Struggles of a Recovering Perfectionist

I grew up in a house where obsessive compulsive was as common as eating breakfast every day. Coming home from school my backpack was placed in its’ home. My shoes were lined up neatly and placed in their respective home (my closet) and my homework was neatly placed back into my backpack after completion for me to take to school the next day. The only complaint I have about all of this? I too because obsessive compulsive. Perfectionism was something I strived for, no matter what the cost. There is one memory of this obsessive compulsiveness in our home that has truly stuck with me over the years. Decorating the Christmas tree. See, my job was to sit on the couch, hand my mom the ornaments and “watch” her decorate the tree. I used to get bored after about 20 minutes and head off to do something else. I vowed to never be that parent, the parent that doesn’t allow their children to decorate the tree because they won’t do it “right.” It’s quite possible that you’re chuckling right now reading this or maybe you think I’m a little nuts, (could be), or maybe you can relate.

I have worked hard to put aside some of my perfectionism ways. The ones that I could see were not all that important and were in fact holding me back. For example, rather then waiting until my blog posts are complete works of perfection (don’t worry I laughed too), I can loosen up a bit and submit many of my posts just the way they are. Or when it comes to meeting with a potential client to remember to do my best and not get caught up in being “perfect” in their eyes. The truth is, I’m not for everyone, and everyone is not for me.

Like many things we may be recovering from, it is all too easy to slip back into old habits. As a recovering perfectionist I have to fight off tendencies to not fall back into the trap of demanding my surroundings and the work I produce to be perfect…or else I won’t submit that blog post, or I won’t setup that potential client meeting…

As far as decorating the tree? Yes, I like it to be evenly decorated, ornaments to not be only placed on the lower 2/3’s of the tree, but I have found that there is far more joy in decorating the tree with my young boys, then being alone and trying to make it look “perfect.”

…And I confess, I do go back sometimes to make sure that fragile ornaments are secure and to share some of the decorations with other branches. Remember, I did say I’m a recovering perfectionist!




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