PERFECTIONISM - The killer of all joy
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Are you God? No? Then you aren't perfect! Shame on you! When are you finally going to get this right?
The coming New Year seemed like a perfect time to remind myself of this. So how can we avoid the trap of New Year's resolutions that don't stick? We could have a challenge for perfectionists to not do things perfectly. For every week that you set yourseIf a goal and don't quite reach it happily you win and you have proven to yourself and everyone around you that you aren't perfect and that you might as well quit trying (being perfect only, of course). My head is starting to spin, what am I really trying to say here? Am I talking to myself? I'm sooo losing control!
So let's try again: How about setting goals that I have a reasonable amount of control over like:" I will try to eat junk food only on one day of the week" or I will get my heart rate up for at least 30 minutes/day. When we set the goals we should allow margin, like "I know I can usually fit in 45 minutes of exercise/day but I'll plan on 30 minutes and do more if I enjoy it that day," or, "I was planning to only eat junk food only on Sunday but if I end up having a little on Monday I can still do well from Tuesday to Saturday. If I don't feel the need for junk food on Sunday it's a bonus.
I skip goals that I have little control over altogether, like planning to not get sick, never to get mad at anyone, remembering everyone's Birthday, you fill in the blank.
Most people are disappointed or discouraged not because bad things happen but because bad things happen that they did not expect. Another definition of perfectionism is to never expect myself to make any mistakes.
So, unless you are working your way up the ladder to become God sometime soon (and the position isn't even open right now) don't let perfectionism kill your joy this coming year!