Compassion for Perfection

It’s is almost 7:30 PM where I am and I realized I still hadn’t filmed a video for today. 

To be honest, a part of me just didn't want to film one at all. 

I've been sitting here judging how today has gone and especially judging:

How I'm really tired...

How I personally feel….

That my office is too dark…..

Then there's this other part of me that's like:

 "No, you've got to film no matter what because it's what you're committed to." 

Somewhere in between the two extremes, I realized that I have some content to share for today. It's about how to have compassion for perfectionism.

My guess is if you also can’t relate to being a perfectionist or maybe if you don't even know you are one, this is still a video that could be super valuable for you. 

So what do I mean when I say having compassion for perfectionism? 

Well, first of all, people’s issues with perfectionism lie in the assertion that perfectionism is a problem. I don't think being a perfectionist is a problem….

Having a radical case of it myself for the entire 27 years I've been alive, I know that it tends to create a lot of judgment. It also applies pressure, and it makes me feel like nothing I ever do will be good enough.

Those things can be draining. Because of that level of perfectionism when I achieve incredible goals, I still don't feel completely satisfied because there's always that little itch in the back of my mind that could have been better.

So from that place, why would anyone want to have compassion for that? 

Here's the kicker I know for a fact that perfectionism is just my own commitment and integrity turned up a little too loud. It's just a way that I express who I am in the world and what I'm committed to.

So having compassion for perfectionism is actually taking a step back and acknowledging what perfectionism is created in service of. 

So first of all, let’s take inventory. 

Do you identify as a perfectionist? And if you do, what's the greatest costs or consequences that's having on you right now? 

What are the gifts that it brings you? 

For me, the gifts that it brings me is I tend to be the most reliable person on any team and I never forget anything. I carry on until the last minute of the last day for any project goal until it's complete. 

Seriously, you should ask my buddy Alex Terranova about that! I'm editing his book right now and we constantly joke that this thing wouldn't be done for seven more years since I'm on the project with them!

How is perfectionism and expression of how committed you are or how much you care about things?

I think once you start to have compassion for that part of you, you can also take a look at other ways to express that commitment and integrity that is not so draining. For me, as someone who's currently in the impact of my perfectionism, I am clear that the thing I'm willing to take on next is rest because nothing gets better without rest. 

I am also looking at how to voice my commitment in such a way that I'm being overly supported instead of feeling it's solely up to me to produce the results that I see. 

What do you think it is for you? 

It could be creating more partnerships and relationships. It could be creating more accountability for yourself in a way that isn't like your punishing yourself. 

It could be bringing the conversation to your therapist or your coach or whoever it is in your life that supports you in these conversations. Maybe you've never thought about it before, or if you don't have the aforementioned specialist in your life, it could be me.

Either way, I don't have the perfectly knotted bow to wrap this all up with and consider that is also a practice in compassion for the perfection. With that, I'm willing to trust that there's value in what I have shared and leave it here for tonight. Take care.