Good thing I’m not perfect!
So because yesterday was the last day of April, it’s time to wrap up the topic of “perfection” and “perfectionism” and choose a new topic for May. It feels like I barely scratched the surface of the issue of perfectionism. But I received many affirming responses to my posts on perfection, especially the posts about body image. As always, I am so grateful. But there are many issues that I didn’t touch on, such as perfectionism in the workplace…
When I worked in corporate America, I had this overarching need to not only do a good job, but to do a perfect job. Any criticism or mistakes made me stress out, or become uneasy. Most of all it made me sad or fearful. I felt picked on and singled out when I received any criticism. In all fairness to myself, there were times that I was picked on and singled out, but whenever I would get sincere criticism or genuine feedback, it triggered feelings of inadequacy. Instead of confronting these feelings, I would usually run from them in two ways:
- Taking on more work than I could humanly handle
Can you relate?
I also didn’t talk about perfectionism in the arts. I think those of us who are musicians, artists, or even writers really struggle with perfectionism. It starts when we are children. Everything is a competition. Who sounds the best, who plays it the best, who expresses it the best. When you are a performer, sometimes your best just isn’t good enough if you didn’t win the scholarship or the competition. I’m not a mom, but I would be interested to know how parents encourage their kids to do their best without making them believe they need to be perfect.
How do you encourage your kids to do their best without creating an environment of perfectionism?
And then of course there’s the wonderful topic of dating as it relates to perfectionism. When you are intentionally dating, or trying to find a mate, looking for love, or whatever you want to call it, I have found that I am always trying to present this perfect picture of who I am to my intended. This is really a problem in online dating. When you first step into a relationship and all the chemical reactions cause a love addiction, that’s all well in good because you can’t help but think your newly beloved is perfect…and he may think the same. But what about when all of the love chemicals wear off? Some scholars suggest that chemical reaction love addiction type state lasts for two years. So basically, when I actually find a guy who I choose is worthy, I will have to wait another 2 years for my potential mate to accept my imperfections, or even notice that I have any?
Sounds pretty exhausting.
If you are actively dating with the intention of finding a special one, do you cringe at the thought of him/her knowing the real you? The imperfect you?
So what I’m getting at is just like abandonment, the topic of perfectionism is not something that can be fully exhausted in one month. Just like an addiction, it is something that I will battle everyday, one day at a time. I’m just happy to know that I don’t have to battle it alone.
So with that being said I will introduce the topic for May in a few days, but until then, I will leave you with a couple of gems from a few special ladies:
And some quotes…
“Today I acknowledge my striving for perfection by being all that I can be. I make mistakes and learn from them. Life is not a test where we are constantly being graded for performance.” -Rokelle Lerner
“When we stop expecting ourselves to be perfect, we’ll discover the beauty in ourselves.” -Melody Beattie
- Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (Kindle Location 1348). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.
- Lerner, Rokelle (1996-11-01). Daily Affirmations for Adult Children of Alcoholics: For Adult Children of Alcoholics (Kindle Locations 1812-1813). Health Communications. Kindle Edition.