I have struggled in my life with the trap of perfectionism. It keeps me from getting started on things, it causes me anxiety, and its like chasing that ever elusive carrot. For what? IF I arrived at perfection in a certain area, then what would I do? Start the whole crazy process over again?
I have new mantra. “Progress, Not Perfection.” And its really helping. I mean it! I think I am gonna put it on a T-shirt. Forward motion is my goal.
We had an incident this week that beautifully illustrated my new mantra. We were sitting at the dentist office AFTER our appointment waiting. We were waiting on a ride because our car wouldn’t go when we started it. Did I mention it had already been a long day? Well, thankfully the girls had some toys with them to keep them occupied.
During this time of waiting and playing, we had a doll that had the unfortunate occurrence of losing a hand. We looked everywhere, retraced our steps… but just couldn’t find it.
My older daughter (who REALLY struggles with crippling perfectionism as well) was distraught at first. She finally gave in and said, “Well, we’ll just put it where no one can see it,” as she tucked the arm behind the doll’s back.
This made me sad, and of course, I too was upset that the doll wasn’t perfect anymore.
After a while, as the play continued, I noticed something. The arm had come out from behind the back and I heard the word “cannon” in the dialogue. I leaned in a little closer and said, “what’s happening now?” Turns out this girl now had super powers of some kind shooting out of her cannon arm.
[noun prog-res, -ruh s or, esp. British, proh-gres; verb pruh–gres]
noun- 1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage.
This is the best of what we can hope for right? In every area of our life- spiritual growth, health, finances, relationships… just KEEP moving forward. Then suddenly you’ll look back and realized that stub has now become a CANNON. Yeah!