100 Words: Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

perfection-mythLike a dog chasing a car, I chase perfection and then say, “I never catch this thing … and what is it, anyway?” Yet I continue to be lured.

As a reminder, we have this plaque on our front door: “Perfect without Perfection.”

Sometimes perfection entices with the mirage of safety from criticism or of controlling life. Now, perfection is stopping me from creating a routine that I fear won’t meet my vision: integration of teacher/student, body/mind, left/right brain, you/me. Dr. Siegel says, “Integration is Health.” Perfection says, “Avoidance prevents imperfection.” Facebook COO says, “Done is better than perfect.”

Done is good.

  1. Madeline said:

    Thanks for sharing, Susan. I’ve read all of the posts about perfectionism and they hit home pretty hard. It’s very challenging. It’s that vulnerability thing! I’m learning to respect the creative process and become comfortable showing my work to the world before ‘I’ consider it perfect. Sometimes it feels like I’m dragging myself kicking and screaming through these exposures, but it’s what I value in others . . .so here we go!

  2. RIGHT! I so get this. I remember seeing Bonnie Raitt in concert years and years ago. She sang The Feeling of Falling which is about being sober but missing the sensation of being high. She sat at her piano and sang her heart out. When the song was over, instead of smoothly going to the next. She said, “Hold on. I need a minute after that one.” Since I’ve been teaching, I’ve thought THAT’S the kind of teacher I want to be. I want to really show up 100% and not hide the messy stuff. And as you say, I have to keep dragging myself to that place. Here we go!

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