Yes. Perfectionism. Something I thought I understood enough to stay away from. Something I knew I had the potential to get caught up in if I wasn’t careful…
Careful… that’s the key word. Be careful not to attempt anything that you can’t be good at. That way, you won’t have to face the perfectionism demons that lie waiting to attack every flaw, every fault, every mistake.
Perfectionism: (n) a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection
and rejects anything else.
Rejects anything else–to the point of avoidance maybe? To the point of missing out on the experience completely in the name of being perfect?
So yes, I understand perfectionism. I understand it so well that I discovered the backdoor approach to avoiding the demons–I simply avoided the demons. I can’t be perfect, so instead of stressing about it, find a way to just not do it.
So–rejecting anything that keeps me from being perfect keeps me…perfect…
Could that be why it’s been about a month since I created a blog post? Instead of spending hours putting my thoughts into words that would perfectly illustrate my point, I got busy. I created a task list so long and laborious that avoiding the blog “just one more week” was the best obvious solution. I mean, if I justify not blogging by finding “more important” things to do, even though I promised myself that I would be consistent, I won’t really be breaking a promise I made to myself. Right?
I saw the big picture of what I was doing during a romantic trip with my husband to the Cayman Islands. I experienced the anxiety-provoking effects of my incongruous beliefs and behaviors in a somewhat surprising yet very real and raw way. Somehow being faced with to-the-core vulnerability–swimsuit, wet hair, athletic incompetence–while having every intention of being fully present with Dave left me nowhere I could hide. Behaving in a way that is inconsistent with belief is a prime cause of anxiety, and boy! Did I feel it!
I talk about facing fear all the time; I am all about walking my talk; and in this moment of being completely exposed with nowhere to hide, I came face-to-face with my “hypocrisy.” I didn’t like it.
Lucky for me, I am extremely introspective. I am also quite committed. When I put my mind to something, I do it. No matter what. I’m not always 100% willing. In fact, I can be quite stubborn. Sometimes I fight myself from every angle, and when there are no convincing angles left, “Stubborn Me” gives in to “Determined Me,” and I take another step toward “Congruent Me.”
To me, being congruent means being in full voice, which also means passionate and powerfully approaching my purpose. That makes me happy–and Happy is the goal.
**Fun side bar: By putting my new awareness into action, this particular blog post only took 30 minutes instead of several hours. It may not be perfect; it’s definitely progress!
“Men (and women) are that they might have JOY.”