31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 2 {Perfection}

Day 2

After a day of introspection, I have come to the realization that {perfection} is one of my biggest soul-sucking triggers.

You know that one question that always comes up in job interviews that sounds something like “what is your biggest weakness”? Well, my answer to that question has always been that I’m a perfectionist.

I answer it that way for two reasons. First, because it is true. And secondly, because I have convinced myself that I can spin that in a positive way.

Oh yeah, being a perfectionist is a weakness for sure. But in the workplace, it is really considered a strength. So YAY for me for uncovering the double-sided bliss of perfection!

Here’s how it helps my life: I put my all into whatever I tackle and things usually come out pretty good.

Here’s how it hurts my life: It stops me from trying new things, taking risks, and sometimes even in doing routine tasks.

Stops me in my tracks, it stops me. Even with very simple and everyday kind of things.

Like what, you may ask?

Like inviting friends or family over for dinner. Like deciding what to wear in the mornings. Like beginning a project that may take more than five minutes to complete.

My perfection problem certainly stops me with the bigger things in my life too.

Like beginning a new hobby, pursuing new friendships, or working toward my dreams of writing a book someday.

I struggle with writing this blog, for instance. I toss and turn about it. I write and re-write sections. I think thoughts like “who am I to think I have anything special to say” or “how can I compete with people who actually write for a living”.

I even almost let my perfection stop me from accepting this 31 day writing challenge that fellow blogger The Nester is hosting because it stirred up worries of imperfection. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that sometimes you just have to take that first step whether you are ready or not.

All the planning in the world will not make your life’s work “perfect” no matter how hard you try. And the harder you try, the more glaring that uncomfortable truth becomes.

So what’s the answer?

The perfectionist in me may answer {and has answered before} to just stop trying. If it can’t be perfect, why even do it? “All or nothing” may be a phrase you fellow perfectionists can relate to.

Reality check –> Sometimes what I have to give in this moment is good enough!

Wait, what? Repeat that please, and this time with feeling!

Sometimes what I have to give in THIS moment is absolutely, totally, and completely GOOD ENOUGH!!!

Hallelujah! Can we just let that little gem soak in for a minute and breathe a sigh of relief? Ahhhhhh.

Now let’s work on breaking the cycle.

I know it immediately when the perfectionism symptoms begin. I’m sure that you recognize the signs too. The anxiety starts to surface, and in that moment we have a decision to make.

Is this something that will bring joy? Is this something that will cultivate a deeper or more meaningful relationship? Is this something that will have a long-term positive impact? Is this something that will help accomplish a goal or dream?

If we can answer any of those questions with a “yes“, we get a unique opportunity to tweak our mindset and approach whatever it is with a new perspective.

With a deep breath and a dash of humility, I resolve to remind myself that what I have to give will be good enough. And I will take that all-important first step. Will you?

I encourage you to ponder these questions today…

In what areas of your life does perfectionism hold you back?

How will you resolve to handle it next time perfection rears its ugly head?

What is the risk if you continue letting perfectionism stop you in your life?

I am feeling so blessed to be sharing this soul searching journey with you. There is comfort and camaraderie in knowing I am not alone in these struggles. Thank you for joining me!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s new post…

this moment

 

*This is the 2nd post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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