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Friday, July 8, 2016

Stop Striving for Perfection: Why Good Enough is Better

 'Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your true purpose and strive for perfection instead.' Lightarted Sue

Perfection is in the Eye of the Beholder--but who's looking anyway?

Why do we choose to waste time striving for perfection? What is it that drives us to obsess over creating the illusion we have everything perfectly handled all the time without a hair out of place and no sweat on our brow--when we know it feels anything but perfect and satisfying in the end? 

Do we think people will think better of us if we look, think, or act perfectly? Do we think people will feel more comfortable in our home or office without a thing out of place--so we run ourselves ragged attending to every last detail before anticipating a military-like inspection by our invited guests?  

Admit it: Your struggle for perfection is annoying for you and everyone around you. Your obsession to perfect every last detail leads you to spend 90% of your time attempting to perfect the last 10% while driving everyone around you nuts. 

The final result? Perfectly pissed off co-workers, friends and family who are too afraid to step into your environment and mess anything up. And in the end you're never happy with the final results no matter how hard you work at it--leaving you frazzled and fixated on the cobweb you missed the minute someone enters your space.

A desire to be perfect arises from a self-conscious focus. To lighten your load, and to improve your relationships, switch your focus to outside yourself--by keeping your attention on the comfort of your guests, audience, and co-workers instead of yourself.

Stop It! Good Enough is Better

Why not give up your struggle for perfection for something more satisfying and productive? 

At the core of our drive to perfection is a desire to be accepted and loved. Yet our perfectionist tendencies push people away while our imperfections make us more accessible to others. 

Striving for 'good enough' can help you decrease your self-focus, intensity and anxiety leaving you more energy to focus your attention on making others comfortable. When you take the focus off your own perfect performance and place it on others comfort you'll discover you can relax and enjoy relating to others even if the light is shining on a few cobwebs. 

'Others see our work for what it is; we see our work for what it isn't.'

Imperfections Improve Your Like-ability Factor

When you replace perfectionism with a 'good enough' frame of mind it allows you to embrace your imperfections as the valuable assets that they are. It is your imperfections that increase your value to others, raising your like-ability factor as the very essence of your humanness shines through. 
'I never make the same mistake twice. I make it like five or six times, you know, just to be sure.' I love to laugh on Facebook.

An Oriental rug's Value is in its Imperfections--And so is yours

Ask any oriental rug dealer and you'll discover--a rug's value is found in its imperfections. Machine made rugs are perfect; but handmade rugs have imperfections. Oriental rug collectors look for those imperfections to prove the value of the rug.

Why not begin to think of yourself as a 'rug in progress'? You're not a cookie-cutter human who is stamped out to look and be perfect. Learn to value your imperfections, keep your focus on the comfort of others and strive for good enough.

Knowledge is learning something every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.  Zen Proverb

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, I loved this post. Was just telling a friend the other day that I overcame perfectionism decades ago and have been much happier for it! (Hope she took the hint!)

Madeline Vance said...

I felt so light hearted reading this!!! Thank you wonderful person!😃 I laughed and felt release

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

HaHa, Jean! We all have to get miserable enough driving ourselves and others nuts before we take the hint! It's so much more fun to be good enough! Having said that your work is always superb! But it doesn't have to be perfect to be excellent...and thaqt's the point isn't it!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Madeline--you keep on laughing and feeling released! Love those imperfections! Hugs.