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Recovering perfectionist here. When I started to overcome that, I focused instead on progress. Good enough. 80%.

Yet my progress-seeking was tinged with some perfectionism. Deep down, I believed that I still had to make progress with each effort.

So many things reinforce this idea of continuous improvement through increasing effort. Want to get stronger or faster? Up your training load. Get promoted? Assume more responsibilities. Advance academically? Take more demanding classes. Master an instrument? Play more challenging pieces.

Yet progress is not a linear process. In hindsight, we can see the upward trajectories of our improvements. But when we look small at the details, we begin to see that the positive changes didn't happen evenly. There were plateaus and backslides all along the way.

It's in these times of pauses and setbacks that we have the opportunity to reflect and learn. This is often when our growth happens.

The next time you find yourself discouraged or frustrated that you're not making the progress you "should" be, know that you're likely primed for growth because you're working just beyond your current capability. Give yourself the grace to just practice. Take breaks when needed, but don't give up. And don't doubt yourself. Keep practicing.

We're all works in progress. And progress takes practice.

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