Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tribe Life Tuesday: When Perfect Isn't Enough

A weekly post from my childhood to grown-up friend Carrie ~ 
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!

Happy TribeLife Tuesday! 
Let’s talk perception and perfection: 2 P’s that have a tendency to become runaway freight trains in our lives. But why is that? Let’s break it down. 
Perception: the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses; a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.
There are two sides to this coin: the way we perceive and the way we are perceived by others and, friends, we can do something about both. 
Our perception of our lives directly affects the amount of joy, love, and happiness we will experience. So it is vital that we keep the lenses of our perception clean. (For more on lenses click here.) The way we view, feel, and know the things around us determines so much. For example, my husband and I have been in a season of transition and the roles we fill have changed significantly. I have always been an equal financial contributor to our household, and recently I have taken a backseat in that regard so that I could focus on building an empire for our future. As you know, at the start of every build there’s not very much there, just the bare bones. So during this time, I have had to face many of myself: perceptions. 
Then there's how others perceive us. This is such an easy adjustment. 
Here it is: 
That’s it! Just be yourself, with all of your flaws and all of your strengths. You don’t need to manage others perceptions of you, you only have to be you! 
I used to find much of my value in what I did, how well I performed, and the results I got, so when all of those things became non-factors it was a game changer in my soul. When results were not instant and growth was slow I became uncomfortable with who I was because my performance was not producing what I expected. So the mental impression I had of myself was sooty. 
Naturally, I was looking for some reason to perform. And I began putting those reasons on my husband. You know all the “shoulds”. 
That I should be further along in empire building.
I should be doing better.
I should be doing more so I can take the pressure off Joe. 
But the reality is that Joe was not thinking that at all. In fact, he was perfectly fine with the pressure. But my perception of me was causing me to be stressed out and frustrated with myself. Friends, if you have soot on the lenses of your perception, please for the sake of all things magnificent, wipe them clean. 
You may be asking how? Well, I’ve got you covered. 
  1. Tribe. Surround yourself with people who will speak the truth in love. These are the ones who encourage you to be the healthiest and best version of you.
  2. The All-Around. Create a space in your home for you. Let this be the one spot that is clean, orderly, & peaceful. Our minds and souls do their best work when the atmosphere is right, so create your space just for you. 

Now onto that other P: Perfectionism! 
I have never considered myself a perfectionist and I still wouldn’t. I will say I value quality so I will put in the extra effort to do things well but I won’t hold myself or my work to an absurd standard of flawlessness. Let’s be honest, there’s only been one human who has ever and will ever be perfect. And not to be cavalier, but even He was slaughtered because of others' perceptions of him.
So what is perfection? It’s the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. It’s the action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible. 
If you are a perfectionist, hold on tight because I want to free you from the roller coaster of -ISM. The definition of perfection brings me more freedom than confinement because of this right here, as faultless as possible. That says DO YOUR BEST, get help, then release it. Refusal to release what you put your hands to until it is faultless will have you in a constant state of withholding. And we need what you have. 
Make that piece of art, be it a book, a blog, a kid, a marriage, a home, as good as you can and then LET IT GO. Your creativity levels will increase, your motivation will soar, and you will feel better. Plus, the world will get to see you and that is the best gift you can give. 
I believe that perfectionism is nothing more than a scapegoat we use to hide our mess. It’s a way to grasp for control of something on the surface, instead of digging in deep and addressing the ways we feel out of control. It's a way to keep the depth inside us hidden. 
So if you find yourself in this struggle, you’re not alone. Let’s do some damage to this lie that you have to do or be perfect. Take some time this week, grab a notebook (yes, the archaic pen and paper) and answer this: what drives me to refuse to give myself permission to release what I have when it is good? 
Tribe, you are the best! 

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