Does Perfectionism Pay Off?

I attended a really thought-provoking event this week at a local women’s wellness meeting at a spa here in St. Petersburg. The topic was “Perfectly Imperfect”.  Most of us think that we have perfectionism nipped in the bud, but I can really see how it creeps into our lives and takes a hold of us without our even thinking about it. The speaker, Tamera L. Fontenot, gave all attendees some great food for thought when it comes to breaking away from those perfectionistic ways.

We might think that we aren’t perfectionists, but how often are we really attached to the outcome of what might happen with any given decision we make? I know that I talk a good game about knowing I’m not perfect, and about accepting whatever comes my way. However, just this week I missed an appointment and felt really horrible about it. It was hard for me to break out of that cycle of beating myself up over what I could have done differently, what I should do to make amends, and what I can do to make sure it never happens again.

The thing is, while it’s great to learn from mistakes (something we often teach our kids, right?), it’s an entirely different animal to linger on them. It’s best for us if we can acknowledge them, and then move on! It’s surprising the negative self-talk that can seep in to affect our self-images later on down the road when we don’t keep ourselves in check. When you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about something you did that you’re upset about, give yourself permission to let it go. It’s okay. Really.

A great example is this very blog post that you’re reading. The inspiration for it came after I’d been putting off writing a blog post. I kept thinking of how my ideas weren’t original, and what if I didn’t have enough to say to make it just the right length, or what if it ended up too long? My fears of not having the perfect blog post kept me from doing anything. I think this is a great example of how our perfectionism really can hold us back if we let it. So, I decided to just sit down and let the words flow. I chose to be unattached to the outcome of my writing and be okay with the fact that I wrote at all.

What have you been putting off due to fear of not being perfect? Try taking a deep breath and telling yourself that you are *already* perfect, no matter the outcome. Move forward with a new ease, and a fresh outlook.

Thanks for reading!

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