It's high time that we re-define excellence and perfection and reorient ourselves around what real success looks like.
Achieving a high level of competence in any one area is something to strive for and hopefully achieve, to be sure. Establishing a goal and going after it with determination and persistence is a worthwhile endeavor...but not at the expense of growth.
In my experience, veering off course AND BEING ABLE TO NAVIGATE IT has been a far more valuable teacher than staying on it (as long as it doesn't literally put your wellbeing in danger).
In fact, in the moments where I am "off course", when I have been able to be in that space and remain observant and curious, I have gained incredible insight into how exactly to move forward with intention and a bit more insider info than I had while I was on that original path.
When things happen in our lives, when we have recurring thoughts, when distractions come during meditation, when life offers us a curve ball, we owe it to ourselves to listen, get the lesson, and adjust.
This approach takes vulnerability, bravery and courage, but is worth the reward, for sure.
I know that when you are striving for a goal or to achieve a level of mastery in some area of your life, having a 'set back' can be frustrating. When this happens, though, I encourage you to take a moment, get still, and get curious. (sound familiar? :) )
No one soul that is alive and striving and growing, stays in the tiny lane of perfection at all times. That's not where growth happens.
There's a quote I love: A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for. - William G. T. Shedd
So if you are a ship venturing out of the harbor - in whatever way that is showing up for you today - be kind to yourself. See what's out there and just do the best you can in that moment in time.
What matters more and what will ultimately get you further is the ability to go out on that limb, remain honestly inquisitive, and be open to self-exploration and navigating potential change from that place.
While that path cannot be mapped, moving through THAT is what 'getting it right' actually looks like.
Learn how to consistently show up to your life from that place and maintain your grounding and awareness, and, well, that's a new level of perfection.