It doesn't pay to be a perfectionist

July 28, 2011

If I were to try and be spiritual and all philosophical on you right now, you'd probably think I've lost my mind. As of right now, I can't think of anything to tell you that you haven't already heard, someone has said better, or that I have learned recently.


However, one thing does come to mind, now that I think about it. I went to my Chiropractor/Kinesiologist this morning for an adjustment. Not just the cracking of the bones, the manipulating of the tendons, and the stretching of some seriously sore muscles, but an emotional adjustment as well. You might remember-probably not-the trials I was facing back in the spring of '10. Well, since that time, a lot of things have changed. I have changed. My whole perspective has changed, which isn't all the great considering I am dealing with some major issues still {qualifying me for a) a trip to the loony bin, or b) seeing a counselor}.


Yeah, that's how badly those issues that happened in the spring of '10 affected me.


I chose instead to go see my Kinesiologist. Quite amazingly, he has been a God-send! Praise Jesus. Anyway, this morning I mentioned a few things that had been bugging me this week. We (my Kinesiologistand I) went through those issues in a somewhat voodooism manner (you'd have to be there to believe it with your eyes....).


I mentioned that I was feeling pretty dumpy this week. Irritable actually. I was so close to clawing someone's eyes out...that's how crummy I was feeling. Not a feeling I like to have and not one I usually let affect me. But this was a different kind of feeling. It wasn't one of those, "Satin is messing with your mind and you're letting him make you feel this way" kind of deal. It was, I believe, God using my lousy week to bring to light some emotional struggles. Struggled that I have stuffed into the back of my memory bank for too long. Some of this goes way back to when I was five years old.


Pretty amazing how sensitive and impressionable we are at such a young age, huh? Little ones have such a different perspective that adults, even teens, for that matter. They get hurt so easily, especially when you are a naturally hyper-sensitive girl like me.


Anywho...the subjects for today were 1) feeling a loss of control (which is natural for teens to feel, by the way :D), 2) pressure to be great in school and my everyday life, 3) being intimidated by math (seriously, I am afraid of math...you know, like some people are afraid of the dark. Yeah, I know), and 4) that I have, knowingly, a perfectionist complex.


And the latter brings me to the reason for this post:


My Kinesiologist, who is also my chiropractor (hope no one was too confused on that), spoke to me rather seriously on the matter of my perfectionist complex. He said that, while I try to attain this unattainable level of perfection, I am never going to get there. He explained it in a way that made a lot of sense to me, but I am not sure I'll be able to explain it quiet as effectively, though. Worth a shot, I guess.


Basically he said this: "For most of us, being able to accomplish something to the best of our abilities is enough to satisfy. Doing a good job for most people is all they every strive to do, and it's OK with them. They feel no pressure to do any better, be any better. They are content with what they've accomplished in the present...and if there's more work to be done, they'll pick it up tomorrow. They're not going to kick themselves because they didn't finish what they'd set out to do.
    "Sometimes other things take president in our lives and have to come first. The stuff that we'd started out doing can come later. It'll still be there. You must learn to prioritize and set goals for yourself. You're not Wonder Woman. However, I know that for someone like you [me], you feel like you have to keep pushing. Striving for perfection. But the truth is, you're going nowhere.
    "Visualize a  stretch of road in front of you. The first half of that road takes a good amount of effort to walk. But as you try and walk close to the end, the energy you had at the first stretch is becoming harder and harder to find within yourself. And soon, trying to reach the end of that road, which never seems to really end, becomes impossible. You've exhausted all avenues of attainable energy and are not any closer to reaching perfection than when you were when you started out. By trying to achieve perfection, you have mentally and physically drained yourself."


I think sometimes it takes an outsider to tell you what it is you need to hear, but don't want to hear. While I have this compulsive behavior to be a perfectionist, I am going to make it my goal this week to ease up on the reins and just let life come to me. My motto for the week: "Whatever happens, happens. And if it isn't clean, don't worry about it." Of course, I'd still pick it up, but I wouldn't worry about it being spotless. Life is too short for that, right? YEP, SURE IS.


And I am not going to miss out on it just because I am stressing over the tiny details. It's too much work and doesn't allow me to enjoy the imperfect blessings God has given me. Nothing is perfect except God, and I can always count on Him to do that job for me. :D

2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this; I've always been such a perfectionist, even when I was little, and this really helped me. Thanks again! :)

    In His love and light,
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm kind of a perfectionist at times too. I like the analogy your kinesiologist/chiropractor used about the road and draining your energy. Great post Emily! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Please keep your comments clean. So, please no foul language.