Progress, not Perfection

“Progress, not perfection” is something I need to repeat to myself often.

I’m pretty sure perfectionism is a crippling disease, not a positive character trait. It cripples the person striving to achieve it, and it is detrimental to those who live with that person as well. The standards that can never be met, the heights that can never be reached, the performance that is never good enough. It’s defeating and sucks the life right out of you, and everyone around you, yet we wear it like a badge of honour. I fight it, every frigging day!

  • In my head, I am never good enough. I could always be just that l-i-t-t-l-e bit better, do that little bit more.
  • In my head, I need to perform for acceptance.
  • In my head, I never meet the mark, always come up lacking, and if you’re my child, then my performance and success is measured by your performance and success.

I was robbed when my children were growing up. Instead of enjoying them and accepting them for who they were (like I, thankfully, am able to do today), I found fault, I always had to point out the one way that they could do better. “You did a great job, but……” and then would raise another bar, set another standard, and made them feel like they were never enough.

Without a doubt, this is my biggest parenting regret.

Perfection is an illusion, a mirage, and a trap.

Should you EVER manage to convince yourself that you arrived, there is always a person, a circumstance, or a Facebook or Pinterest post that will quickly, and mercilessly, burst your bubble and, in your head, send you right back to square one.

It’s taken years to begin my journey of becoming free from the tyranny of perfection… twenty, to be exact. Yet I still battle it every single day…..in my head. It has taken intentionality and perseverance to overcome. Some days I make it, most days I don’t, at least not in my head.

But I know, if I hadn’t begun this freedom journey 20 years ago, I would not enjoy the level of relationship that I have with my kids today. THEY would not have the freedom they have today…. The freedom to learn, the freedom to fall, and the freedom to fail, and the freedom to grow, evolve, and overcome the tyranny of perfection.

True freedom can be messy. It can get worse before it gets better. It can be a revolving cycle of failure (my F word) and progress, but never perfection. So stop looking for it.

Start celebrating your wins you do have them!!! Don’t let the failures pile up and weigh you down! Each day is a new day, start fresh!!

  • Be honest!
  • Be real!
  • Be encouraged!!

Be warned!!

  • You may lose people in your life….people you really love and care about!

You will also…

  • Find peace, performance is effing draining!
  • Retain the relationships that matter.
  • Have the people in your life that love you for YOU, however uncomfortable and screwed up that may look like THAT DAY!

You owe it to yourself, and to the people that you love, to break free from the tyranny of perfection!!