I'm joining pals Sarah and Elizabeth to write every day in the month of December, feel free to join in any time! Today's prompt: Perfect. Did you struggle with perfectionism this year? How?
Of course. We all struggle with perfectionism in some form or another. We don't all obsess over the same things in the same way (or there would be world peace), but there are certain things in life that need to be just so to feel right. And yes, you heard me right... perfectionism boils down to basic obsession. Not classy.
I've slowly been able to reduce the things I obsess about over time to a very limited few. One of which being the laundry. I am the laundress. I would try to fix this about myself, except that it is quite convenient to love laundry when two fitness junkies live in the same house and need stinky clothes unstinkied at least 3x per week.
Alas, there are times when an obsession is neither convenient nor tolerable to others, and only frustrates you and those around you. Here are my anti-perfection strategies.
1.Understand what is truly important and what's not. Ask yourself this question when talking yourself down off of the perfection ledge: Will anyone die if it doesn't happen my way? Unless you're performing brain surgery - which I assume can also be done in at least two or more ways - then having it done your perfect way doesn't matter one bit. Irrelevant.
2. How emotionally invested are you willing to be? To be fully entrenched in a point of view, or process, it takes a lot of energy. Even the attempt to be perfect in something is exhausting. And, you will be eternally exhausted because perfection is a myth, after all, and you will never get there. It's always just within reach to entice us, and just out of reach to infuriate us. Invest your energy wisely. Would your friends and family benefit from that time wasted by spending it with them, focused on things that truly matter?
3. Realize that you are alone in your desire to perfect something. Like I said above, we don't all obsess over the same things. When your perfectionism starts influencing others to act in an inauthentic way, you are putting up a wall between you and potentially creating resentment. When you believe something should be a certain way so much it could not only be damaging to others, but also annoy the hell out of them. Is there nothing worse than a perfectionist that is perceived as an annoyance? HA! Calm the eff down. Occasionally, we do meet our perfection twin and get really excited that someone else also obsesses over laundry, but that just feeds our ego and validates us. In the meantime, if you insist on perfecting, then you do it. Don't expect anyone else to. And don't get upset when outcomes from others look different from yours. When you're willing to accept the outcomes of others, even if not as perfect as you perceive your own to be, you're indirectly allowing your definition of perfection to be relaxed. Win!
4. Get on the #goodenough campaign. Good enough, that's my new favorite thing ever!