The dishes are sitting in the sink, the laundry isn’t put away, the to-do list is constantly growing longer, my creativity is waining, and then someone shows up at the door and sees me in my little mess. My mind starts racing with thoughts of inadequacy. I begin to compare myself with that other person, that person who always seems to have it together. It snowballs from there. Something as simple as one misplaced paper can send me into a stress frenzy. By the time Loren gets home, I am a grump. Can anyone relate to this? The more stressed I get about something the harder it is to complete. I don’t feel motivated to do it, because what’s the point, I can’t do it all!
Then my sweet husband comes home. Instead of telling me how I need to keep the house cleaner he gives me a hug and tells me I am being too hard on myself. That I am good enough just how I am. Just recently he told me thanks for everything I do (while we were standing right next to a dirty pile of dishes). So why do I seek for perfection?
We need to strive for grace. Give ourselves a break, a little space to breath. I think the pursuit of perfection will lead us to live a stressed out unfulfilled life. We are only human, we can only do so much. Sometimes I think we can strive so hard for perfection that we miss what is really important. I can go all day trying to create a perfect house, getting all the dishes done, folding all the laundry, dusting, etc, and come to the end of the day frazzled and grumpy. What is more important? Striving to be a perfect housewife that gets it all done but is grumpy. Or getting half of it done and welcoming my husband home with excitement and cheerfulness. I choose the second one. I think it is so easy to get wrapped up in the busy craziness of life that it is easy to loose focus on what is really important.
A few thoughts on how to squelch the quest for perfection:
1. Think about what is the most important to you. Don’t get caught up in what it should be, or what it is for someone else. Decide for yourself what it is and make it number one.
2. Figure out what relaxes you. Maybe it is running, or reading, or coffee with a friend. What helps you unwind? Do it. I can feel guilty taking time for myself when I feel like other “more important” things need to go done. If you don’t ever take a break and just relax, your energy and creativity will wane. For me I think I am going to be more productive if I don’t take the time to relax. I have found though I just wear myself rugged and what I am doing is getting done at half of my best. I am not all in it because I didn’t take time to rest and refresh. Don’t feel guilty taking a break and doing what you love.
3. Let it go. Know that if it doesn’t get done it is not the end of the world. There is another day waiting. If you get the most important things done, let yourself off the hook. Make a to-do list for yourself with the most important things listed first. If you don’t get to the bottom, understand that it is okay.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison. You are uniquely you. Don’t try to be someone else. It is easy to look at someone and think that they have it all together. I am sure they don’t. We all have struggles in our lives. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Find the positives in your life and focus on them. Don’t get caught up in feeling inferior to someone else. You are your own kind of beautiful and you have so many talents. Focus on that instead of where there are struggles.
5. If you are a perfectionist by nature, just know that you are most likely setting your expectations for yourself too high. Start looking at yourself through eyes of grace instead of perfection.
It’s time to lay perfection aside. You are way to valuable to be spending your time seeking perfection.