When I was five years old, my kindergarten teacher told my mom that she (my mom) must be a perfectionist. Curiously, my mom asked “Why?’ to which Ms. Lawyer replied, “Because your son is.” Apparently, in everything I did, from coloring to cutting construction paper, it HAD to be perfect! In fact, if it wasn’t perfect, I would just give up and stop trying altogether. While every other kid proudly displayed projects scribbled in crayon and looking like they had been cut out with a butter knife, I had nothing. At five, perfection didn't get you much.
About ten years ago, I decided that it was time for me to go talk to someone very close to me about being a perfectionist. I was going to share my own life experiences with him and see if I could get him to understand how much he needed to change; to stop being such a perfectionist. So, on that day, I went home, found a mirror and started the conversation. Wow, not easy.
Fast forward to today and you would discover, oddly enough, that I still believe in perfectionism. But, I’ve modified the definition. In fact, you might say that my new definition of perfection is PERFECT. First, the old definition: Perfection (n) -the quality or state of being perfect. Now, my new definition: Perfection (n) -the quality or state of being perfect ENOUGH. How’s that?
If you apply the old definition to your life, it’s easy to see that you end up without a job, without someone to live life with, without a home, without a car, without anything important. You see, perfectionism STILL gets you nothing. So how does this apply to you? Easy! Stop searching for PERFECT and instead search for PERFECT ENOUGH. How? Let me tell you.
First, stop searching for perfection in what you wear. Throw on some flip flops and a t-shirt and be seen in public! It’s ok. And you know that yard you work so hard on making perfect? Let it go some. It’s ok if you have a few wilted flowers now and then. Oh, and then your better half. PLEASE stop looking for perfection there. I mean it. You won’t find it. But guess what. THEY LOVE YOU. Isn't that perfect enough?
And you know what else? Stop striving for perfection in your health and fitness goals. You will NEVER achieve it for any length of time. But, you can achieve “perfect enough” for a lifetime. Yes, you should set goals and eat healthy. Just don’t stress out and fail when you end up eating something less than perfect. Try to exercise daily. But, if you miss a work out, it’s OK.
Imagine the possibilities this new key can open up for you. Endless best describes them.
Think about this a while and see how it works for you. Remember, not perfect, perfect enough. Got it? Perfect! Now hand me another sheet of that construction paper. I have some projects to do!