Finding What Perfectionism Can Offer Our Self-Care – In Summary

Gold star forehead

Image by cheerytomato via Flickr

We managed to run a series on perfectionism without even knowing it was happening.  Pretty cool.  Perfect?  No.

  1. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  2. Try, Knowing We Will Fail
  3. Loving Me Without Ambivalence
  4. Codependent

Your comments have added to our momentum and interest.  Here are a few from a range of thoughts and opinions:

Jasmine said,

…there’s a fine line between accepting yourself for who you really are and not just who you would like to be…

Patricia didn’t mince words,

I don’t like the word fail as it implies failure which is defeatist. Lots of times I try something and have less success than I would like but that is not failing. It is learning, if only learning what doesn’t work or what not to do again.

I don’t think I would try anything if I knew I was going to fail!

Paula tells us that in her quest toward being perfect she has suffered,

…considerable self-flagellation over the years. i still bear the scars.

Sarah, our literarian, grammarian and editor, channels Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird:

“…I wanted you to see what real courage is…. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win but sometimes you do.”

Marie, who used to be “Livingsuicidal.com,” is now, “Livingvictorious.com” – whoo-ah!  She tells us in her usual courageous style,

Although rationally I know I can’t be perfect, emotionally (I) can’t stop pursuing (perfectionism)…

Carl, strong Carl who shares his weaknesses knowing they don’t have anything to do with weakening him, tells us to,

define the difference between co-dependency and partnership and that the two terms are not interchangeable.

And so I ask you to tell me more because you always say it so well.  Perfectly?  No.

It would be wonderful to hear from the rest of you too!  Speak out!  Connect and lead us into our summary.  Perfectly?  No.

Implications:

  1. Lady Gaga via biology.  How do you understand your biology to be influencing your view of perfectionism?
  2. Our efforts on volition/control.  What is it in regards to your self-grace, (i.e. forgiveness and allowance for ourselves?)
  3. Ambivalence on progress v. limitations and flaws.  How is this conflict affecting you?
  4. Perfectionism on pathologically depending on the opinion of others to qualify us.  Some people call this, “codependence.”  How do you qualify yourself?

Self-Care Tip #276 – Let good come from your propensity to crave perfection.  It can.

12 thoughts on “Finding What Perfectionism Can Offer Our Self-Care – In Summary

  1. I qualify myself internally and externally by being able to measure the effect of doing things with the quality of craftsmanship and performing estimable acts. I’m dependable.

  2. As a clarification to my statement quoted above: my self-flagellation was (and sometimes still is) of the psychological variety, and the scars emotional! LOL

    Both equally painful, but not (quite) as openly visible! LOL

    Sarah’s reference to Atticus Finch is a great code by which to live. I’ll try to remember to incorporate that one in my self-love, self-care quest.

    I differ with Patricia, but I’m fairly certain that the difference is one of semantics. “Failure” and “failing” are not pejorative to me: In fact, they have been among my best teachers in my own quest to live a happier and more fulfilling life.

  3. My grandmother was a perfectionist. My mother expected perfection. I’m a perfectionist. My daughter could almost be labeled OCD. I’d say perfectionism is biological in my family and, because we can see that, we forgive ourselves for being as we are (and they were) and, yet, we keep aiming for perfection…and being frustrated when we never reach it. Thus, the conflict, which we attempt to soothe by depending on others to give us positive feedback about everything we do and then questioning their love and approval even when our backs have been sufficiently patted and our egos qualified. I’d say, for us at least, that covers it…except that, somewhere in all of this perfection thing, we have developed a work ethic that is respected and a self-worth that lets us sleep at night. Perfectly? No. But willing to keep trying? You bet. Ummm. Is this answer good enough? :-)

  4. Perfectionism can make us strive for better and better mental health. Even though we can’t not all be perfect, we never stop trying to better ourselves.

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