I want perfection and I want it now!

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Where does this idea come from?!  And why is our worst case of perfectionism usually focused on ourselves, or those closest to us.  People, in other words.  Non-perfect beings.

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I bet almost all of us have this disease in some form or another.  We expect the impossible from both ourselves AND others, an expectation that can only lead to failure, and therefore disappointment.

Here’s some typical examples:

  • We expect our teenagers’ bedrooms to always be tidy.  Yeah, right.  And who is upset when it’s not?  Not them, that’s for sure.
  • We expect the bathing suit we wore last summer to still fit.  uh-huh, uh-huh…
  • We are upset that at age 40-plus we don’t look as young as we used to, and that at 50-plus it seems to be speeding up…
  • We expect never to say the wrong thing.  Ever.  Shouldn’t we be smarter than that by now?
  • We expect to live in the perfect house in the perfect street, with the perfect car and the perfect spouse and perfect children and one totally house-trained dog, or maybe two.
  • We expect to get on with our parents by now.  And our siblings. And because we are the black sheep of the family, we do wonder whether we should have tried harder not to be so… well… black-sheep’ish.
  • And let’s not start on the haranguing we give our partners…  shall I go on?  Nah… ya get the picture.

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So…  secretly (apparently), YOU’re different – YOU really are useless – you’re saying it to yourself right now – I know!  No one else knows this about THEMselves or anything… just you.  Oh good grief.

How did that get there?!!  Seriously!  How?!  Why?!

This has to be our most dangerous trait, as humans, and especially as women and mothers.  It’s damaging to ourselves and to those we love.

Can’t ‘good enough’, ‘okay’ and even plain ‘normal’ do it?

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So how about it? Me, I’m 5kg heavier than I’d like to be flying to the Sunshine Coast in Australia on the weekend, where I do intend to be in my bathing suit.  Probably not my bikini though eh…

 

As always,

Sue

xx

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Sue Fitzmaurice

This article was written by Sue

6 comments:

Laura Robinson MorrisMarch 1, 2013 at 9:56 amReply

Don’t forget the sunblock! And have fun…

Sue Fitzmaurice Sue FitzmauriceMarch 1, 2013 at 10:04 amReply

Hahaha! Yes, indeed! thanks, Laura xo

Sharon MartinelliMarch 1, 2013 at 3:01 pmReply

Great words for this first of March. Have fun at the beach. I live on another beach in Florida and know the healing power of the oceans edge.

JackieMarch 2, 2013 at 11:51 pmReply

I’m a perfectionist. What you say is so true. Need to relax more and enjoy the present and not worry too much about things I have no control over. I hope that despite the rain you enjoyed your Sunshine Coast trip. I have fond memories of being up the Sunshine and it was pouring! Found a lovely Cafe with a couch and sat having coffee and Drambuie at 4pm. Plus I didn’t have to worry about the extra kilos as the swimsuit never saw the light of day.

Melissa BowenMarch 15, 2013 at 3:30 pmReply

SUPER post – as always, Sue! I missed it somehow when you were heading off on The Big Trip. So. Perfectionism. I’m thinking (not overthinking! well, maybe) on the Anne Lamott meme and that very first sentence. I love her writings. Except this one confuses me: She thinks we attempt perfectionism to avoid death. Or maybe because we have a fear of death. Okay – Huh?!? I’m just not seeing the progression. I’m letting it dance around in my head. Still not seeing it. Have you talked about this anywhere else? Did anyone from the ever-growing gang ever knock this idea around? Thanks <3 <3 Melissa

Sue Fitzmaurice Sue FitzmauriceMarch 16, 2013 at 9:15 pmReply

Hey Melissa – throw it up in the group and see what folks say, for sure – I think what she’s saying is that we don’t aim for perfect for perfect’s sake, we aim for it in order to avoid something else we’re secretly afraid of, eg. judgement by others, lack of approval from others… What do you think?