Another Monday joining Bernadette from Haddon Musings, being thankful for things large and small and in between!
I was just thinking about the fact that I used to struggle with ‘the perfectionism complex’, and am so glad that for the most part I finally realized that it is futile to attempt to be perfect.
When I was younger and also not so young, I hated to make mistakes. I’m not sure when it started to bother me so much. Maybe it was when I was in school, and being very shy. A few times I can remember being laughed at or embarrassed when I answered a question incorrectly. It made me much less likely to hold my hand up when the teacher asked. I can even remember a teacher in Grade 6 or 7, who told us that since there was going to be an observer in his classroom, he wanted everyone to hold up their hand when he asked for an answer. He said to hold up your left hand if you knew the answer, or your right hand if you didn’t know the answer. So I held up my right hand! He picked me by mistake and then ridiculed me because I didn’t; slamming his ruler on the desk as he did so. I was mortified! I don’t think I ever told my mother even, as she probably would have put in a call to the school.
Anyway, I went through much agony different times through my life getting so upset when I would make a mistake. This was very difficult to deal with as I struggled with intermittent depression through most of my adult life. Thankfully, I have not for the past several years. It makes it hard for relationships also, as one expects others to be perfect too. It is not a reasonable expectation to do so, because it just isn’t going to happen!
There are times when it almost sneaks back into my thinking, even as I have tried to learn new things such as painting. But I catch myself, before it takes root and it’s such a relief.
So if you’re like-minded and tempted to expect perfection, I hope you’ll be kinder to yourself!
I’m not perfect…. and I’m so grateful not to worry about trying anymore!