I've thought about this post for several days, but have put it off.
Ironic, but not surprising I suppose, given the topic is perfectionism.
As a child, there were so many things I did well, I could afford to be a perfectionist. In high school it became a problem. I almost didn't take AP American History. I didn't take Calculus. Nor would I take Econ because I feared I couldn't get an ‘A'. I did get ‘A's in the classes I took, but in retrospect, a ‘B' in Calculus, rather than no calculus at all given my chosen career, probably would have been a decent trade.
Enter the workforce.
When I got to New York, I wanted to succeed so badly, I had to square off with my perfectionism, muscling through the fear.
And I had to learn a few tricks. Like breaking things down into small enough pieces that I wouldn't be overwhelmed. Or telling myself to spend just spend 5 minutes putting everything together that I'd need, and then I could go do something else.
Courtesy: Sarah Jane Studios
When I do send perfectionism packing (and when I can't quite, I pull out a few tricks to pretend as if I have), I try more new things, and I learn more.
I can model for my children how to cope with perfectionism.
I get more accomplished because I procrastinate less.
I stop something I've started when I realize it's not worth finishing.
I am willing to date dreams, knowing I don't have to marry them.
Most importantly, I can welcome in my world.
With arms outstretched.
If you didn't feel the need to be perfect at a ‘thing', what would you try doing?
What dream would you like to date?
What are you currently working on that isn't worth finishing?
What tips do you have for outwitting perfectionism?
My husband who is trained as a scientist can break projects into very small, logical pieces — he is a superb peer mentor. How can some of the men in our lives — fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, colleagues – mentor us?
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