Perfectionism has no place in my life today…as a ‘recovering perfectionist‘, I see more clearly than ever how much relational damage I’ve done over the years by my need to be perfect.
I have been reminded of my tendency towards perfection during Christmas, as I am tempted to fantasize about that Norman Rockwell holiday that doesn’t exist. Yet, this year, our family Christmas will be perfect for us, because I have learned that ‘good enough’ is perfect.
Here are 8 points to consider about perfectionism, whether you are the perfectionist or you live with one. I speak from personal experience.
Perfection makes you unapproachable
People tend to avoid perfectionists. Perfectionists are far too dangerous to get close to because they project “inadequacy” on everyone they meet. People can’t be themselves due to the spirit of competition that is always in play. ”Walking on eggshells” would describe how others feel around a perfectionist.
Perfectionism puts tremendous pressure on your children
Children naturally want to please their parents. Yet, when they can’t ever measure up due to the perfect parent’s impossible expectations, kids become completely demotivated. They don’t even want to try after a while, because they feel and know that they will never measure up. I am guilty of this to my regret.
Another area where perfectionist parents can do significant damage is with sports. Sometimes parents pressure their children to play and excel in several sports, even all year round. Doing your best and building sportsmanship is one thing, but putting your relationship with the child at risk by pressuring performance is quite another.
Perfection makes your spouse feel inadequate
Spouses of perfectionists feel like losers much of the time. Encouragement, kindness and patience, pillars of any marriage are too often dismissed. Criticism and condemnation can damage the marriage relationship, all in the pursuit of perfection.
Perfectionism frustrates the efforts of everyone around you
As the perfectionist walks through daily life, they expect no less of others than they expect of themselves. They want their groceries bagged a certain way, they expect a timely response to all of their needs and they tend to be impatient with everyone around them. What the perfectionist fails to realize is that they are missing all the beauty of life that surrounds them, but they are blind to it.
Perfectionism will take more time and energy than is necessary
Perfectionists tend to get up very early and stay up late at night to make sure everything is complete in the way it ‘should be done’. They work tirelessly to make sure that the proper impression is made and that the compliments are plenty.
Perfectionism doesn’t pay well
The only payment the perfectionist ever receives is praise, which is short lived. The perfectionist is only as wonderful as the last unbelievable feat they accomplished, therefore the job is never done. There is never a sense of completion or satisfaction.
Balance, however, is a lot more fun. Balance says that YOU are good enough, just the way you are, without performing or struggling. Balance says that you are indeed lovable. You are a human ‘being’, not a human ‘doing’. Balance can…
Keep you human and approachable
People will want to be near you and be more willing to share what is on their hearts and minds. They will not fear rejection because they will be comfortable in the fact that you are real and human.
Lets your children be children
Your children just want YOU, not what you do. When you realize that you are lovable just the way you are, that same love will begin to flow in acceptance of others. It’s amazing.
Enhance your marriage
When your husband feels fully accepted for who he is, walls come down, resistance melts away and the relationship you’ve always wanted with him might be right around the corner.
Makes you touchable
I always promised myself that my children would feel comfortable touching me, my face and hair, and that I wouldn’t ever be so concerned about my look that I might deny my peep’s little fingers to mess me up. Who cares if you get a little messy? Children need to cuddle and touch you. When I keep my beauty routine simple and expectations of myself reasonable, I become touchable.
Brings laughter and joy
Oh my friends, balance is so much fun! It took me so many years, wasted years of insecurity that masked itself in perfectionism, to realize what I was missing. This post is written as a reflection of my own personal healing. I am so terribly grateful for where I’m at today and would never go back to those days again.
Enjoy this Christmas…with imperfect decor, food, gifts, relatives and weather. Just be together, that’s good enough. Actually, it’s perfect.
I would love to hear your thoughts ~ do you struggle with perfectionism or live with someone who does? How does it make you feel? How do you cope?