Updated: Feb 12, 2021
Oooh Failure. Everyones favorite topic.
I had a friend who celebrated their failures once a week, I believe if I remember correctly they were called Failure Fridays. We should all be failing. I will say it again because I know it made you uncomfortable. WE SHOULD ALL BE FAILING. Okay, I also said it again because it made me uncomfortable too..
Failure is the lack of success. What makes us think we should have success at every thing we do. Often when I talk about perfectionism, I talk a little bit about ego. Yes, perfectiism is often created in environments where the behavior is reinforced (whether positively or negatively) and we begin to become attached with whatever that outcome is. But I also like to add, there’s a lilll bit of ego that can come along with it. Nonetheless, we like to control our negative feelings by making sure everything turns out “right.” In order to do that we have to expect that we are always successful in our endeavors. We tell ourselves that “of course you can’t be perfect” but we still expect it. I know I can not be the only person who does this?
Look. You will never achieve perfectionism. Not today, not tomorrow and you didn’t yesterday. Not as a partner, parent, teacher, therapist, coronor, friend, cat mother or anything else. Ever. So, if this is the case, what do we do with the discomfort from not being perfect? Well, I think we lean into it. We jump right on in. We make amends for our mistakes and relish in our humanity AND we lament that we can’t accept our perfectionism and sit in the discomfort that comes from striving for it and obsessing about. See, can’t even be perfect about not being perfect.
Next time you find yourself engaging in perfectionism ask:
Why do I want this outcome?
Why do I think I need this outcome?
What is the worst thing that will happen if I don’t get this outcome?
Will I be able to tolerate it?
And what are my thoughts and emotions telling me?