Wise words, but words that I still have difficulty following. I am rarely easy on myself, and set-backs upset the order and balance that make me secure and comfortable.
|Dana & Ms. Warnken|
I don’t expect perfectionism from others. My daughter used to have a kids’ CD with a song called “Perfectly Imperfect,” and I would sing the lyrics along with the catchy tune. It was a wonderful message for children; no one is perfect, and your imperfection is what makes you unique and wonderful. I embrace the message for my own children, and for my friends and family. I tend to reject it for myself, as if I somehow must be held to a higher standard than everyone else in my life.
I know that’s ridiculous; I know that I am the only person who demands that I strive for perfection. Perfection means having no flaws, and having no flaws is an impossibility for a human being. Yet I keep trying, and I keep driving myself crazy as I inevitably fail to achieve it.
I have made progress since fifth grade, however. Over the years, I have found myself saying, “It’s good enough,” more often. I am able to realize when “good enough” is the best I can do, and that’s okay. Cooking. Loving. DIY-ing. Friending. Living.
But there are still many times when I continue to be challenged. The perfectionist may have mellowed over time, but she still has the power to control the reins. The writing isn’t good enough. The parenting isn’t good enough. The project isn’t good enough.
The perfectionist is my insecurity personified. She is that ten year old girl standing at the chalkboard, feeling humiliated because she can’t do the math that has always come easy to her. What if she isn’t good enough?
That girl needed to be patient with herself, and give herself a break. I still need to do that, and that is my challenge. I demand of myself what I do not expect from others, and my perfectionism simply adds stress to my life. It is my defense against not being good enough, but it only serves to feed the insecurity. Setting an unattainable goal for myself is futile, and I’m working at changing my mindset and loosening the hold it has over me.
Dana is the creator and writer behind the blog Kiss my List. She traded a lucrative career in school counseling to stay at home and raise two brilliant and well adjusted children. Now that they are a teens, she has time to write in between the sports practices and homework drama.Her tag line, “Wake up, Be Amazing, Repeat Daily,” sums up her outlook on life. Whether she achieves that amazing-ness on a daily basis is another matter entirely. To me, she achieves it every time she writes, but I’m biased!
What's your challenge is a series that was inspired by a program I created at Abby's school. I am amazed at how honest and hopeful the challenges have been. Thank you to all who have contributed. They are written by real people from all over the world. You do not have to be a writer to have a Challenge, just a desire to share for others. To submit your challenge, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org