One dictionary defines it as “a propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect.” Yet a practicing perfectionist may not always demand straight A’s, refuse to leave the house if the bed’s not made, or endlessly edit a report. Perfectionism is more subtle than that. It’s about unreasonable expectations – how we berate ourselves and others (silently or aloud) for having human (decoded as “weak”) thoughts and emotions, inconsistent commitment levels, or average accomplishments, bodies and relationships.
When we try too hard to make ourselves, our jobs and our families “just right,” we get overly stressed and bone-tired. Who needs that? Relief is possible. It’s a process, but we can reduce our self-sabotaging behaviors by:
Realizing that when we fall into the “trying too hard to make it just right” trap, we believe amisconception: That people, projects and circumstances have the capacity to be perfect (or “just right”).
- Acknowledging that when we adhere to this misconception, life becomes a persistent disappointment.
- Recognizing that this mind-set increases our anxiety and sabotages our relationships and dreams.
- Changing our unrealistic expectations to believe the truth: Human beings, organizations, and even our accomplishments do not have the ability to be flawless 24/7. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful! Only God is perfect!
Just wondering here: Do you ever get tired of trying too hard to make it all just right?
I adapted this article which I originally wrote to be published by Genius Avenue Inc., copyright 2011.