Morning Tea: Perfectionism

Perfectionism plagues every area of my life. My schooling, my work, my writing, my relationships, even keeping house. It’s my Achilles heel.

Wanting everything to be perfect results in procrastination and, in extreme cases, failure to ever get started. I can think of plenty of times I had an idea for a blog post but never actually created it because “it just didn’t feel like a good time.” Newsflash: Any time inspiration hits is a good time.

So, perfectionism. I’m finally starting to see how this is a weakness disguised as a strength. It is fear of not being good enough. Hey, that sounds like me! 😀

There’s a quote that comes to my mind when someone tries to contest perfectionism:

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

Even before I ever read that quote, that is a belief I held.

But that’s only a half-truth!

Yes, we may catch “excellence” in the pursuit of perfection, but what is excellence? Outside achievement? What good is that if you still feel like a failure? This has been my experience. People tell me they are proud of me all the time, and while I politely say thank you, all I can think is “For what?”

Another thing we are SURE to catch in the pursuit of perfection is disappointment. Always, always, always. It’s never perfect so it’s never enough. At least, that’s how it feels.

I literally JUST realized that the person who made that quote famous, Vince Lombardi, was a professional football coach. Not football as the world knows it, but American football, which is essentially a game where the players chase each other for 10 yards at a time and wrestle for an almond-shaped pigskin filled with air. (I live here and I still don’t get it.)

Okay, so a perfectionist mindset might work in a sports game, when the pressure is on and you know you have to push your body to its maximum limits to get the result you want, but it’s a game. That kind of mindset simply isn’t sustainable long-term. I have been applying this quote grossly out of context. Furthermore…

A *professional football coach.* He chose a very different path in life than me. So why should I give one squat what he has to say about perfection? Perfectionism is sabotaging me and outside validation disguised as “excellence” just isn’t worth it anymore.

Annie: 1
Perfection: 0

featured image via Pixabay

One thought on “Morning Tea: Perfectionism

  1. Honestly, I hate when quotes are used out of context just for all the reasons you’ve presented here. How many of us have destroyed what little self-esteem/worth we had in a perfectionistic striving of thinness and invisibility? Perfect = death in such scenarios. Oh, and I don’t get US football either – too violent. I don’t even want to strive for excellence in recovery. I always joke to people that I graduated from being a perfectionist to being just good enough. Clean the house? That’s good enough. Crochet a whatever? Good enough. Anorexia still wants me to strive for perfect invisibility, etc but my focus is on recovery all the same, a recovery that is simply “good enough.”

    Liked by 1 person

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