I’m not sure how I found it, but I’m glad I did… because it reminds me that I’m not the only person in the universe to suffer from Perfectionism, which can lead to other states of mind like Cleanliness & Organization, Competitiveness, Self Doubt and yes, even Anger.
Additionally, I’m reminded that I’m not the only person out there who spends afternoons wishing she could just let loose, cast her inhibitions into the wind and float about in a cloud of blissfully unaware, no-cares-in-the-world happiness without stopping to clean the crumbs off of the counter, enter an event into her dayplanner or give herself a hard time for not vacuuming out her car in two months.
I’m not the only person who takes two hours to pick up 15 items at the grocery store if I’m shopping alone, agonizing over brands and nutrition doing complex cost analysis on her fingers and toes. And I’m probably not the only person who would love to participate in karaoke — if only I could ensure that I wouldn’t make a total jackass out of myself.
Perfectionism can be about having to make the right choice all the time, to put your best foot forward every day, and to monitor your achievements every step of the way.
In a nutshell, Perfectionism means my house is always ready to receive guests, to break out the tequilla and start an impromptu dance party in the middle of the kitchen at midnight — but often I am not.
Ann speaks of learning to embrace humility in the journey to let go of the death grip we have on Perfectionism… but I wonder how people who are hard-wired to avoid placing themselves in situations where they will buy the wrong peanut butter, forget the lyrics when singing out loud or fail to relax enough to not care if they mess up the steps to a dance will ever allow themselves to accept anything less than the best?
I’m not looking for a cure — Perfectionism leads me to be meticulous and careful, considerate and organized. It helps me to be good at the things that I focus my time and energy on, achieving a relative skill along with an acute awareness of how well my own skill stacks up to others who possess the same talents.
But it’s that acute awareness that brings about my dark side… which is why I am seeking to come to a better terms of agreement with my Perfectionism. I’d like to be able to celebrate my strengths without looking harder at my weaknesses, or to quit doubting my aptitude for talents that I admire in others. To achieve a 20-minute solo grocery run or to have fun playing Wii no matter how awkward I look and feel.
While we’re at it, why don’t I just go ahead and say that I’d like to be the one instigating the midnight tequilla dance parties?! Inhibitions? Schminhibitions!