Celebrating the Death of Perfectionism
Perfection is a dying commodity……But the demand for excellence is on the rise.
Perfection is a myth.
Perfection is a disease.
Perfection is unattainable.
Excellence on the other hand is something worth striving for. Excellence is within our reach and control.
Most of us never forget our first love. For me I will never forget how she smelled or how I felt when I was around her. It was like no one else in the world mattered and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Her name was Baseball.
Unfortunately, I gave up on her before our relationship could blossom. I’ve said for years it was because I didn’t like the coach I would’ve had entering high school. This was my guise. My excuse. My way of hiding the fact that I might not perform at the level I thought was expected of me (i.e. I might not be perfect).
The truth of the matter is I had let others perceived expectations of me become my driver. My “motivation”. The effort needed to pursue excellence and grow had taken a very abrupt backseat. It was easier to give up “on my terms” (didn’t like the coach or it took up too much time) than to show weakness.
Most of my life I have been afflicted with the disease of perfectionism. As the oldest of 4 brothers, I felt it was my inborn nature to do everything right. I was supposed to set the standard. What I didn’t realize was I was the only one who truly believed this.
I thought I had to be the best on the court, the track, the diamond or in the classroom. This feeling even followed and handicapped me into adulthood.
To be honest, it is hard for me to admit this. Many times I would only give enough effort in order to perform well and not be seen as a failure.
What I realized is I had begun to put what I perceived other people’s expectations of me to be over the effort required to become better and perform with true excellence. To truly be the person I was created to be I was going to have to undergo a massive surgery to remove this disease of perfection from my heart before it infected my soul.
So how do we begin to kill perfectionism in our lives?
1. Realize we are in control of our effort. We are the only ones who can make the choices we make. No one else can make us work any harder than we choose to work. This holds true in our practices, our studies, our careers, our marriages, etc. once this truth takes root in our heart. The fire that spreads will burn brighter and hotter than you can imagine when you are the one striking the match.
2. Don’t play the blame game. We try to point to external factors as the reason we don’t improve or perform well. We all want exposure but we often times wear the mask of fear because we are afraid of being exposed. We fear the judgment of not being perfect.
Instead focus on giving your best effort.
Control your attitude.
3. Realize that sometimes we all fall off of the horse. It’s OK to fail. This is the time to learn and grow. Enough said.
4. Believe you are worth the excellence you’re chasing. There will be times in your life where you may be the only one who believes in you. That’s OK. Stay faithful and stay consistent. You’re worth comes from who you are, not if you’re perfect at something.
Believe in the process. Kill perfectionism before it takes over.
We all have excellence inside of us. It’s up to each of us to decide whether or not we chase it.