Don’t Sweat It Challenge #2
Make Peace With Imperfection
In this chapter Richard Carlson starts off by saying, “I have yet to meet an absolute perfectionist whose life was filled with inner peace.” What a good way to start this strategy. I would tend to agree with this statement, being that I am a first born, type A personality, raving mad perfectionist.
I want perfection in my life. Whether it is in sales, work, home, or family life I want it all to be perfect. I don’t like things to be out of place and I want things to go as I planned them. I want everyone to get along and talk nice to each other. I want all aspects of my life to work out the way I imagine. When they don’t, I have stress in my life.
So, what is perfection?
It is an idealistic state of mind that says nothing ever will be other than what you think it will be. Your friends will act the way you want them to. People will say and do what you think they should say and do. Events will go smoothly and go your way without challenges ever cropping up. Customers will buy without objection or throwing problems your way. Life will be–perfect.
But it isn’t that way. Nothing is perfect.
So what is a striving perfectionist to do?
In this exercise Richard says you need to, “catch yourself when you fall into your habit of insisting that things should be other than they are. Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it is, right now.” I guess what he means is this; if I weren’t so wrapped up inside my own head, I would be able to realize that everything is fine. That I wouldn’t blow things out of perportion just because they are not going the way I want them to go.
So, I used this strategy over the last few weeks. I focused on really letting go of my perfectionist habit. When things started to go awry, or something didn’g go as planned I sat back, took a deep breath, and tried to work through it. Let me tell you this was a big challenge. I slipped in and out of wanting to control every aspect of my life. I had a hard time letting go of overly controlling things and often fell back into my old ways. It is hard to step back from being a perfectionist.
However, this strategy has been very helpful for me. Many times I was able to forget my perfectionist tendencies and find peace. I was able to accept the fact that things were not always going to go according to plan. That roadblocks will pop up and I will have to find a way around them. That people will not act the way I want them to act or say what I want them to say. That situations will crop up.
This exercise made me realize that perfection is all inside my head. All I can do is give it my best and realize that things will work out how they work out. The dust will settle and it is not the end of the world. Trying to control everything to perfection is plain madness.
Knowing that I can’t control everything will lead me to a more satisfied, content, low-stress life.
I WILL MAKE PEACE WITH IMPERFECTION!