Life beyond perfectionism

I was born into a family culture of perfectionism. It might seem like a good thing, but I don’t think it really is.

Perfectionism comes with invisible shackles that can bind and smother in unseen ways.

In my case, it seemed to hold me captive to a standard that was never really consistent.
People have different perceptions and outlooks and trying to meet everyone’s expectations can be quite daunting. What’s worse is that after a while I began to hold myself to a standard that no one else even expected—or really cared about.

It took me a while to come to my senses and realize that I was robbing myself of so much, because I was focused inward (on meeting some very high standards) and not outward (in enjoying the moment for whatever it was worth).

I seriously began to question if I could indeed let go of this bugbear which seemed to have its claws entrenched pretty deep into my psyche. I finally decided it was time to say goodbye when I realized it was giving birth to something almost as obnoxious—and that was procrastination. I found myself putting off doing something for fear that it may not turn out as perfect as I liked.

Old habits however, die hard. There is an air of familiarity about ‘habit’ that feels comfortable even though it may not be serving us as well. That, as I now understand, is because one cannot go cold turkey where Law of Attraction is concerned. Only thoughts within the same vibrational range can harmonize, so it’s rather illogical to expect to switch from ‘perfectionism’ to ‘sensible’ on a dime. It requires a gradual steering away, thought by thought; subject by subject. I had to cajole myself into accepting that something was ‘good enough’ rather than ‘absolutely perfect’.

I think my kids have been the biggest instrument for change as far as I’m concerned. They came along and challenged my need for perfection in interesting ways. I soon realized that the world would not fall apart if their rooms weren’t absolutely tidy and they certainly would survive, even if they didn’t always get to bed on time.
I’ll admit it wasn’t easy to turn the other way and ignore a condition that was not meticulously dusted off of any perceived imperfection.

Yet slowly and steadily I began to find my balance, taking baby steps away from my biggest nemesis. Metaphorically speaking I had lowered a bar that never needed to be there in the first place.

I am pleased to say that I now use a different yardstick, called ‘satisfaction’. I measure my accomplishments by the amount of pleasure I derive, in doing them.
Since I no longer strive for ‘perfection’ I can focus more purely on a sense of fulfillment, which surprisingly nets me a higher yield than perfection—allowing me to achieve far more.

I suspect that’s because ‘satisfaction’ tends to spawn a certain confidence – and I find ‘confidence’ far more delightful!

© 2018 G.A.I.L

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