Monday, February 27, 2012

Confessions of a Perfectionist

  • Standing up for myself is painfully difficult, and in the rare moments that I do... I spend hours rethinking what I said and worrying about it. "I should have..." "I shouldn't have..." (this happened yesterday)
  • Trying to learn that sometimes DONE is better than PERFECT. I have piles of "unfinished" projects and it's time to commit to the "final touches" and call them complete.
  • Lately I've had a hard time giving myself credit for the things that I do well. Time to stop comparing myself to everyone else and celebrate my own strengths.
  • Appearances can be deceiving. Learning that if it looks perfect on the outside, I probably don't know the whole story.
  • Antidotes I'm finding to perfectionism: honesty, faith, confidence, unselfishness, forgiveness, gratitude, etc.
  • Publishing vulnerable posts like is very uncomfortable. Select All and Delete= very tempting.
I'm curious, what do you do to fight perfectionsim? Any insights you have on this matter that you'd like to share?



Stephanie said...
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Stephanie said...

#1, love the pic of you!
#2, welcome to the club of perfectionists.

As the oldest, bossiest of your siblings (I can freely admit that second part now), I've battled perfectionism. I used to work myself into quite the dither when I was in school. I HAD to get it right, be the best, and so on and so forth . . . ad nauseam. Yes, it's easy to make yourself crazy.

Like you mentioned in your post, I slowly learned that DONE was sometimes (usually?!) better than PERFECT. It's taken a while to get here, but now, if I can look at a project and say that -- given the circumstances (health, sleep, time, ability, resources, etc.) -- I sincerely gave the situation my best effort, then I can be satisfied.

Like many other things in life, getting to this spot is process of trial and error. When I start to get frustrated and angry with myself, I try to remember that the Lord doesn't expect total perfection from us right now (See Alma 32:26-35+). He knows that it's a process and is happy whenever we move forward.

Maybe that's the trick right there -- DOing something, even imperfectly, allows us to keep moving forward along the path towards perfection.

To put it another way, in the words of Dorrie from "Finding Nemo," as long as we "just keep swimming," we will get there.

You have an amazing facility to open up your heart and soul to others, LJ. You have no idea how much that might mean to someone, how it might help them move forward. You are doing a great work and I'm sure the Lord is pleased with your efforts.

Love you -- and see you next week!!

Whitney said...

Beautiful picture of you Lynley! You are just so pretty!

This is such a good post! Man oh man do I know what you mean. I have fought perfectionism my whole life. My mom has something that she often reminds me of. She reminds me that I am always very patient with other people and their weaknesses and faults, but very impatient with mine. She tells me to treat myself as well as I treat others.

It's kind of funny. Kind of a reversed golden rule, but I have found it's good advice. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself to be nice to Whitney.

Lynley Jill said...

Thanks so much Steph and Whitney! Your words really brightened my day and gave me great insights. I'm determined to learn more about the roots of perfectionism and best ways to fight it! Keep moving forward and be kind to yourself. Great thoughts!!

Ali said...

First of all, LOVE that pic of you. :) you are so beautiful. :)
Next, I am also a bossy older sister, so I relate to Stephanie :)
Finally, I just remember that I am a daughter of God.
And that always cheers me up. :)
Love you! Let's photo shoot sometime! :)