Dictionary definition (s):
~ A disposition to feel that anything less than perfect is unacceptable.
It is good to strive for more… It is good to want to be better- to grow... A mentor once taught me that there only two directions in life: growth or decay- No stability.... He basically explained if we aren't growing then we are moving away from growth- it is constant- ever changing ... And this makes sense to me; however, I think we can learn to desire growth while still celebrating the growth we are achieving along the way. In the words of another mentor, "celebrate the wins.” I think for me it’s all about learning to find a balance of being present- in the moment- and completely content- while still taking action to grow…
Perfectionism is a curse- driven by the ego- it shows itself in mental patterns like "we aren't good enough” - “that isn’t good enough” - "this isn't perfect” - "it wasn't supposed to be this way” - "why would you say or do that?” -and, in my opinion, the all time worst, “I should, you should, we should, it should…” (Ever notice how the word, SHOULD, almost ALWAYS leads to feelings of guilt and shame?) Perfectionism is cruel- harsh- demanding... it's not only demanding of the self but usually and often others … In our society we often demand perfection of one another, expect it, and then we experience a host of unfair cruel emotion toward another when they don't deliver it. Not to mention, we beat ourselves up when we don't deliver it... The ego and the mind of a perfectionist will take any chance to bring itself down... It's tricky too, because it completely convinces us it's normal, natural, and obtainable - if we just try harder- seek harder… but truly it stunts our growth, especially if we become “stuck" and don't even get started… It creates these negative self emotions of doubt, shame, inferiority, insecurity, unworthiness, dissatisfaction and so much more, which all just bring us down. It creates stress- mental and emotional- which manifests into physical... It can prevent us from ever feeling truly satisfied.
I've often found myself afraid to even begin something (some call this procrastination) out of a deeply rooted fear I didn't have something worth beginning... a good enough idea- a good enough chance... or maybe I wasn't smart enough- pretty enough- thin enough- strong enough- capable enough- popular enough- skilled enough…or worth it enough… And the list goes on... This carries a heavy burden in our bodies and this burden can also affect those we love.
So lately one of my practices is just starting... Whatever that is - maybe it's a piece of art- a drawing- a blog - a workout... Maybe it's practicing the ukulele, or taking a new dance class, or practicing skill development for a new movement in the gym... Because most often- I find that once I break through that initial barrier and begin- everything flows from there. The trick thereafter is allowing whatever that something is to be perfect even in its beautiful IMPERFECTION.
Can we all be perfectly imperfect together and extend grace to one another in this experience?
Much love <3
"Perfectionism is simply putting a limit on your future. When you have an idea of perfect in your mind, you open the door to constantly comparing what you have now with what you want. That type of self criticism is significantly deterring." ~ John Eliot, Ph.D.
"Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order." ~ Anne Wilson Schaef
“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” ~Ecclesiastes 11:4
"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." ~Ephesians 4:2