Fighting Perfectionism

I am a perfectionist.

There, I’ve admitted it. It’s kind of freeing, in a way, to just let those words float there and be able to look at them and realize the absurdity of my reality. Why do we stretch for perfection in a world where it cannot ever be fully achieved? For some, it is an encouragement; a reason to keep pushing, pursuing a path of the best outcome possible.

But for me, my perfectionism is crippling much more than it is empowering. If I don’t believe that I can complete something in a manner that matches my ridiculous standards, I am likely to give up on it quickly and pretend that I never started it in the first place, or worse, I won’t ever begin at all. The first response is bad because it is deceitful, both to myself and others. The second is terrible because I’m stopping myself from living life to the full and growing in the process of making mistakes.

So, my current challenge to myself is to let myself make those mistakes, to not be perfect, and to let people know that I’m failing at things and that it’s okay. I’m putting my pride on the shelf. And I’m going to make some messes. And I hope that I’ll learn something excellent from them.

And if I start getting overwhelmed with my compulsive need to get things “just so” immediately, this guy will help remind me not to take life so seriously.

 

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – JK Rowling, 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech

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