulness is about being present in the moments, surroundings and sensations that are currently around. While it can be practiced in meditation, there are a variety of ways that mindfulness can come into play. I try to use mindfulness all throughout my daily life, even in some of the most unexpected places.
Practicing mindfulness everywhere
While there are meditation and breathing exercises that can drive a quality mindfulness practice, I find that mindfulness works the best in my life when I practice it consistently throughout my day, even when I’m not in a designated space for it. For example, mindfulness can come up when taking a walk by feeling the ground beneath my feet and the wind against my face. Mindfulness can come up when gardening or doing the dishes, or even working out. All of this helps me feel more at peace with myself from moment to moment, which leads to a generally more positive feeling about life, and the future.
Balancing preparation with ease
Being in the present moment and practicing mindfulness might not seem like it leaves as much room for care and consideration around the future, but for me, it truly is all about striking a careful balance. While avoiding all thoughts of the future in the name of mindfulness isn’t a good decision, neither is worrying about having the perfect plan and fretting over the events that the future might bring.
Being in a flow
While entering a state of flow can be a part of mindfulness, it’s also about tossing ideas of perfection out the window and being present with what I need. Being in a creative flow is often related to tasks or goals, but it’s also about moving through life with a state of purpose, ease and — like the name suggests — a flow of energy taking you from one thing to the next. I find that getting into a flow takes a mindful approach and a willingness to let go of perfectionism. That way, I enjoy the process of life in the present, and that flow can carry me into the future with ease. I don’t even need to worry about little things when I’m in the flow state. They simply fall by the wayside as I focus on what matters and what’s right in front of me.
Feeling the positivity
This combination of presence, flow and mindfulness has truly helped me achieve a positive outlook not just about my surroundings, but about the future ahead, too. Positivity is like a cycle — when you feel positive, it creates more positive experiences ahead in the future. And I have been able to latch onto the power of that cycle. It’s all about feeling that presence over perfection.
Presence over perfection
Being mindful and focusing on the present moment in front of you isn’t always easy. In fact, it’s often difficult at first. But I’ve found that when I focus on mindfulness, find a balance that works between preparation and ease, I can feel more confident in my future and more content with the present. And I believe that everyone has the power to do the same.
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