So it turns out that my perfectionistic tendencies are NOT really all that bad. Sure, when I get my heart and head set on something, I tend to pursue all options and view derailment as a personal failure. I prefer to analyze every inch of the process to determine where, when and how I veered off course, and can overthink possible response to compensate for “the plan gone awry.” Perfection is when experience aligns with my expectations, or when I feel that I have done “enough” to execute my heart’s desires.
What’s so wrong in that?
I give grace to my perfectionistic bent. NOT JUST because there are many areas of my life that I just don’t care about anymore: my hair (the slow rate of growth or brittleness, or recession, or the week long furlough on shaving) my car (multiple scratches, dents, dirt on the floor) my rate of reading Tournament of Books. But also because it makes me curious, it propels me to explore, it provides me with grit, and endurance and wanting to grow.
Learning is quite challenging. On the radio this week, we discussed the true heart of learning is not just about skill acquistion. It is also about an inherent desire think critically and solve complex problems, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and pursue self-directed learning.
Dan Ariely did this great research study with groups across two tasks, one where they built leggos and another solved word problems. Every one got money for their performance and effort. But some had their work meanginglessly destroyed, and the others had their work kept by the examiners. The group that worked the least, even though they would have received more money for it, were the group were they felt their productions were meaningless.
Perfection is NOT about performance, nor achieving something immediately. For me, the perfection I seek is truly about taking risks, about failing, about loving in the moment from that gut part of my spirit, from trusting what I sense and wanting more.
curious, engaged, constantly trying new things because I want to not “master” but experience.
I am learning. I am saying yes. I am reaching into the limitations of my body, mind and spirit and making my life my best classroom.