Many of us have been challenged by growing up with one or more perfectionist parents or or caregivers. For those of you who are lucky enough to not know what I’m talking about, let me explain.
A perfectionist is someone who has in their mind an ideal as an outcome for a particular situation. That ideal is something intangible that cannot be found fault with in any way. The next step in this sabotage pattern is that we hold up what we have achieved in the same context and compare it to our ideal – now mind you, most of us who are perfectionists couldn’t exactly tell you what perfection is in that situation. We know, though, that we haven’t achieved that ideal. We look at what we have achieved and instead of celebrating our achievement, we focus on the gap between our achievement and this intangible ideal.
Having been raised by a perfectionist and having internalised that perfectionist way of looking at things, I recently had a breakthrough! Perfection and perfect are poles apart. We can’t achieve perfection and perfect is within our reach every minute of every day.
Perfection is a rod with which I flagellate myself (sounds vaguely naughty doesn’t it!) for not measuring up, compared with perfect as a statement of complete acceptance and being in the moment.
Perfect suggests that all is in the right place at the right time for me to learn, receive, grow and move forward as a human being. Everything is appreciated for the gift that it brings even when it might seem, on the surface, to be challenging or difficult. How different is that from perfection, where I stunt my own growth by not even allowing myself to appreciate what I have actually achieved?
So,as a very wise friend of mine, Joanne, says … “Perfect, it is perfect. Thank you for everything.” Try saying that to yourself instead of beating yourself up for not measuring up. You’ll feel better and who knows what magic you’ll create.
What do you think? I’d love to hear.