Perfectionism is a trap we can so easily fall into. And, when we do, it hurts us and those around us.
Where do you fall:
– You know and admit you are a perfectionist
– You’ve just realized you are a perfectionist
– You know you are not a perfectionist (everyone else is the problem)
You may read this and think, hmmmm. Maybe I am a perfectionist. What does that mean, exactly? Here is something I read in a book that really got me thinking about this:
Excellence expands our world, whereas perfectionism shrinks it.
Excellence gathers valuable information, takes decisive action, pushes beyond self-imposed limitations, and searches for greater possibilities. It expands us emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually, and it commits us to uplifting the lives of others. (Can I get a “YEA!”).
Perfectionism obsesses over details to the point of paralysis and capitulates to fear by sidestepping challenges. It causes our spirits to shrivel and imposes rigid rules and regulations upon others. ~ Quoted from No More Letting Go by Debra Jay.
Wow, I had to read that multiple times because it hits me right between the eyes! The more I thought about it, I could see where perfectionism can be a sneaky little thing. Of course, this isn’t always true. Some of us have been very overt in our perfectionism and frankly, were quite proud of it. How sad, when it makes the people around us feel belittled and likely, put down. Perfectionism is a Killer in multiple ways.
I dealt with perfectionism a long time ago; so I thought. Like I said, after reading this excellent material by Debra Jay, I could see how it still exists in its sneaky little way. I never thought of reloading the dishwasher after my daughter had already done so as perfectionism. I thought I was just wanting to get more dishes in the dishwasher, so I’d take it upon myself to do the rearranging of the dishes. Now, who did that benefit? Certainly, doesn’t benefit her since I didn’t give her the learning opportunity. Certainly didn’t really benefit me as a peep of frustration escapes over having to “rearrange” the dishes (to what I thought was a better solution; no doubt!).
I love the contrast Debra Jay makes between excellence and perfectionism. I am going to really try and keep this at a high awareness. Anyone else out there has a need to focus on excellence instead of perfectionism?
We’re cheering you on!
Originally posted on December 05, 2011 by Debbie Luxton, Union Life Coach