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Blogging, Steel-Toes, And Kicking Perfections A$$

boots.jpgA Guest post by Cori Padgett from Big Girl Branding.

Perfection is for losers.

There, I said it.

And I can say that because I used to be a bit of a perfectionist. I’m pot, you’re kettle, and we’re both freakin’ black. Feel better?

And frankly, I still am if I’m honest about it. You could say I’m a “recovering perfectionist”.

Seriously, I think it stems from my slightly O.C.D. tendencies. Tendencies like the insane urge to eat the same amount of M&M’s on each side of my mouth. Only green on the left, only blue on the right.

Or the ridiculous compulsion to leap out of bed at midnight, knowing I already locked the front door… but feeling compelled to check it one more time, “just in case”.

Or my friend who literally will follow the cord from the iron all the way to the wall, KNOWING it’s not plugged in, but making extra sure it isn’t anyway…

Yep…

We’re nuts. Isn’t everyone?

At least a little?

OK, fine, maybe that’s just me… sheesh.

Honestly, striving for perfect is a losing battle. The only perfect being in this world is the Good Lord Himself, and last I checked… I’m not God, how about you?

No one is perfect. And when you’re constantly seeking perfection in everything you do, you’re doomed to a life of dissatisfaction, discontent, and stagnation because you are unable to move forward on any of your goals.

And if you’re a writer and a blogger like me… well let’s just say that if I tried to reach perfection in everything I did… I’d likely still be cleaning vacation homes for a living and praying all of my bills got paid.

So hold on a sec while I give imperfection a big juicy kiss on the lips in monumental gratitude for saving me.

Muah! Now seriously, let’s talk more about you.

  • If you’re struggling each day within the chokehold of perfection…
  • If you’re wasting time and valuable resources trying to get something “just right” before you do anything with it…
  • Or if you find yourself deleting pages and pages of work because you suddenly decided it “wasn’t any good”… Nay, scratch that… let’s call it like it is shall we? Because it “wasn’t perfect”…

Then I’m sorry friend, but it’s time.

Time that is, to don your steel-toed boots (“sh%# kickers” we call ‘em in the Dirty South) and kick perfection’s rosy little ass to the curb! Preferably with a resounding splat for good measure.

You with me? Good, let’s get started.

The First Swift Kick- Set Attainable Goals

I’m talking about blogging and writing here, but really this can be applied to just about anything. Perfectionists tend to make a habit of setting unrealistic goals for themselves. And then when they don’t measure up or reach those goals, they’re ashamed of themselves.

They call themselves quitters, or “stupid”.

They put themselves down, and engage in some pretty negative self-talk… telling themselves they just aren’t good enough to get where they want to go… if only they could do “this” they’d be so much better at “that”.

I mean really… would you talk to someone else like that?

Not likely.

Would you call someone stupid because they couldn’t do something perfectly?

Probably not.

So why in the ever-lovin’ world would you talk to yourself that way? Just sayin’.

Stop setting goals for yourself that you don’t believe in. Strive for excellence in all you do, not perfection. Yes, you should always stretch yourself. And yes goals you set for yourself should feel slightly scary… slightly out of reach even.

But they shouldn’t feel impossible.

For instance, I have a goal to reach 2,000 new subscribers to Big Girl Branding in the next 6 months. (Feel free to help a girl out btw!)

Is that goal attainable? I believe it is.

Is it slightly out of reach for me right now? I’d say so, as right now between RSS, Email, and my newsletter, I’ve only got about 250 subscribers. (Thanks to ALL of you, BIG hugs!)

That means I’ve got about 1750 more to go before I’ll reach that goal. And you can bet that if I got hung up on creating “perfect” blog posts, and having a “perfect” design, and making my newsletter a “perfect” mix of humor, smarts, and useful info… I probably wouldn’t even have any readers, much less a subscriber!

I’d be totally stuck.

Totally immobilized.

Living in fear of being judged.

Living in fear of being seen as “imperfect”.

And if I set that goal even higher, say 10,000 subscribers in 6 months… I’d likely be completely stalled because the goal I set for myself wasn’t believable to me and I’d be so hung up on being perfect that my inner mantra would end up being something along the lines of “I’ll never get there” or “It’s too hard” or “I’m not ready”.

Bull.

It will be hard. I’ll probably never be 100% ready. But I will get there.

And so will you, wherever “there” is.

But I know that you’re smart enough to know that you won’t get there overnight, and you won’t get there by getting stuck under the thumb of perfection. So set incremental, attainable goals for yourself that feel just mildly out of your comfort zone, and then get rockin’ with the action taking.

Set about making them a reality.

As you do that, repeat after me… “Action will get you everywhere, perfection will get you nowhere.” “Strive for excellent, not perfect.” Now say that three times fast! (Kidding.)

Then get busy creating excellence in all you do, and let go of that ridiculous notion of perfection.

Capisce?

The Second Swift Kick- Enjoy the Process of Achievement

Really!

When is the last time you (speaking to you perfectionists here) stopped long enough to appreciate where you are right now?

To appreciate what you’ve accomplished already? As a perfectionist there is a tendency to be constantly looking for new and better ways of doing something. A bit like the “grass is always greener” syndrome. You’re never quite satisfied with anything “as-is”.

So you need to make it a habit to pat yourself on the back for every milestone that moves you a step closer to your goals, whatever they may be and appreciate the moment you’re in.

For me, that means appreciating the fact that I have 250 subscribers that read my blog already! That’s no small feat, especially when you’re starting out.

And people these days are stingy with their time and their emails… so if they are taking the time to keep up with you and your blog… that’s a huge compliment! Treat it as such and call yourself a winner, because even when you don’t feel “perfect” you’re still pretty freakin’ awesome.

Just tell yourself “Cori said so!” if ever you’re feeling doubtful.

The Third Swift Kick- Connect With Other People

Preferably other imperfect ones. (And in case you forgot… that means everyone is fair game!)

Honestly, sometimes when you’re feeling stuck in the spinning abyss of an “I can’t do this, it’s not perfect, everyone will hate it!” moment…

Slow your roll man!

Stop what you’re doing (or trying to do) get up and walk away. Get out of your house, go have coffee with a friend or three, and cop a squat in a park somewhere to see how the rest of the world lives. It’s a sure bet that things aren’t perfect for the rest of the world either!

(I know, I know! You… meet sledgehammer wrapped up neatly in “no one’s perfect” stickers!)

You’ll even be singing the “No One’s Perfect” theme song before I’m done with you.

Really though, connecting with other people can help you see that you’re not the only one that struggles with the insane urge to be perfect all the time. Trust me there are a ton of us out there!

You can probably safely bet that Darren, despite his pretty massive successes in the blogosphere has never been perfect. (Sorry Darren!)

And heck, Bill Gates went after what he wanted with barely a plan in place! That’s so far from perfect it’s laughable, but just look where he is today.

And sitting down with friends who are equally crazy but imperfect can help you see that perfect isn’t necessary for success. The only thing necessary for success is the ability and willingness to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done in the absolute best way that you can right then.

No more, no less.

The Fourth and Final Swift Kick- Accept Mistakes for What They Are

A somewhat painful learning experience. As a recovering perfectionist, I know there is often a tendency to view mistakes and screw-ups as failures.

It’s now time to change your point of view.

Mistakes are not failures they are lessons learned.

The only time a mistake is a failure is when you don’t walk away with new knowledge about yourself and your goals. When you don’t walk away with new self-awareness, I’m afraid that means you’re doomed to repeat those mistakes, sometimes over and over again until you get it.

And guess what it means when you repeat a behavior but expect a different outcome?

C’mon!

It means you’re insane, so stop that!

Mistakes are a part of life, a part of learning and growing. I’ve made more than my fair share over time and it’s a sure bet you will too. I can state this with absolute assurance because I already know that perfection is never attainable for mere mortals like you and me, despite our best efforts.

But it’s time to realize that you don’t have to be perfect. Loosen the chokehold a bit. You don’t have to be a perfect blogger, or a perfect writer, or a perfect mother or father. You don’t have to run a perfect business, or have a perfect home.

Just make it your goal to always give your best; to strive for “excellent” in everything you do… and you’ll get as pretty darn close to perfect as you’ll likely ever be.

And on that note…

“Excellent” is pretty damn good in my book, so let me know if you need to borrow it.

Cori is a wildly hire-able freelance ‘ghost’ as well as the creative brains and dubious brawn behind her blog Big Girl Branding. If you’d like to harness her creative brains and dubious brawn to guest post on your blog, just stalk her on Twitter and ask her. I’m “almost” sure she doesn’t bite. Well… like 95% sure.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Eric Walker says:

    This is a must-read post for any and all who are standing at the foot of their mountain of internet business dreams. Sometimes it’s simply a good idea to make an absolute mess, get a bit chaotic and watch the form that follows.

    I agree that it’s important to connect with people. Especially when considering that most of us starting out are starting out on a budget which means we’re predominantly using the social media platforms to network. Small is better. Make relationships.

  2. CJ says:

    Great stuff,
    I’m a little bit of a perfectionist myself. I absolutely hate when somethings not just right!

    But that’s something that can have such a negative impact on whatever anyone does because being a perfectionist can cause you to not appreciate great work, just because it’s not perfect.

    Being a perfectionist is never a good thing unless it comes to building a bridge or securing a bungee rope! hahahah

    CJ

  3. Very well said!

    My favs are #1 and #4.

    Setting attainable goals is big for me. It works. I like to break my goals down to – Long range goals- yearly goals-monthly goals-daily goals. It makes them more attainable and helps me keep on track to my long range goals.

    Life is a game. We set out to do something – find we can’t do it or make a mistake. Those who can step back and figure out how to move forward again are the winners of the game.

  4. Whoa epic post Cori!

    I am guilty of thinking too much and trying to make everything perfect.

    But you are absolutely correct. It is impossible to be perfect!

    It’s true, many people major on the minor things. Like ‘is this button looking good here’ ‘is my text ok?’ ‘is my opt in box perfect?’ etc…. If we keep focusing on the minor things and try to make everything perfect, we will never reach our goals!

    Nabeel

    P.S GREAT to see your post here on ProBlogger!!

  5. Hi Cori Nice post.
    Mistakes are not the sign of failure but it’s just like our tuition fees which we pay for learning something.
    If you don’t mind “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

  6. Hey Cori,

    Glad to see you here. I see you very active doing guest posting. Great work cori.

    Super-awesome kick-ass Post cori. I really like the first and fourth swift kick. Setting is achievable goals is most important.

    Thanks for sharing this super awesome Post. Keep up the awesome work.

    ~Dev

  7. EF Cussins says:

    Great article! Great comments!
    I find myself looking at the status and wanting to take that number times 10. I write a post and want to rewrite it the next day. I talk to store clerks and shoppers and wish they could write me a post about what they are telling me.

    I don’t mean to cut profits for businesses. I just want people to get great value for their hard earned dollar.

    Thanks for the post. It has given me a reality check.

  8. Jean Sarauer says:

    You’ve been peeking in my windows again, haven’t you, Cori?

    I’ve been having some wrestling matches with perfectionism that belong on PPV.

    I’m working on some materials for a training program, but you’d think God himself had asked me to co-author a new Bible with the way I’ve been carrying on. Or in my case, not carrying on because perfectionism totally paralyzes me.

    Can I borrow your boots?

  9. Yes I totally agree with the article.Sometimes, when we set too high expectations on us or anybody we tend to feel disappointed because they weren’t able to get what we exactly expected from them. We need to set an attainable goal hits me. I tend to set high goals that it sometimes looks so perfect but not realistic goal. it just keeps on making me feel disappointed so I tried my best to change that habit. And now I am feeling better and getting more successful.

  10. Cori Padgett says:

    Sorry for the delay in response guys… had to have a date with God today, but I’ll be popping in and out for comments now that I’m home. :)

    @Eric- Thanks hun! I like that, make a mess, get chaotic, and see what emerges! lol And definitely, key point.. build some relationships, you’ll be surprised at where they can take you!

    @CJ- LOL.. yes, definitely, I’d want perfection with bridge building and bungee rope creation… Yikes.

    @Sheila- Thanks, glad you enjoyed! And agreed, figuring out how to move forward from a setback is vital. Otherwise you just become paralyzed, afraid of making another mistake.

    @Nabeel- Ha thanks hun! Good to see you too, seems like I’m seeing you everywhere! lol And yep, it can be very limiting if you stop yourself from doing something just because it isn’t quite exactly how you think it should be. Cut yourself a break, and just do it!

    @Sharma- Hey, nice to see you! And agreed, I think keeping moving nails it. Don’t quit, don’t stop, don’t go in any direction but forward, even if you feel you’re not quite ready. Otherwise you may end up caught up in ‘not quite ready’ indefinitely. :)

    @Dev- Thanks Dev! Yes, I’ve been quite a busy girl the last few weeks, lol. Is it nap time yet? :)

    @Jean- Hey my lovely! :) I had to make sure that granny hijacker wasn’t lurking around trying to find her way in your house! But my boots are yours for the borrowing..mayhap we need to partner up, pardner, lol. Your perfectionism, my procrastination, a nice hefty pair of boots are in order for the both of us.

  11. Eileen says:

    Great article!

    I’m now following you in my Google Reader. Does that count toward your goal?

  12. Hey Cori,
    That is very cool that you took the time out to respond to comments on your posting.

    Just to share: I just wrote an article on my site that is, I believe, not a perfect but a great way to work on achieving goals. It is located at this link
    http://thewondertechnique.com/smart-goal-setting-technique-explained/
    I think Darren’s readers will value it. They decide.

    By the way, I am a parent and I truly appreciate that you as a parent have such a strong energetic approach to your work. It can only nourish and inspire your children.

    Continued success,
    David

  13. Respondents report that blogging has had chiefly positive impacts on their personal lives; just 6% say that relationships with friends or family members have suffered as a result of blogging. 42% have become friends with someone they’ve met in person through their blog.

  14. Anwar says:

    Whoa Cori, I’m starting to see you everywhere. You must be working hard, or I’m starting to be every where.

    Anyway, they say most entrepreneurs are perfectionist. When you don’t get what you want it seems likes nothing is right in the world. But I’ve been working on it :0). Thanks for the tips.

  15. Julius says:

    I absolutely love the points in this post! Many times I’ve worked on something only to delete it in the end because of a small flaw. I agree that it’s time to strive for excellence instead of perfection, recognize small achievements, and accept mistakes and learn from them. Thanks!

  16. Cori Padgett says:

    @Jamie- Exactly Jamie! Set them too high,and discouragment sets in because you don’t quite hit them. But just high enough provides motivation and a sense of accomplishment once you reach and even exceed them. :)

    @Eileen- Ha ha! Most definitely! Woot, one up! Thanks hun, hope you enjoy keeping up with what I do!

    @David- That’s a great technique! That’s actually what a good friend of mine and coach uses in his approach with his clients as well.. I try to use it myself, it’s a great way to break goals down into things that are both achievable and motivating. And thank you..hopefully they’ll absorb some of that energy and apply it themselves when they’re older! lol

    @Anwar- Lol.. I know, I’ve been a busy bee. ;) Definitely work on it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how good it feels to cut yourself a break sometimes and just get it (whatever it is) done already and out to the world.

    @Julius- Thanks hun! No more deleting OK? If anything, first get feedback from a friend before hitting delete..if it passes the friend or colleague test, then it’s probably not the total wreck you’re thinking it is. ;)

  17. Joshua Noerr says:

    Cori, great post. Glad to see another Dirty South resident doing some big things.

    Your point about mistakes, I would go so far as a tiny edit and say, “They are only mistakes if you did NOT learn a lesson.”

    Cheers!

  18. Cori Padgett says:

    Hey Joshua! Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.. and EXCELLENT point, totally should have mentioned that because that’s actually a belief I subscribe to… it’s only a mistake when you don’t learn a lesson from it. It’s truly a mistake when you don’t learn anything, and you’re doomed to repeat the same one again and again.

  19. Seth Merrick says:

    Very clever how you left the apostrophe out of the word Perfection’s in your title as rebellion against the ‘perfection’ dictated by proper use of punctuation and grammar. Very clever, indeed.

  20. Your post reminds me a saying ‘Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good’. I have tried harder to get out of my perfectionism.

  21. This is a great post Cori. A university professor once told me: “Michel, you have two choices: 1) the perfect thesis, and 2) the completed thesis. You should always aim for the second one.” I’m taking the exact same approach with my blog.

    Thanks for the great tips and all the best with your 2,000 subscribers!

  22. Great article Cori. I’m a recovering perfectionist too. The thought of making a mistake used to cripple me. And when I made one they were always so amplified because of my perfectionist attitude.

    Now, I do the best job I can and leave it at that. I still have my bouts of perfectionism, but it’s so liberating to not obsess over something or delete work because it might not be perfect (in your eyes).

  23. Really nice post. And a bit of an eye opener! And I especially loved the steel toe caps reference, as I wear them to work (the real work) every day and they’re the most comfortable pair of shoes I own!

  24. This is really an ass kissing post.
    I am little perfectionist and hate the things which is not right.

    KEEP POSTING SUCH KICKASS POSTS.

    Regards

  25. Linda says:

    Reminds me of the quote from the book “Superwoman” by 70s feminist Shirley Conran i.e. “‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’ …
    Why waste time tweaking things and putting on a show for others? It really doesn’t matter in the greater scheme of things.
    All any of us can do is our best!

  26. Suzanne says:

    Is it bad that I noticed it should be “Perfection’s Ass” instead of “Perfections Ass”?? Quick, somebody! I need help! LOL!

    All kidding aside, great post. I’m guilty as charged, but I’ve come along way over the years. I try hard to silence that inner critic; she holds me back and wastes too much of my time.

  27. Hi Cori,
    some excellent swift kicks there. My favourite “Enjoy the Process of Achievement”. So my traffic isn’t exactly galactic yet, who cares. I just enjoy the fact that it steadily moves in the right direction and I just keep plugging away!

  28. my3uka says:

    get a bit chaotic and watch the form that follows.

  29. Cori Padgett says:

    @Supermarket- Thanks! :) Gotta love those steel toes huh? lol I used to wear them all the time when I was younger..big fan of the combat boots and long skirts look.

    @Divya- Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. ;)

    @Linda- Ha.. that’s funny! I’ll have to remember that, I’ve never read the book. But definitely, your best is all that matters.

    @Suzanne- LOL.. see..evidence right there I’m far from perfect! ;) And thanks hun, glad you enjoyed it, imperfections notwithstanding. Good for you for stuffing a rag in that inner critic… I’ve found she’s most definitely a time waster..not to mention a total energy drain!

    @Des-Awesome Des! Exactly, who cares? Progress is what counts, and the fact that you love doing it. Perfection can take a hike. :)

    @my3uka- Exactly so. :)

  30. I agree that perfectionism is a huge stumbling block. It kills creativity and takes a heavy toll on your self-esteem too. If you are a perfectionist it stops you from launching new projects because you scared of failing.

  31. I agree that perfectionism is a huge stumbling block. It kills creativity and takes a heavy toll on your self-esteem too. If you are a perfectionist it stops you from launching new projects because you are scared of failing.

  32. Thanks Cori, I need that. And thanks for keeping the kicking to the rear. :)

  33. Cori Padgett says:

    LOL… you’re welcome Dustin, good to see you here. And I would never harm the family jewels… I’m thinking your wife wouldn’t take kindly to it! ;) Besides I’m too nice to inflict pain, so I always keep my kicking to the rear. lol

  34. Congrats, Cori, on another “guesting post”… great content. I think I can say: I knew you when! – When you were knee high to a short duck in your blogging business and helped me with “kid speak” before that. ^.^

  35. Cori Padgett says:

    Lol..thanks Marie! Good to see you! :) Glad you enjoyed the post, and yes, you can definitely say you knew me when. Big hugs!

    c

  36. Cori Padgett says:

    @Craft- Too true. I think if you’re not failing you’re not growing… it’s a part of life.

    @Jason- Thanks! And totally agree, life is much more enjoyable when you let go of the need to be perfect all the time. Good for you for kicking the habit. :)

    @Michel- Thanks hun! I LOVE that.. the perfect thesis or the completed thesis.. so freakin’ true. lol Good for you for sticking to that mentality, I’m sure it will take you much farther than perfection. And thanks, working on the subscribers! ;) lol

    @Seth.. ha ha.. well I can’t claim to much cleverness, that was totally an innocent and imperfect mistake. lol

    @Kevin.. good saying! Keep working on it, I think letting go of it is a goal well worth pursuing.

    @EF- Thanks, glad you found it useful! It definitely sounds like you needed a bit of a reality check, so I hope you take it and run with it.. being perfect is a losing battle, and will cost you more in the long run than just doing the darn thing already. :)

  37. Leanne says:

    Hehehe – the M&M’s. I can so relate. In fact, the more of your post I read the more it sounded just like me.

    I love “Strive for excellence in all you do, not perfection”.

    And I’m still sitting here, trying to come up with a perfect comment. So I’ll just say thank you, and go now …

  38. Walker says:

    wow! I really connected with #2..taking time to see how far I’ve come and pat myself on the back! Thank you. I just started blog #3 and am now a freelance writer with a number of completed jobs to brag about!! Yeah! Thank you….. Makes the downtimes seem so…puny!

  39. I struggle with the “chokehold of perfection” daily as you put it and sometimes shudder to think of all I might have accomplished by now if I’d remember more often to just let it go.

    Don’t have to be perfect.

    “Just make it your goal to always give your best; to strive for “excellent” in everything you do… and you’ll get as pretty darn close to perfect as you’ll likely ever be.”

    Great advice.

    Thanks for the post.

  40. Great post Cori! From the reformed perfectionist to the recovering one ;-)

  41. This is a great post especially when thinking about how my thinking was when I recently started a blogging community I almost got caught up in thinking negatively about the number of people signing up and the amount of visits my friends would make and THEN realized I had many tweaks to do and more features to add so slow growth for me was actually a blessing :) PLUS people like yourself when it’s bigger then FACEBOOK LOL :) will be able to brag about they were the first members so often a slight tweak of the brain makes things much better.
    Also since the new community is about Blogger LUV it’s also helped me changed my style of blogging where I would rant and say whatever I wanted on my own personal blog I feel like I have to lead with my best foot forward for the good of the group so that is very empowering just like this POST Thanks

  42. Cori Padgett says:

    @John- Thanks hun! Good to see you! :) And definitely, sometimes all something takes is a slight mental shift and suddenly things look brighter and you feel better about where you’re headed. Good for you for recognizing it and making the shift needed, I have no doubt Blogger Luv is going to grow just as much as you yourself will in the process of creating it.

    @Zoey- LOL..thanks hun! Reformed and recovering..what a pair huh?

    @Craig- Thanks Craig! My advice is don’t worry about the past and the opportunities you may have missed… focus on the future and letting go of the idea of perfect, and start opening yourself up to the new possiblities that will likely begin revealing themselves more and more every day. And definitely, focus on excellence.. not perfect! ;)

    @Walker- That is awesome! Congrats to you with the freelancing AND blog number 3! Keep focusing on the great things you’ve acheived thus far, and it will keep going up.. momentum begets momentum. :)

    @Leanne- Ha ha… see I knew I wasn’t alone with the m&m thing! ;) Make Excellence you’re new mantra and see where it takes ya. I’m pretty sure a lot farther than perfect! And your comment was just right my friend… who knew we were so alike? Hugs, thanks for dropping by!

  43. I have to say, I agree with the opening line entirely. I can’t tell you how many of my projects fail dead in the because I’m always striving for perfection in my site design.

    Eases my mind some that someone else suffered from it.

    Thank you for this post. :-)

  44. Cori Padgett says:

    @Geek.. You’re welcome hun! Glad I could make you feel a little less “alone” lol. :)

  45. Darren;

    Fantastic piece, We may have different goals in what we want to accomplish in both our online work and personal life however I have always admired the integrity in the things I have seen you do. I do a lot of guiding people in their personal growth and development In hope that one day I may change the world, even just a little. I use the same basic principals in everything I teach, learn the lesson, forgive the mistakes you make as you learn and simply move forward always.

    Again, great work!

    Robert Gebbie
    RGebbiePhoto

  46. Cori Padgett says:

    Hey Robert. Glad you enjoyed the post. :) Sounds like you’re operating with sound principles.

    Warmest
    Cori

  47. Anne Galivan says:

    I loved this post so much that, even though I read it a couple of weeks ago when it first came out, I just had to come back and comment.

    I have a touch of perfectionism myself…who am I kidding – I am extremely perfectionistic. But I learned a long time ago that parenting and perfectionism don’t go together. Moreover, I’ve been a home-schooling parent for 20 years and if you are going to spend 24/7 with your kids…well, you can guess that there are going to be a lot of imperfect moments.

    I also came to the conclusion a long time ago that my goal for myself, and my children, would not be perfection, but excellence. I would have to say that has been one of the guiding principles I have used in raising and home-schooling my kids, and it has paid off in spades.

    I have two grown children, and “excellent” would certainly fit them. They both have a fantastic work ethic, they are considerate, and accomplished. I have also have two younger boys, and I am continuing to use that guiding principle of excellence with them.

    My oldest son is so like me in personality, but I think by emphasizing to my kids that they pursue excellence, not perfection, I have been able to help him avoid some of the issues I struggled with for so long.

    In any case, I love the word pictures you use (give imperfection a great big juicy kiss…). From one recovering perfectionist to another, good work!

  48. Cori Padgett says:

    @Anne.. aww.. well glad you came back to share some of your story Anne! And wow, a homeschooler… you must have the patience of a saint! I’m still working on that one. LOL

    Congrats to you on raising great kids excellence rather than perfection! I think that when you focus on excellence, you focus on your strengths rather than struggling to overcome flaws and focusing on what are percieved as weaknesses. And that’s so important, because our society teaches way too much (in my book) that you must strengthen your weak areas to acheive success in your life.

    I feel the opposite, that it’s setting you up to fail and it’s way more important to focus on what you’re good at.. and invariably what you’re good at is often something you love or enjoy doing. (most of the time!lol)

    Anyway, thanks so much for the thoughtful comment, it sounds like you have a lot to be proud of! :)

    Warmest
    C

  49. HA! Loved reading this. I needed that. I too am a “recovering perfectionist”. In the past, I wouldn’t even try things unless I could do it perfectly. It’s called fear. And now? Now, I just do it and swallow the mistakes and enjoy the highs.

    Thanks for the great post.

  50. Cori Padgett says:

    @Kelly.. you’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it! And so great to hear you’ve overcome your fears and kicked perfections a$$! ;) Great work.

    C