- Let go of perfection.
- Allow yourself to move forward and let go of the past.
- Give yourself time to rest.
- Be okay with setting boundaries.
- Reawaken clarity.
I hopped into my car yesterday and realized that the front windshield was dirty. With no time to clean it on my way to work, I realized how difficult it was to see as I made a turn directly into the morning sun’s bright glory. I squinted my eyes into slits and made it safely to my destination with great effort and focus.
When it gets clouded over like this, it requires more of my attention as it becomes challenging to make everything out clearly. Was that stoplight red or green? How far is that car ahead of me? A little bit of clarity would go a long way in this circumstance. It may take a quick spray of windshield wiper fluid or a full car wash, but there is usually a simple solution to make it better.
Here’s a question for you.
What are you absolutely clear on these days?
Would you say that your life path is straightforward? Do you know what you should do next, with all confidence that everything will work out in your favor?
Neither do I.We are not certain of any changes in our future, but we can be assured that sustaining a balance with effort will steady our existence and reawaken clarity. Click To Tweet
I would love to wake up each morning believing in exactly who I am and where I am headed in the next season…heck, even in just the next day. I’d love to lay my head down every night to sleep without waking several times thinking about what could or should happen tomorrow.
Let’s talk about why life is foggy and unclear, kind of like the dirty windshield.
We try, right? To strive to be the best version of ourselves. Often we bend over backward to achieve perfection. We want to yell less at our kids, lose a little weight, eat healthier, be better at housekeeping, and be a hard-working colleague without feeling like a failure. We aim to have clear contentment with everything and everyone at all times. So, how does it end up so hazy and blurry?
I have been in my head long enough to understand that no one expects perfection of myself except ME. I know that it pivots on my approach to actually “let go.” Letting go of the worries, the messes, and the decisions I made this school year. I’m deciding to lay aside the setbacks and focus forward on the choices that are ahead that will foster future resilience. I aspire to harness a positive self-perception that would allow me to forgive and accept myself. And I may be saying all of the right words right now, but this is essentially a high mountain to climb.
One thing that I believe is foundational to any profession is self-care. We often perceive that this is an indulgent practice, but it essentially creates a healthy balance in our social, emotional, and physical lives. There are three specific things that I have added to my practice:
Step 1: LET GO OF PERFECTIONISM. Not to be confused with a dedication to excellence or a diligent work ethic. To strive to be perfect is grievously toxic and in no way realistic. It suppresses joy and contentment. Learn to embrace your imperfections. They are part of your unique story.
Step 2: GIVE YOURSELF REST. As soon as you come home, take a break. Go for a walk or run, soak up the sunshine, breathe deeply, or listen to your favorite music. For me, rest includes prioritizing a good night’s sleep and spending quality time with my amazing family.
Step 3: SET PERSONAL BOUNDARIES. I typically state that if it is not a “Heck, YES!” then it is a “No.” This can be with any choices we have to make such as relationships, nutrition, exercise, and commitments. We have to proportionally balance our lives. When our system of measurement goes awry, it is difficult to maintain confidence. Grant yourself permission to stand behind the boundaries you create. It will bring extraordinary freedom.[scroll down to keep reading]
It is important for me to practice these steps regularly. I meditate on them and view each day as a fresh start. It’s not a perfect plan—I let that go, remember? We are not certain of any changes in our future, but we can be assured that sustaining a balance with effort will steady our existence and reawaken clarity.
Slowly you will begin to see through the dirty windshield. Hopefully, it will be a visual reminder that you can continue to be brave and determined, refusing to let fear worm its way into your heart. Seek and cultivate new ways of being flexible and resilient. Treat yourself with all the grace and joy you deserve.
About Jillian DuBois
Jillian DuBois currently serves as an elementary school educator in Clearwater, FL. She has worked both in public and private educational settings for over 20 years. Her passion is to initiate, instill, and infuse joy to those in educational leadership through blogs and podcasts. Jillian uses her voice to help foster hope for student equity and empathy. Outside of school, you will find Jillian outdoors, soaking up the sun and surf, or finding new paths to hike with her husband and son. You can visit her website here!