Have you ever noticed that people aren't afraid to admit that they're perfectionists? Oh sure, they will sound guilty, "It's terrible, I am such a perfectionist" but they aren't really. People don't feel bad telling others that "Sally is a perfectionist." In fact, it's meant as a compliment! It's like telling someone their too skinny. Would you be OK if you heard someone called you a skinny bitch behind your back? (love that book BTW) Or, if someone said: "OMG, Jane has the perfect marriage, perfect children blah blah blah... That's OK, just please, don't say I'm flawed, fat and messy right? But, wait. Is implying that someone is a "Stepford" wife with a "Stepford" life really a great compliment? If you think YES please go watch the movie.
Seriously? I have never considered myself a perfectionist, because, believe me I know some pretty serious ones and that ain't me! But, what if I took a closer more honest look....Why do I put off writing blogs? Why haven't I started creating my workbook? I think: "Oh, I have to know this or do that first." Here's my best one: "I need to wait for warmer weather, because I'll be much more creative when I can sit outside and write!" Really? Procrastination is a hallmark sign of perfectionism! It whispers loudly: "If you can't do it perfectly, Peg, don't do it." What if they don't get it? What if they don't like it?"
Oh, and what about your quest for the perfect anti-wrinkle concoction or ultimate diet? Wait, sorry, that's me, not you. (I believe I now have the answer BTW!) OK, OK, I'm not saying I'm not going to fight the good fight when it comes to the anti-aging thing. I do have a good time with all that girl stuff! But, truth be told, (read the next line slowly and mindfully) perfectionism is THE LOWEST standard to have because it's not humanly possible. It's an old cliche' "nobodies perfect." Isn't that annoying? Why? Because we know it's true, but we don't want to accept it. It reaches the depths of our two universal human fears that we all share: the fear of not being loved and the fear of not being enough.
So please, excuse me while I get ready to go to yoga where I will find peace within. Within, where I do not hide my beautiful lines of wisdom, nor my little tummy pooch that my husband, lucky for me, finds sexy. (my yoga teacher fondly calls hers a food baby; love that!) Within, where I commune with God and find gratitude for all in my life. Within, where I understand that I am enough. Within, where real perfection exists in us all. Namaste, beautiful perfect souls......
I will enjoy a day with mom with a glass of wine and a pampering pedicure. Saturday, a day at Kim's Creations where I will receive a glorious red mane of curls that seem to magically vanish the years away (Thanks Kim!) Later, I will laboriously clean my office preparing for a fun champagne on ice jewelry party. OK, you know what? I don't call my biz live perfectly, but I do call it Live More! So, I encourage you, no I dare you, to move from the dark world of perfectionism and strive UP! Upward reaching toward the edge of excellence instead of falling down, down to the lowly curb of perfectionism. Feel the difference! We live, We learn, We grow. I am too.
"Come to the edge, he said. They said; we are afraid. Come to the edge he said. He pushed them...and they flew."
I would love to hear from you! How would your life be different if you got off the curb?
Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R
LIVE MORE! Mind Body and Soul
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