Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letting Perfection Go

Yesterday's blog was about perfection in a positive way, in how God perceives us as being "perfectly made". Today I'm going to talk about the other extreme of perfectionism. This is something with which I struggle. And I know many others that do as well.

Sometimes it's about waiting for the perfect timing or circumstances, which may never come. Waiting for the perfect timing to start a project, make a call, leave a job, start a business, take a risk, have a baby, get married.  Whatever the situation might be for you. We often want the circumstances to be "just right". Other times it's about having perfectionism in a project. Or it may be expecting perfection from our kids, husbands, colleagues, bosses, friends.

We expect a lot! I also thing it comes back (again) to fear and procrastination. We are fearful that the outcome might be judged or criticized or might not work, instead of accepting some failures along the way and adjusting as we go.

I remember waiting to start this blog because I wanted the timing and circumstances to be "just right". I wanted it to be 63 days and so I rationalized that if I started it on this day, it would end on that day, and what would that mean in terms of dates on the calendar and goals I wanted to achieve. And then there was a holiday, so best not start then. And eventually I just had to start it! And so I did! It was my birthday, and that seemed somehow appropriate to "birth" a new project! So, I made it "perfect" in my mind. The truth is, I could have picked any day and it would have started all the same. And the truth is, I've enjoyed this blog every day since I started it! So, I ask myself, what was I waiting for?

Perfectionism leads us to waiting. Sometimes we wait too long and then the timing feels wrong, so we give up or we settle. I am proud to say that I kicked myself out of one of my perfectionist habits today. I had been contemplating a project of rewriting a series of training documents. I discovered that another colleague had already put a considerable amount of effort into a similar project. She was willing to share her training platform with me. I must say I resisted the offer at first, thinking that it wasn't "exactly" what I wanted and that I really needed to develop my own from scratch. Today, I asked myself "why". What "really" was I going to accomplish by doing that. So instead of spending 30+ hours of effort trying to come up with the "perfect" program, I adopted my friends program, accepting that I may need to make some minor compromises in what I would have otherwise produced myself. That was a 30 second decision, and the project was complete! And I'm grateful to my friend for her willingness to share her efforts with me.

So, I'm just going to offer up that if "perfectionism" is causing you to "stall" in some areas of your life or you are "waiting" for the perfect circumstances to arise, stop! Stop waiting! Stop procrastinating. Start "doing"! The perfect time is NOW!

And now I'm going to take some of my own advice and start doing some "doing"!!

Love and Prayers,

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