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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Fight Against Perfectionism

This post is in honor of Lynn Swee, who always did her best but wasn't
afraid to tell someone if she was in need of God's strength for the day.

What perfectionists feel...
  1. Embarrassed about mistakes they make
  2. Angry with themselves when criticized
  3. Anxious when stating their opinion to others
  4. Extremely worried about the details
  5. Angry if their routine is interrupted
  6. Nervous when things around them are messy
  7. Exhausted or unable to relax
  8. Afraid of being rejected
  9. Guilty about letting others down --from “Life Lists” Pamela Espeland

Striving for excellence motivates you;
striving for perfection is demoralizing.”
Harriet Braiker

10 Tips for Fighting Perfectionism
  1. Be average for a day. Allow yourself to be messy, late, imperfect.
  2. Get involved in something that's not judged—focusing on process, not product.
  3. Take a risk. Sign up for a course with a reputation for being challenging. Start a conversation with someone you don't know. Alter your morning routine, start a day without a plan. If you spent your whole life doing only those things you could master on the first try – you'd never learned to do something difficult.
  4. Give yourself permission to make at least 3 mistakes a day.
  5. Stop using the word “should” or “I have to.”
  6. Share a weakness or limitation with a friend. Ask them to help you cure it, perhaps giving you a sign or word when they notice you are being a perfectionist.
  7. It's less lonely when we accept our own and other's imperfections and feel part of life. You can learn a lot from failure – but you have to be willing to fail.
  8. Mistakes allow you to see your own improvements. If you had videotaped your first attempt at the backstroke, then again after three months of lessons, you'd notice a change for the better.
  9. Mistakes allow you to learn from others. Asking for help isn't the same as giving up. Failure gives you a new perspective on yourself and everything else you do. It can be liberating to fall, pick yourself up, and discover the world is still turning. 
    10.  Realize there's many ways to succeed, and many types of abilities—some of which you have, some of which you may never have. Your focus becomes less narrow. It's not an all or nothing proposition, and you don't have to be the best to learn something and have fun.

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