How is your Monday looking so far? Not so hot?

Like me, you probably were hoping to start the week off strong by waking up motivated, determined, and ready to be productive. When I go to bed Sunday night I'm already mentally checking off my list of things waiting to be done systematically in the morning, envisioning myself functioning through my Monday like clockwork. I mean that's the plan right? We have empires to build, legends to create, and of course that job we need to show up to. We plan to roll out like a boss.

Womp. Womp. Your Monday wasn't smooth-sailing either? Things didn't work out the way you had planned it to go? I didn't shimmy through my schedule by no means. I more stumbled through it. Oops! I had a messy Monday.

It’s okay.

We hold ourselves to this standard of perfection far too much and then beat ourselves up when our humanness shows up in all its chaotic glory. It’s so easy to react negatively when our plans are interrupted by things we didn't plan for. That rough night sleep? That wasn't part of my plan. Accidentally setting the alarm clock to PM and not AM? That wasn't part of my plan. Forgetting to do that errand over the weekend? That wasn't part of my plan. Emotionally reacting the way I did to other people's emotions and behaviors? That wasn't part of my plan.

We can come down hard on ourselves when our beautiful flaws play peek-a-boo and we can't quite get the week started off as well as we anticipated. In fact, it's a little sloppy. We kick ourselves because things are not going the way we claim they should be going instead of peacefully accepting a few hiccups, mistakes, and not enough coffee.

Sometimes that little voice of doom whispers that we're somewhat a little bit of a failure. Why? We didn't match our idea of what a successful individual looks like. That ego crosscheck knocks the wind right out of that perfectionist within us, doesn’t it? Maybe we even go as far as giving up on a mid-day recovery and just wave the white flag because in our minds we just flat out blew it. If we can't get what we want right out of the gate, why bother with the energy?

This has been me more times that I can count unfortunately. Day ruined? Check. Mood shot? Check. Plans? Thrown out the window. I've mentally checked out and already wanting the day to be over when it hasn't even reached lunchtime yet. This mentality is a direct flight to unhappiness and playing the victim card. We find ourselves blaming our circumstances for our emotional response instead of having enough self-awareness to realize we CHOOSE the way we feel and how we experience our day, regardless of what happens.

You've taken that miserable flight of feeling powerless too? Not my style either.

Guess what? We don't always have it together and that doesn't mean we're not good enough. Give yourself permission to be human and your mess won't seem so bad. Give others permission to be human and their mess won't add to yours. Give yourself room to catch your breath when things seem to be spinning out and you'll gain control again. Remind yourself that your attitude determines your day. If things aren't going according to plan (because rarely they do), intentionally find an alternative right in the middle of the mess. Don't get discouraged. Make a way even if there's some dirt on your face.

We don’t have to stick to our schedule or plan perfectly in order to be successful and create movement in our lives. There can be progress without perfection! Let’s all breathe.

Had a flat tire? Missed your workout routine? Ate an unhealthy breakfast? Oops! So what if we don’t hit the home run every single time? So what if we don’t accomplish everything perfectly on the first day after a whirlwind of a weekend? So what if we’re a little more tired than usual and dragging? So what if we’re imperfect? We’re human and it’s okay to have an “Oops!” now and then.

Success doesn’t always come on the first try, looking glamorous, orderly, or the way we expect it to roll out like the red carpet. Sometimes it’s messy, hard, and comes in the form of humility. Sometimes it’s apologizing after getting into an argument with your significant other. Sometimes it’s taking twice as long to finish a paper because the topic is personally challenging (on top of a head cold!) Sometimes it’s getting a few days behind on the mountain of dirty dishes, but eventually getting them done. Sometimes it’s actually letting the bottled up tears fall.

Our lives have speed bumps. We take wrong turns. We run out of gas. We take bad directions. We aren’t always bringing our A-game to the table and making the most efficient decisions. Life is a long journey of living and learning. I don't have all the bells and whistles to life and I get tripped up by trying to figure out my way too. That's the beautiful process of successfully living life. We learn!

As much as we like to believe that there is only one way to success, there isn't. Success doesn't have a one shoe fits all. Sometimes success is falling down, coming face to face with our imperfections, grinding with grace, making peace with chaos, and encountering soul-healing flat on our face. Sometimes recovery takes a little longer than other times and that's perfectly okay!

We are a work in progress that needs a little room to make mistakes, figure things out, and learn. This is how we grow. This is how we build. This is how we succeed.

So today, I am moving a little more slowly than I would have liked, but I’m proud that I am still moving. I am making progress, and I raise my extra large mug of ridiculous amount of coffee to those who are moving just as slowly, but still moving just the same.

Cheers to us!