Friday, January 24, 2014

Bloguary Day 24: How I’m Dealing with my Perfectionism

No photos today. I want to to focus to be on my journey and what I’ve learned. If you struggle with perfectionism, this post is for you.

 

Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. – Michael Hyatt

 

I thought long and hard about what I wanted my New Year’s resolutions to be this year. In fact I’m still nailing them down. It’s turning more into a whole “Happiness Project” (which is the book I’m currently reading).

One word that continued to stick out as I thought about things I wanted to work on was perfectionism. Just four months ago Pre-Weston (an era I’ve coined) I loved my perfectionism ways and was proud of them. If I committed myself to a task it was going to be done right and tied up with a pretty bow. If I couldn’t give a task my all I wouldn’t start it. See where the issue is coming in? I’m an all or nothing kind of gal.

My longing for the perfect outcome stifles my creativity, holds me back, keeps me from enjoying the process, and makes it hard to really be happy with a finished task. My perfectionism runs deep and by deep I mean deeeeeep. I always find ways I could improve on something or in retrospect think of another way I should have gone. Then the mulling starts.

“I could have done better.”
“I should have devoted more time.”
“If I had the funds for this then I would have been able to do it the way I wanted.”
”What was I thinking?”
”Well here it is but it’s not what I wanted.”

I am my own worst critic.

Why am I so hard on myself? Why do I not give myself the grace that I give others? Why do I make things harder than they need to be?

Here’s where Weston comes in and why all time before his birth is now referred to as the Pre-Weston era.

Before Weston I had time or maybe I should say I made time to make sure all things big or small were done in the most perfect way I could do them. “Eh I can sleep tomorrow.” often came out of my mouth. Or the complete opposite “This is going to take way too long and I just don’t have the time to do it how I want so I’ll do it another time.”  Yeah as we all know that “other time” I often plan for never comes around.

Now that nugget is here when I do have time to take care of something it’s become a this or that game. Shower or pick up the house. Laundry or blog. Return a call or eat lunch. It’s a juggling act ya know? On top of trying to juggle the last thing I have time for is perfection. This also bleeds into completion. If I know I don’t have time to finish something in the way I would like it I just don’t do it. Nope, I don’t even start. Which leads to mounds of task that need my attention and anxiety over what needs to be done as it piles up. It becomes overwhelming. I shut down and ignore it. My perfectionism is also used for bad as I’ve perfected the art of compartmentalizing things that cause any type of negative emotion and acting as if they don’t exist. Hum a whole room full of clutter? Noooo not in our house! Piles of laundry, what? This is also true when it comes to relationships that need mending but that’s a different post for a different day.

Weston is showing me that I just don’t have the time for perfection and I’m learning that what little free time I do have can be used for a any task big or small, completion or not. If I can only give a task 10 minutes so be it. Ten minutes is better than nothing and over time that 10 minutes adds up! Let’s give Weston a BIG HIGH FIVE for that! Only 4 months old and already teaching me stuff. Well more like forcing me to rework some of my hang-ups.

As I face my perfectionism head on I’m learning that unfortunately perfectionism is part of me. It’s the way I think and it leads most of my decisions. Maybe there’s a little strand in my DNA that spells out perfectionist. It’s so deeply rooted in who I am that it’s not something that I can just turn off no matter how hard I try. So how do I handle it? I thought on it. It took me several days to come to a conclusion; one that I felt would work with my personality. While I tried to find a way to handle my perfectionism a sentence continued to pop in my mind.

“Let it go.”

Such a short sentence but full of such power and meaning.

Do the best you can do with the time or means you have then……Let it go. Don’t mull over how you should have done it differently or could have done better.

When I make a decision that I feel is the best decision I can make at that time. Stick to it then…….Let it go. Don’t look back and kick yourself for not choosing a different path.

When I have 10 minutes to puts towards a task that I know will take longer. Do what I can do in 10 minutes then…….Let it go. Don’t kick myself for not finishing the task at hand. Come back to it later but for now……Let it go. 

Give yourself grace and LET. IT. GOOOOOOOO!
I know I’m starting to sound like the girl from Frozen but she’s onto something!

I can feel my shoulders relax and my breathing deepen when I tell myself to just let it go. My path to stopping perfectionism turned into a path of acceptance and grace. While I wasn’t successful at kicking out the little perfectionist living inside we’ve learned to coexist and I’m okay with that.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post. I know this is just the first of many life lessons mommyhood will bring. So incredible.

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