lifestyle

'I was a stressed-out, Type A perfectionist. Until I changed my attitude'.

Being the kind of person who aims high and accepts nothing less than perfection is exhausting, and if you don’t mind me saying so, a recipe for failure.

So I’m going to admit something that may jeopardise my shiny outer image and say that adopting a new mantra around a year ago transformed my life. And the mantra is…

“Okay is okay”.

What’s wrong with okay? Nothing, okay? Aiming for okay is much more doable than aiming for perfection, particularly when it comes to the daily grind of work and parenting and cooking and body image and all that jazz. And I’m a perfectionist, so it is very hard for me to settle with ‘okay’. It’s been a real process but an incredibly rewarding one.

Okay is okay.

“Okay is okay” doesn’t mean you have to settle for second-best, by the way. It means that you need to:

1.  Realise that perfection doesn’t exist.

2.  Be okay with that.

Let me repeat that: this mantra doesn’t mean that settling for second best is okay. It is simply saying that life is still amazing, whether everything is “perfect” or not.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lindeman’s Early Harvest. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

Since adopting this mantra and applying it to my daily life I have become a much happier version of myself. If perfection doesn’t exist, then I haven’t failed if I haven’t achieved it.

And that’s okay.

Now I am released from the stress of trying to achieve it and the distress when I don’t. And every time I remind myself that “Okay is okay” a million other mantras fly into my head. Sometimes entire conversations I have inside my head are in mantra only, a bit like this…

Okay is okay Jo, just accept yourself for who you are. There’s no point getting upset about things you can’t control. Just move on. After all, life is all about living…

And so on, and so forth.

There isn’t an area of my life that adopting this mantra hasn’t improved. My entire life is different from my marriage to my parenting to my work to my family life. It has taken some practice to get it right. I still find myself heading towards meltdowns but I remind myself that “Okay is okay” and then I can feel myself calm down.

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Jo Abi.

Yes, we should still be aiming high and setting lofty goals. Why not? And if we achieve all of it or some of it, so be it. How lucky are we that we can design our lives these ways, that our basic needs are met because we live in such a great country and we can do things like ponder what dress to wear, which career move to make and how to get our children to go to sleep a touch earlier each evening?

We are living the dream, but many of us aren’t recognising it because we are so busy thinking about all the things we have “failed” at, as opposed to the many more things we’ve totally nailed.

Now, instead of going through the day and listing in my head all the things that went wrong, I end most days with a feeling that things went okay. The mantra, “Okay is okay” gives you permission to just do you best, to just keep on trying. Some days you nail it, others, not so much.

Are your kids healthy, happy most of the time, in one piece? Well then, that’s okay. And here’s a newsflash…kids don’t care if you’re a perfect parent or not. They don’t care if they’ve eaten vegetables with every meal or practiced their trombone every day or done their homework in a calm and relaxed – aka NOT FRANTIC – environment. They feel much better when the “okay is okay” mantra is applied to them as well.

And as for the f word, ‘failure’, that is no longer a part of my life. I don’t fail at anything anymore. I don’t lambast myself over things anymore because every day is a new day and, “Okay is okay”.

What mantra do you live by?

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