GUEST WRITER – AUTHOR
Hello, Friend! My name is Heidi. I reside in a small mountain town in the USA. Having previously taught in the public school system for 12 years, my husband and I decided to give homeschooling a try this year. He’s a teacher also, but I’m the one who gets to stay home to help teach our tiny humans. I love it! We’ve had such a great time learning and experimenting together from the comfort of our own home! They’re 5 and 9 and while they keep me plenty busy, I had a desire to find ways to help supplement our income.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for a few months now and have been dabbling in digital marketing while also trying to find and craft my writer’s voice, in hopes of becoming a published author! My business partner, Dave, and I have created some digital products together, among them, an eBook! In a sense, I guess I am an author! Please feel free to visit my main website here https://thedigitalmarketinglaunchpad.com/
BLESSING OR CURSE?
Something else you should know about me is that I struggle with perfectionism. That’s saying that I refuse to accept anything short of perfection. I know! I know! Just as you’re thinking, I know! There is no such thing as a perfect human being. Why, then, do so many people strive for it?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a feeling of necessity for perfection. Things I would do had to be done without error – at all costs. I remember wearing out the eraser on my pencils in high school. I would tear up rough drafts and continue to write until I reached a level of satisfaction I was happy to accept. As an adult, I have experienced many other things requiring perfectionism. My house is (almost) always clean. I keep things very neat and tidy from closets to drawers to the garage, where the vehicles are parked. My kids and husband, unfortunately, must live with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies.
You may be thinking there’s nothing wrong with the above-painted picture. However, I must ask you, does picture-perfect exist? Can it exist if we work hard for it? Are there folks among you who appear to be perfect? Do you have a family member or friend who strives for perfection? In my opinion, it’s something that many struggle with to some degree. We must come to a breaking point and realize that it’s just not a bar we should be setting for ourselves, right? There is no such thing as a picture-perfect human being. Not even close.
The effects that striving for perfection has had on my life are pretty telling. No doubt many things trigger a desire to be perfect for each person who is captive of the term. For me, I do believe it’s rooted in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of disapproval from others, fear of missing out, etc.
Fear is real. Fear is necessary to a degree, wouldn’t you agree? Without fear, if terrible things happen to you, there’s a chance that you won’t experience those circumstances as terrible. On the other hand, if you have a lot of fear, fewer negative things are likely to happen, but it could prove to be an unhappy life. Just think about it. Fear is something we all have, and we should try to fall somewhere in the middle of no fear versus having too much of it.
In my life, I’ve fallen privy to a few unfortunate things. For example, I let my fear prohibit me from doing things that I know I would enjoy if were to just do them. I’ve missed out on fun events or held my kids out of some public functions… all based on fear. Fear we would get sick. Fear of someone getting hurt. Fear of getting into an accident. Fear. It’s stressful and has led to numerous negative emotions. Obviously and unfortunately, negativity doesn’t lead to living a happy life.
There is good news! It isn’t too late to change course! My friend, this is not a life sentence! Perfectionism in your life can be controlled – somewhat. I’ve learned to try and manage these tendencies and turn what can be changed – into positive things!
Surely, you’ve heard of taking your weaknesses and turning them into strengths? It’s all about mindset and a little patience with yourself! Take, for example, my need for organization. In my world, everything should have a designated place. Is there anything wrong with that? Of course not! I can turn that need into reality and have baskets and storage containers to hold all these items. That’s a great thing! I can even label the containers if I choose. You see, even organization can (and perhaps should) be turned into a positive feature for you!
Perfectionism is a risk factor for obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is something I also struggle with to a degree. If left to its own devices, OCD can cause a myriad of issues for a person. According to a quick internet search, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, and phobias are examples of things that OCD can trigger. This seems like a slippery slope leading to very possible dangerous outcomes.
Because I don’t want to fall into this hole I may never be able to return from, I’ve set aside some things to work on. Perhaps these tips will also help you overcome your desire to be perfect. I would never get over the mindset of perfectionism if I didn’t follow some rules each day that I’ve set for myself. Here are my favorite three…
You know the things that trigger you to feel the need to have everything perfect. You also have the power within you to change your mindset. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. You can weather any storm because you know you the best. Don’t let others try and navigate you. Be strong. Think positively.
Because you know yourself best, you get what makes you ‘tick’! You understand what and whom you need in your life to get through each day. Perfectionism doesn’t have to be debilitating. Rather, you can use your mindset as your ‘ace in the hole’ and make the best of each day. Get rid of your all-or-nothing mindset and learn to love and respect yourself!
It doesn’t matter if the goal is small or large. If you accomplish something, anything, make sure to reward yourself. This could be as simple as just waking up, getting out of bed, and getting dressed. Get some coffee before you start to look at what needs fixing or perfecting. Get a little work done on a project you’ve been working on. Take a walk to both reward yourself for sticking to something and get some fresh air! Set some goals and work toward them all. Celebrate all things – progress, victories, failures. These things all matter. You matter!
I know many of you who struggle with the same things that I do. You get it. I see your heads nodding in agreement. Then, others read this and think, wow! What would it be like to feel all of that – just move on? You see, it’s very easy to tell someone to just move past the emotional strain that this quality puts on a person. Unless you have personally struggled with perfectionism, please don’t just tell someone to get over it. Be there for them and help them with their struggles without judgment. Does picture-perfect exist? I think you already know the answer.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…
I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from famous children’s book author and illustrator, Dr. Seuss.
“Today you are YOU, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Your than YOU.”
May you be richly blessed today and always!