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Saturday, July 25, 2015

I'M PERFECT...

If ever a self-sabotaging word existed in the English language it is the word “perfect.”  Never, ever, ever strive to be perfect…unless you love stressing yourself out of course.

We all have internal scales, i.e. good or bad, right or wrong, 
etc.  We constantly rate ourselves and our performance in all areas of our lives and if we don’t measure up to the bar we set, we feel let down or upset about it in some way.  Do you ever say to yourself things like, “Why didn’t I finish all of my work today?  I should have,” or “I can do much better than that,” or “It isn’t perfect or good enough.”  There is no such thing as perfect.  It just doesn’t exist in our world.  Those of us who strive to achieve it on a daily basis, or at all really, all we do is create stress and more stress and then even more stress than that. 

We are human, and as such…we are flawed, therefore we can never achieve perfection but by definition.  Who defines perfect?  In your adult life, you do (unless you allow other people to judge you).  In your childhood, your parents, your peers and basically everyone else in your world will set the bar for you.  I was always trying to be “good enough” to live up the standards my parents expected from me, but seldom succeeded.  Then, as I matured I had a certain standard of excellence that I could not live up to within myself and I was miserable all the time because I felt like a failure.  As an artistic person my creations were never “good enough” because they weren’t perfect in my mind so I would spend 7 hours on a sketch only to throw it away. 

On the weekends I work in a craft store and am surrounded by artists (which I love) but to listen to them talk makes my heart break because they always use the word “perfect” and how they tried to make the (gorgeous) creation they are holding in their hand, but it didn’t turn out “perfect.”  The good news on that front however, is that I am now coaching several of them due to my interrupting their conversations to bring them to a positive level of thought and am very happy about that. 

Courtney Carver listed 7 ways to kick perfection's ass in her 
blog, Be More With Less, which I love so much that I have listed them below for you to think about.  They are so right on.

  • Look forward to pleasing the right people instead of all the people. It’s not your job to make everyone happy. Your ideas, words, and actions in life or work will never please everyone. Shift your expectations and intentions and revel in the beauty of offering something that makes one person smile.
  • Ask for help. You can’t do it all and if you really want to enjoy life, you don’t want to do it all. Offer your advice and skills to others, and lean back for support where you need it most. Hire professionals. Call friends. Email experts. You are not alone.
  • Stop Comparing. Your life experience is as unique as your definition of success. When you can truly stop comparing, you can figure out what that definition is. You can take time to ask important questions like “What really makes me happy?” “What will I contribute to the world?” “What is enough for me?”
  • Do less. My dad always told me never to order pizza at a seafood restaurant or seafood at a pizza place. Specialize in one thing or a few things instead of trying to be good at everything.
  • Support imperfection. Hold the constructive criticism and be gentler with the people around you. Celebrate the best qualities in your loved ones and identify what’s most important. We are the toughest on the people we love the most. They deserve better.
  • Give yourself permission to fall apart. We admire composure and work to hold it all together all the time.  If you need to lay down and cry, throw a temper tantrum or write about punching things, do it. Embrace your human nature to rise and fall and fail and get back up.
  • Do it anyway. You are not perfect. Your work isn’t perfect. Your life isn’t perfect. So what? Go on … jump in.

Do the best you can in every area of your life, don’t slack because you can’t really be proud of slacking either, but don’t strive to be perfect because you will always let yourself down in that area.  Allow yourself to say, “I did the best I could,” which by the way, will never be good enough to please all of the people all of the time (just know that going in), and then walk away feeling good about every time you tried your best.  If you don’t please everyone around you, then that problem is theirs to deal with…you did your best and moved on without regret.



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