Do you dwell on small mistakes for hours, days, or even weeks after they occur? Are you crushed when someone points out a small flaw in your work? Have you ever spent four hours fine-tuning a task that could have been completed in 10 minutes?
Repeating the affirmation "progress, not perfection" will help you to create an attitudinal shift that will better equip you to accept your own limitations as well as those of your family members, friends, and coworkers.
This idea of perfection -- no flaws, no issues, no problems -- seems to infiltrate all our lives at one time or another. And like the yearning for perfection in the workplace, we also yearn for perfection in other aspects of our lives.
I was a straight-A student through college who did whatever it took to produce work at a level that would please my professors. The rules changed when I started my own business over seven years ago. I realized that doing A-work in everything limited my success.
At work, I get emails from wonderful, incredible, women and mothers who feel isolated, anxious and depressed. They feel under-appreciated and live with an invisible wall of pressure to be the perfect woman, mother and wife.
January is not the problem. It's us. Well, our perfectionism, to be specific. Our all-or-none thinking frames our life so that if we're not succeeding every second, we're failing. Nobody wants that. But nobody can be that "perfect" person either.
I believe that perfection is actually an illusion that we created and is based on the fear that we would no longer evolve as humans if something wasn't pushing us to be better. But what if evolution were to come from our desire to learn and grow instead of to get ahead?
The main challenge with perfection is that perfection almost always lies just out of reach, sort of the impossible dream that can't be had. Indeed, perfection cannot be had, at least now how you might typically think about it; however, it can be experienced.
If you're fed up with feeling crazed, you might want to consider admitting how exhausting, depleting, and defeating your quest for perfection is, and that no matter how perfect you become, you will never satisfy your own critical voice. Perfectionists often set self-defeating goals.
Unfortunately, the pursuit of perfection doesn't make us happier or ease stress. A perfect body doesn't solve your emotional problems, a shiny new car doesn't mean you're any more likely to be taken seriously at work and a meticulously kept house can't keep you from financial issues.
What's the cure for my perfectionist affliction? It's to rethink what it means to be a public intellectual. I am actually a public learner, a co-creator of iterative knowledge, not a deliverer of once-and-for-all facts.
As the list grew, I realized something: Some of these things are not okay and never will be (see the aforementioned smoothies), but many others aren't really that terrible -- I just decided at some point that they were.
Rising pop star Natalia Kills isn't just being compared to female pop superstars. She's actually keeping company with them. The West Yorkshire native has already opened for Ke$ha, Kelis, and Robyn and Katy Perry.