I have known that I am a perfectionist for many, many years now. I struggled with it all through childhood and into my early years as an adult. My father is a perfectionist, so I get it honest.
I remember the day I ran smack into my perfectionistic nature and realized that I was going to have to let go of it. I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked out of my bedroom in the little 3 bedroom ranch we lived in at the time. My oldest two daughters were about 4 years old and 1 year old. As I walked out, first thing in the morning, and I looked around at the chaos that was my living room… the thought that went off in my head is…. “I am never going to be able to keep up with this.”
At least not to the standard that was set in my head at that time. I got used to chaos and disarray and toys everywhere. It became the new norm. And after 20 years of living like this, I thought I had recoverED….
But… apparently not. As I prepare to sell my house and move to the next phase of my life, I found myself being held to a standard that was far above the one I had gotten so used to living in…. And I have been struggling to meet it!!! Oh, how I have struggled!!
I stopped myself a couple of times and asked myself if I really needed to be working toward this standard. And I decided, after lots of soul searching, that I did not, in fact, need to worry about trying to meet the incredibly high standards that were being set before me. I realized that it didn’t serve me and I decided to let go of it.
Yay me! You might say… well, I said that too. I was so proud of myself for letting go of the ideals that society had set and doing my own thing….
Until I realized that even with that, even with letting go of that incredibly high standard that was being set for me in one way …. I was still a perfectionist!! So, I wasn’t going to get all the little repairs done on my house that had been accumulating the past few years, but I could clean it and stage it. And I worked hard at that too. And I stressed over it and I did everything that I could physically do, including asking and receiving help.
And when it came down to the last day… the day before it was to go live, I looked around and all I could see was what I hadn’t gotten done… In my mind I had failed… yet again. I notified the realtor that it just wasn’t quite ready, but that I didn’t want to wait any longer. I left the house and she came in. She messaged me later and said “the house looks great, what were you so worried about?”
…. uh …. really? You think it looks great? Then what the fuck was I killing myself over, stressing about?! Oooooh… that’s right… I’m a perfectionist. But I’m a recovering one!! With each lesson like this I learn more and more and continue to make changes in how I see and interact with the world! Freeing up more time and space in my life and in my own head for Being My True Self!!