Monday, 22 July 2013

Journal Fodder 365 - Prompt #9

Always a good subject - perfectionism is the next prompt to view my life through as I work my way through Eric Scott and David Modler's book.

They suggest thinking about things such as what sort of grip perfectionism has on your life, whether it matters what other people think, and why it is easy to see our faults but not our accomplishments.

The thoughts that came out were about how, when we strive for perfection, we focus on tiny details and lose sight of the big picture. We end up putting a lot of energy into something with very little reward. After all, if I make that circle perfect, it doesn't make the page look that much better compared with the time and anxiety expended. 

We start to doubt our abilities, compare ourselves with others, put ourselves under unnecessary pressure, find faults where no-one else can see them, and become harsh judges not just of ourselves, but also of others. Perfectionism leads to dissatisfaction and discontentment.

I don't think I've ever been a true perfectionist. I always want to do a good job, and I can easily see where I could have been better, but I don't get hooked up on it. I've learned to let things go and not beat myself up about it. Five minutes of bewailing the faults is my limit because what's the point? I need to learn from the mistakes and move on.  

I live an imperfect life because I am an imperfect human being. Personally, I'd rather be happy and mess up sometimes than strive for perfection that I will never be able to achieve on my own. That's where my faith allows grace and mercy in. Though sometimes we find it so much easier to extend it to others and fail to apply it to ourselves. 

Remember, the most anyone can ask of you - including yourself - is to do your best. 

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