If you look in a dictionary, “perfect” means:
- conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type
- excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
- exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose
- entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
- accurate, exact, or correct in every detail*
If you look inside a typical perfectionist it means:
- fear of failure
Perfection is a flawed goal
The problem with perfection is that it is near impossible to achieve in almost every area of our lives. People with seemingly perfect homes still find fault with the layout, size, or decor. People with seemingly perfect lives still find many things to be dissatisfied with.
I am a recovering perfectionist – I battle with this every day.
One key factor in ending your battle with perfectionism is to accept your own imperfections and embrace life and yourself the way you are. Just as important though, is the ability to accept the imperfections of others. As hard as I have been on myself, I know and accept that I have set these expectations for others as well.
Every time I think someone “should” do something my way or to meet my standards I create all these expectations and pressure. It is a losing proposition all the way around.
Letting go of perfection
If you are a recovering perfectionist like me I would love for you to be kind to yourself and remind yourself that imperfection does not mean failure.
Don’t be so afraid of failing that you don’t try anything new.
Don’t immediately abandon difficult tasks for easier ones – work through that uncomfortable feeling and remove the pressure to get it 100% right.
Don’t fight with your spouse about how they choose to do things with your children. Their way can be different to yours and still be fine. A different lullaby, a different definition of dinner time, a different way to have fun.
Don’t think you have to do it all and do it well – ask for help, say no, accept that 80% is good enough.
Be open to other possibilities, viewpoints and ways of doing things and see how different you feel.
Be mindful of your expectations and realistic in your goals.
Be okay with imperfection and free up your energy and time for things that make you happy.
Trust yourself and know that you are good enough – just as you are!
Do you struggle with perfectionism? Are you too hard on yourself and others? Have you found ways to let yourself off the hook and overcome that drive to get it “right” all the time?
Find your simple,