Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'm So Sick

Yes, I admit it. 
I have a terrible case of perfectionism.
Perfectionism:  a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.
Ha ha you say.  Not you.  Look at you.  There's NO WAY YOU are a perfectionist.
So that brings me to my point.  Opinions of perfection will never match.
The struggle for perfectionism, though very real is absolutely unattainable.  It is a lie.  The standard is always just a little out of reach.  It sets you up for disappointment, unmet expectations and a feeling of failure.

Please do not confuse what I am saying about perfectionism with a pursuit of excellence.  I truly believe that we are to always strive for excellence.  What I am talking about here is an unrealistic desire to achieve an unattainable goal...never being satisfied with excellence...always wanting more.  I am talking about a goal or standard that is more a figment of your creative imagination than anything else. 
So many times I have pondered this "illness",  this "way of behaving and thinking" and wondered where it comes from.  When is it rooted and grounded deep within us as truth and something to which we should aspire?
In my opinion it is important to strive for balance as I pursue excellence.  If I have left nothing but heartache and disarray scattered across the path of my pursuit, was it worth it?
For me it isn't.
So I search and strive for balance.
Years ago I knew of two ladies.  As I think about it now I really didn't know either of them well, but I did know them and their situation well enough to know this:
One was extremely picky and her life was structured and orderly following just her plans. Everyone and everything fell in direction to her desires.  Everything had to be just so so or she wasn't happy. 
It seemed this caused trouble for her family and her friends who preferred not to come around.
  At least, that is the way I perceived it.
Though in difficult circumstances, the other seemed to live a life of flexible balance.  Her family and friends loved her and doted on her.  They wanted to be around her and her door revolved with the ones who constantly came and left.  She was loving and giving.
 At least, that is the way I perceived it.
As a youngster observing these two situations the impact on me was profound and I made the choice to not let the unattainable lie of perfectionism consume me. 
As I have lived and faced many situations, there are times perfectionism will raise its' ugly head and start boasting its' lofty claims.  That's when I have to step back, get a new perspective, say I am sorry, regroup, search for balance...you know the drill!
The truth is, my standard of perfect will never be the next persons standard also.
I hear my mother's voice saying, "Just do your best Rachel and then let the rest go."  I think she knew I was "sick" before I did! Then to balance it off, I can hear Daddy say,  "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."
I can only be me.
But I certainly choose not to be a miserable unbalanced and frantic sort of  "me".
I choose to do the best I know to pursue excellence and balance and please the only One that matters.
So no...just kiddin' I'm not really sick.
But I could be.  Oh sure, I  definitely could be.
Do you struggle with this type of perfectionism?
Don't believe it!
This is true!   It's a lie!
Or are you content to pursue excellence?

1 comment:

Donnie said...

So very well stated. You continue to amaze me with your depth of thinking and then getting it onto "paper" so we can understand in a new way what the "sickness" is. I strive to always do my best. Hugs to you, Donnie