Letting Go of Stress, Step 4: Tell Your Inner Perfectionist to Shut Up!

There is a reason we live in families. There is a reason we live in communities. It’s because one person can’t do it all.

You. Can’t. Do. It. All.

That is a hard pill for many people to swallow, and perfectionism goes hand-in-hand with stylish stress. We all want to be the one who, magically, DOES do it all. We want to be in control. We want approval from others, acceptance.

And it’s keeping us from being at our best.

That’s why getting rid of perfectionism is Step 4 in my Letting Go of Stress series. Perfectionism manifests itself in different ways. We may:

–Want to be in control of everything, to the point that we spread ourselves too thin, doing an unhappy, poor job of everything.

–Plan elaborate projects that never get off the ground, due to their vastness.

–Spend all of our time on one task, neglecting the others.

–Procrastinate, because we feel that we can never get it right.

–Be judgmental of others, because our perfectionism stems from deep-seated insecurity.

Not a happy way to live, and definitely not a way to be at peace with yourself and with others! It’s time to let go of the need to be perfect. It’s time to accept our humanity,

We need to realize why we are perfectionists, then give ourselves a dose of reality. Are we worried about being accepted by others? Don’t we love our friends, in spite of their imperfections?

Are we insecure about ourselves? Do we need to look at our strengths, at all that makes us beautiful?

Whatever the cause, perfectionism is something that we MUST overcome, in order to live a more peaceful life. Perfectionism is paralyzing and actually prevents us from giving fully to others.

Here are some ways to help silence those voices:

1. I wear many hats. I’m a wife, a mother, a teacher…and I have to realize that I can not give 100% to all three of those. It’s not possible! There are times when each of those roles gets put on the back burner, and they each get different pieces of the pie. I know that my house won’t always be perfect, that I won’t see every aspect of my daughter’s childhood, and that I won’t have a leadership role at work. And that’s all right. We need to learn to balance all that we do, giving what we realistically can, not everything.

2. With that in mind, delegate, delegate, delegate. There is nothing wrong with asking your husband to take over some tasks at home, or asking other people for help at work. Most people are willing to help, if you ask. Decide what you want to do, then share the burden.

3. Decide when good enough is OK. Fly Lady taught me this lesson. It’s better to do an OK job than not do it at all. Once a week, we vacuum just the middles of the floors, and save the big cleaning for later. There are times when we must be thorough, but not all the time.

I hope this helps you to ease up on yourself and get ready for a less stressful life!

One thought on “Letting Go of Stress, Step 4: Tell Your Inner Perfectionist to Shut Up!

  1. Pingback: The Beauty of Imperfection | Journey to Ithaca

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