How do I know anything about perfectionism? Because, I have been a perfectionist for the majority of my life – This is not a badge of honour, it gets in the way of truly living life and can sometimes hold you back.
Although it has taken a while for the penny to drop, I am intimately aware of the many details of perfectionism – the costs, the thoughts, behaviours and corresponding emotions, as well as some of the reasons behind perfectionism. And trust me it’s not a badge of honour… it is painful.
So there you have it – a coach and teacher who does not have all her ducks lined up in a row. Imperfectly perfect and normal similar to you - no better – no worse! And I am starting to be okay with that and will continue to embrace imperfection and unravel the pieces of perfection that may be hiding.
Excellence OR Perfection
How am I learning to embrace imperfection?
One way is I am learning to embody the difference between excellence versus perfection. Below are the steps that helped make a real difference in my life. Try these and allow yourself to benefit from all the positivity it can wield on you.
1. Be aware of the time you spend on tasks. This is a good way that can help you become aware of how effectively you are using your time. Each day set tasks for yourself that you would like to have completed by the end of the day. These tasks must be in line with your vision, dreams and goals. Be sure to track each tasks and analyse if the deadlines you have put in place are reasonable expectations.
2. Sometimes things go according to plan and sometimes they don’t! The most important thing is to ensure that you learn from each situation. Mistakes and failures are part of the process; the good thing about them is that you can learn how to have self-compassion. Whenever you go through this make sure to highlight what it was that caused your failure and implement small changes in your work and life that could help keep you on the right track.
3. Tune in to your body! Learn about all the signals that your body gives you and master your emotional intelligence – it’s okay to feel and even better if you are able to identify where those feelings are coming from! Do not try to supress them or try to run away from them.
4. Focus on your progress rather than perfection – and realistic expectations. Sometimes this is easier said than done but remember the saying ‘Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
5. Remember to look at the big picture and don’t be afraid to ask yourself the big question
- Will this matter in an hour, day, week, month or a year from now?
- What is the worst thing that could happen? If this does happen will I survive it?
Remember that you need to couple all the points mentioned above with an on-going practice of mindful self-compassion and patience.
Are you learning to embrace imperfection? If so let me know how you are dealing with it?
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!