I am a perfectionist by nature. I want to be perfect in everything I do. On the other hand I don’t believe in myself. It’s a vicious circle of expecting myself to do something perfect, to coming short, to believing I fail at everything. It seems to go from one extreme to the next. I am slowly working through these feelings and trying to bring myself to a middle ground. One thing I have let go of is the feeling that I need to do everything. My perfectionast mind used to tell me I needed to have the perfectly clean and decorated house, the perfectly cooked supper, the perfect schedule. I never wanted to say no to anything because I felt guilty. I mean there are so many good things to say yes to! I wanted to be the perfect business owner, the perfect housewife, and the perfect daughter/in-law. As I type that I think pssh, why am I writing all that in that past tense? Who am I kidding I still struggle with all of that, some more than others. Even though I still do struggle with it all, I have found ways that work for me to handle it better.
- Examine the areas of your life that need to be more efficient. For example, I don’t mind cooking, but I like sewing more. I dread when I have to stop sewing to make supper. Half the time I didn’t even know what I was making. After supper was made and eaten, it was on to the glorious dishes. It took up so much of my time. I tried meal planning and it made it slightly better, but I still dreaded the time it took to cook and clean up. I started looking into freezer meals. We try to eat as healthy as we can, and what I was finding was many of the freezer meals had cream soups in them, or other unhealthy ingredients. Then I found New Leaf Wellness. She makes a few different Ebooks that have healthy freezer meals recipes. I bought the bundle and tried them out. We love them. They are easy to make, healthy, and really good. Now I choose a day at the beginning of the month and make about 20 meals. I pull a meal out of the freezer the night before, then in the morning plop it in the crockpot and bam supper is ready without the mess or time. It has been a huge time saver. On the other nights I either make something easy like Taco’s or a salad. By changing the way I cook supper I was able to take a burden off myself. Maybe cooking isn’t where you wish to cut back on time, maybe it is something else. Whatever is stressing you out, examine it and see if there is a better more time efficient way to do it.
- Ask for help. When I am struggling to keep up with all that needs done I have learned to ask Loren for help. Early on in our marriage I just wanted to do it all because A) I felt he didn’t know how to do it “right”, and B) I didn’t want to admit I didn’t have it under control. Then one Christmas season I had so many Etsy orders coming in, I couldn’t keep up. He had to help out. It was then I learned how grateful I was for the help even if it wasn’t how I would have done it. Lately Loren has been making our breakfast shakes before work. Which is an area recently I asked for help in. It doesn’t seem like a huge thing, but it really does help out so in turn it does feel like a huge deal for me. It doesn’t matter who you ask for help, your mom, husband, friend, maybe even hiring a babysitter so you can have some freedom. Whatever it is you need help with acknowledge it and ask! You will be glad you did.
- Let it Go. This one is hard for me. My child is a whirlwind child. She is constantly on the go and constantly into everything. I have abandoned the idea that my house will be clean. There are toys scattered all over constantly. If I even attempted to clean up after her I would be doing it all day long. I have let a clean house go. Atleast during this stage of my life. As much as it stresses me out to look everywhere and see clutter, know it’s ok. I have learned to pick where I spend my time since I can’t do it all. This may just be a stage in your life that you know will change. The mindset that it won’t always be this way, will help you let it go a little easier.
- Learn to say no. This is one is even harder. I have major guilt when I say no. We all only have 24 hours in our day. Our time is limited and we literally cannot do it all. We may think we can, but most likely we will end up a tired frazzled crazy mess. I have started reading the book The Best Yes by Lysa Turkerset and it is really good. I am learning to say yes to the things that I can be the most effective and useful at, and no to the things I don’t think I can be. Because if we say yes to everything, we will only give ourselves half heartedly to them. Our minds are constantly thinking how to get the next thing done. When we say no to things, we have the ability to put our best effort into the yes things. I know it will be disappointing to some people when they are told no, but I am learning to do it in a good way. We all are busy and we all know the feeling of being overwhelmed so when I am told no, it may feel disappointing, but I realize that person probably wants to say yes, they just can’t. I respect that.
- Give yourself some grace and focus on doing the next right thing. This is a truth I know. I know in my head that I can’t be perfect and do it all, but it doesn’t reach my heart. It’s something I battle with daily. I really try not to let it take me down though. I can get into a my own little pitiful pit of depression and want to give up at even trying. It all feels overwhelming so why do any of it? I know that isn’t the right attitude so I keep going. Even when I don’t feel like it. I don’t magically just feel better. Sometimes it is weeks before I finally pull myself out of the poor me state. During those feelings when the truth doesn’t reach my heart I really try to focus on doing the next right thing. When I look at the big picture I feel overwhelmed. When I choose to do the next right thing, life feels more manageable.
All these things help me out greatly when I start feeling overwhelmed. If you are a perfectionist like me and want to do it all, I pray you can give yourself some grace and accept that you can’t. It’s ok, and by accepting the fact that we can’t do it all doesn’t mean we fail, it means we are human. It means we are trying our hardest to do our best without stressing out. By letting go of the need to do it all, we can give our full heart to the things we are best at. For me doing great at one thing is much better than doing ok on lots of things.
What about you? I would love to hear any tips you have!!