25. take off your cape

NEWS FLASH: You are NOT a superhero. You do not have superhuman powers. You cannot fly, see through walls, read minds, or lift buildings with your pinky finger. As helpful (and cool) as any of those powers would be, you just don’t have them. I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but you are, in fact, a human being.

My guess is your reading this and starting to form the completely wrong idea about this post. You might be angry. You may even be confused as to why it seems that I am discrediting you, telling you that are you not capable of these extraordinary things.

But the truth is, if I asked you to do any of those things…especially fly, you’d end up as a pancake on the ground.

Would you ever sit there and belittle yourself at your inability to fly? Would you have an overwhelming feeling of failure if your attempt to move a huge skyscraper fell short? No. (unless you really think your secret identity is a superhero. Then we have a whole different story on our hands).

So why do we put such unrealistic, superhuman expectations on ourselves to be perfect?

Why do we become angry when we make a small mistake? Why do we place such an emphasis on always presenting ourselves as “I’m always happy and everything’s fine!”? Why does it feel like we’ve failed if we forget to do something? WE ARE HUMAN. That’s what we do. We make mistakes, come up short, forget to do things, let people down, let ourselves down, fail, cry, and get angry. It’s in our nature. That’s who we are and what we do.

Just the other day, I had unintentionally made someone mad by not doing something correctly. That same day, I underperformed at the gym, falling short on my times/weights that I had previously achieved. I started to silently yell at myself. The dialogue within my head sounded a little like this, “You are so irresponsible! How could you mess up so much today!? Why didn’t you do everything in your power to be perfect? Don’t you know that you have to make EVERYONE happy at ALL times?”

No sooner than those words popped into my head, I decided to shut myself up. Did I have on a cape, a sparkly sports bra, and superhero girl shorts? Nope. Do I have extraordinary powers? I wish! So guess what? I’m not superwoman. There was NO reason for me to place unrealistic expectations of perfection on myself. I am not physically able to read minds. Sometimes my best that day is not what my best was the other day. As soon as I accepted that I’m only human, I instantly felt better.

Just because we are human doesn’t mean we aren’t extraordinary.

Quite opposite in fact. Thank goodness I’m human. This means I can live, breathe, laugh, love, learn, create relationships, overcome obstacles, feel emotions (yes, even the negative ones), inspire, change, challenge, achieve goals, act with integrity, exceed expectations, and be myself. I don’t know about you, but being able to experience life far outweighs being perfect.

So please, take off your cape. You wouldn’t make it your goal to have superpowers, just as it shouldn’t be your goal to be perfect.

It’s in those painstakingly human moments that we learn our true value, worth, and tenacity if we just embrace them.

Wonder Woman looking on to remind me that I don't need to try and do her job--she's got it! A great gift (and reminder) from a genuine friend.
Wonder Woman looking on to remind me that I don’t need to try and do her job–she’s got it! A great gift (and reminder) from a genuine friend.
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