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The Root of Perfectionism

If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.

G.K. Chesterton

It helps, sometimes, to turn a proverb upside down to see what happens.
Many of us are brought up to the believe that we have to perform, excel, finish first, get on the team, do a good job, see it through, get it done on time, say it right, get ahead, and on and on, better and better as we go. Why?
Because that’s the way Dad did it and Grandma did it and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.

And then, inevitably, we’d fail or fall. So we’d turn back on ourselves in shame, beat ourselves up, run to drugs or other bad habits.
If we were failures in public, then we’d make our own private world where failure didn’t exist.
In this little world fantasy ruled, and in fantasy there are only successes; everybody always scores.

We do bad things in secret without telling anyone about our failures.

But it doesn’t have to be so. We can break the spell, stop beating on ourselves, and get away from Father’s angry voice or Mother’s disappointed look.
We can do things at our own speed, in our own way, one day a time, just for the joy of doing them.

Say with me:

I’m fed up with perfectionism; I can enjoy my own abilities.

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