In working with lots of successful but stressed out individuals and couples, one thought pattern that seems to prevail is the pursuit of perfection….whether it is perfection or “shoulds” in themselves, their spouse, co-workers, children, personal belongings, body image, an event or a task.
So does this mean that you should never try to succeed? No!
You can choose to strive toward EXCELLENCE vs. perfection.
The need to be perfect comes from a place of low self-worth and “I am not enough” while striving for excellence comes from a place of integrity, wanting to give 100% yet having compassion for yourself and others (with maybe a bit of humor) when you don’t hit the mark.
How you can tell if you are mistakenly choosing perfection:
- You may not try something at all because you are afraid to fail.
- You avoid doing tasks outside of your comfort zone.
- You tell yourself you need more of something.
- You say YES to more than is helpful and become overwhelmed.
- You procrastinate.
- Your need to accomplish something at all cost compromises your other values.
- You allow other people to disappoint you.
- You get very stressed and anxious.
- You blame others or something else for not accomplishing your goal.
- You use the word “should” a lot.
- You give up.
The benefits of choosing excellence:
- You are less stressed.
- You are choosing authenticity and integrity.
- You are resourceful without compromising your values.
- You appreciate others’ differences.
- You can more fully enjoy and engage in the present moment.
- You have better relationships with others.
- You are more open to possibility and opportunities otherwise not seen if more stressed.
- You experience more gratitude and need less.
- You exercise more courage, thus are more likely to create a more meaningful life.
- You utilize your sense of humor and laughter more, which can help create a longer life.
So, the next time you want to do something, whether it is take up an art class, improve a relationship, throw a party, take on a project with a team at work, get healthier, or deal with a bad hair day, choose to take a deep breath and work toward excellence while seeing the beauty in the challenge….the obstacles…and the imperfect.