The Plague of Perfectionism

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘done is better than perfect’?  And if you have any shred of perfectionist in you, you cringe.  This is the truth of life though – done is better than perfect.

If you are wondering if you are a perfectionist ask yourself some of these questions. Do you always find yourself putting tasks or goals off until the timing is ‘perfect’?  No such things exists of course so do you find yourself in the middle of several tasks or projects at once?  If you know you can’t do something or finish something well – do you give up?  Do you put yourself in circumstances that if you do fail, you can blame your failure on?  Such as waiting until the last minute to write that paper or study for that test?  Do you shy away from attempting things you aren’t natuarally good at?  Do you find yourself embarrassed if someone sees your failed project or half done? Do you feel like you have to make excuses for why things aren’t up to par – even if it’s your own standards in your head?

If you relate to any of these questions I am going to ask you to sit back and think about how silly some of our perfectionist thoughts are.  If you were speaking with a friend who was feeling badly about any of these things, what would you tell them?  If you would be kinder to your friend than to yourself – take your own advice and cut yourself some slack.  I want to exceed at everything I attempt – the first time.  Well that is just ridiculous to think that would be the case.  Were it not for deadlines others imposed on me many things would go undone because I would be endlessly revising it.  I know in high school I used to leave my paper writing and studying until the last minute because I justified that if I didn’t do well I could blame it on cramming.  How silly is that? 

I’m happy to say that I’ve come a long way since high school but I still have to force myself to feel comfortable just where I am, which is far from perfect.  If I’m ok with admitting I am far from perfect why can’t I also be ok with the things I attempt being far from perfect too?  I am going to try to be ok with the in between, because that’s where all the growth happens, right?  So let’s get things done – not perfect – because otherwise the world is robbed of our gifts – no matter how imperfect they may be.

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