Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Healthier Inner Dialogue - Perfectionism

Perfectionism.  Mmmm,…I love the sound of that.  There are few things that will get me feeling all swoony and high like something that is absolutely perfect:  a faultless dinner party, unsurpassed consideration, a flawless home, unrivaled conversation.  Yummy perfection.

Except, and we all know this is true, there isn’t any such thing. No matter how much of your time, attention, and skills you throw at attaining perfect results, you will never do it. You can't. It's impossible.

Somehow, knowing this to be a fact doesn't stop me from being plagued by perfectionism though.  I'm not sure why that is.

The quest for all things perfect is similar to following a false prophet, one who waves promises of peace, tranquility, joy, and well, perfection, in front of its hungry followers.  But this prophet lies.  What it gives instead is obsession, judgment, measuring, imbalance, fear, and dissatisfaction. It is a hollow god to pursue. The trap, of course, is that you cannot achieve what is promised. The journey robs you of joy and passion.  

You think you can be perfect because you can imagine with it looks like, you can picture how it will feel, and you can taste the warmth and smiles. But it’s a lie, and all that happens is that you fall deep down into the mire of the unattainable.

So instead of striving to be the best you can be but no more, you get caught focusing on impossibilities.  Instead of learning and growing and experiencing this fabulous world around you, you keep fretting and failing.

Because in the end, if you abandon all else and strive only for perfectionism, you are consciously choosing to fail.  Choosing to fail!

I am such a non-fan of failing that I am working really (really!) hard at 'good enough'.  

My sheets don't need to be ironed, clean is 'good enough'.
My floors don’t need to be pristine, a couple of paw prints are ‘good enough’.
The butter on my toast doesn’t need to extend to every single side, almost to the edge is ‘good enough’.

It’s difficult for me, but I am working hard at getting over this need to be perfect,…this need to be something that is impossible to be.

I can always use help in this arena though.  Here are some gals that I have found inspiring, talking about perfection:

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." The Nester 

“I won’t get it perfect, but dang if I’m not going to give it a wild and wonderful go.” Lisa-Jo Baker 

I over-prepare.  I work harder than I probably need to.  And while I pride myself on being thorough, I’m not proud to be a perfectionist.  It can be crippling at times…and it’s something I’m working on.  Lauren Lanker of The Thinking Closet

We are beautiful despite our imperfections and, in odd moments of irony, because of them.  Bethany Lee of Pitter and Glink

Do you have issues with perfection? How can you start to let it go and accept good enough?


Tina Bradley said...

I always have to wonder if we women fight the perfectionism draw more than men do. Advertising plays a huge part in this--I believe. It's before my time, but the ads from the 50's show women baking in the kitchen--dressed as if they're headed to a cocktail party... I think we girls have been led to believe it's what we must be--perfect. I say, "Enough!" to perfectionism. :)

Magic Love Crow said...

For my, when I clean, I take hours, but I have to admit, I love to clean! LOL! I am the same with my gardening. If I don't stop myself, my mom won't see me for days! LOL! Although, I have gotten better about my gardening. I am a little more wild now ;o) For me? As long as I can cover my bald spot on my head, when I walk out the door, I am good! LOL! I guess it's the little things, like you said, the butter on your toast! I read an article once, that guys were more attracted to girls with "flaws", then the ones, that were all done up! Maybe there is hope for me yet! LOL! Hugs ;o)

Magic Love Crow said...

For my, is suppose to be For me! LOL!

Etcetorize said...

Growing up, I used to strive for perfection. Somewhere along the line I got a little smarter and realized that sometimes "good enough" is good enough. This was a nice reminder~

Mindy said...

Welllll, I'm perfect in every way, so this doesn't pertain to me. Buwhahahahahaha.
I want my house to be perfectly clean, perfectly organized, and running perfectly smooth, 100% of the time. Unfortunately, I have a husband, three kids, a dog, and a cat, that won't allow such perfection. I do try to beat them all into submission, though. Like Dr. Phil would say, How's that workin' for ya? Yeah, not so much.