A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault.
John Henry Newman
I am beginning to wonder about myself, OK I am not really beginning I continue to wonder about myself. I am not sure it is really me who seems to be on the path to even further physical fitness activity. I thought I was immortal but maybe I have just been reincarnated, just the mind as the body is still the same. It is probably like someone told me recently that one of the benefits of old age besides the senior discounts is that you can sin and not worry about it since you’ll forget anyway. I am pretty sure that the sin part does not apply because I can’t think of any that I could do, but the memory part I know is true so maybe I won’t remember to do follow through.
I know one thing and that is there is not enough time left for me to achieve anything near physical perfection. However fortunately I learned years ago that perfectionism is usually another word for procrastination. Here is an article by Paula Eder, Ph.D. The Time Finder Expert, explaining why I say that.
Perfectionism Holding You Hostage?
One of the great illusions about perfectionism is that it is the pursuit of excellence. Nothing could be further from the truth. Excellence is stymied and smothered by perfectionism.
Our time, our energy, our self-esteem ... these are much too precious to waste on perfectionism. How often have you experienced the frustration of trying to get something 'just right', only to feel discouragement grow ... as your day slips away and you continue to tweak, re-tweak and not finish? Do you really want to be constantly telling yourself that what you do is not good enough?
Well, the good news is that this is something that you can absolutely step in and stop. Instead of letting perfectionism hold you hostage you can learn to use these 3 powerful retorts to the debilitating, perfectionistic messages that you currently give yourself. And even better, as you get more adept at countering these messages, they lose their power. Eventually you will hear them less and less from yourself. Imagine the energy and creativity that you will be able to access!
So here are those 3 debilitating messages ... and the 3 powerful retorts that will help you break free!
Perfectionist Message #1: 'I need to wait for just the right time to get started.' This will trip you up right from the get go. And isn't it interesting to consider ... What exactly is the 'right time'? Brainstorm the possibilities. Maybe you believe the right time will be when: You feel inspired. You have more free time. There are no distractions.
In all of these examples, you are giving yourself the message that something additional is needed before you can begin. This makes what you do dependent on something you have no control over ... AND it makes you feel a lot less powerful.
Powerful Retort: 'The right time is right now.' 'Now' is what you have to work with. Schedule the time on your calendar or to-do list and start in. Like jumping into in a cool lake, once you take that plunge, you can enjoy the swim. (And, conversely, until you take the plunge, you can't!)
Perfectionist Message #2: 'It is not perfect yet.' If this is something you often say, ask yourself these questions: What do you consider perfect? Is it really attainable? Whose eyes are you seeing your project (and yourself) through?
Powerful Retort: 'Done is better than perfect' or 'It is good enough.' Letting go is often a challenge, but remember that with many things, there is a process involved. The journey has many steps ... and the pleasure of accomplishment increases your self-confidence and satisfaction in your work!
Perfectionist Message #3: 'I know I can make it better.' Maybe this is true, and you are aware that you may have certain weak areas. This is a place where endless time can be wasted tweaking something.
Powerful Retort: 'I will ask for feedback.' This is empowering and powerful in 3 important ways:
1. Others bring fresh eyes, so they can quickly see mistakes or oversights.
2. Delegating this will free up your time so you can move on to your next task.
3. You are embracing others' viewpoints rather than trying to avoid this by creating something 'perfect.' The more you welcome input, the less you fear others' responses. This is far and away one of the most powerful ways to fight perfectionism.
So, the nagging, controlling voice that is perfectionism isn't about excellence. It is a way that each of us bullies ourselves into frozen, fear-filled paralysis. You don't have to subject yourself to that ... ever again. Instead, counter those doubts and debilitating messages, celebrate your power to be productive, and enjoy your new success at finding time!
Unless I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues.
A man was going up to bed, when his wife told him he'd left the light on in the garden shed - she could see it from the bedroom window. But he said that he hadn't been in the shed that day. He looked himself, and there were people in the shed, stealing things. He rang the police, but they told him that no-one was in his area, so no-one was available to catch the thieves. He said ok, hung up, counted to 30 and rang the police again.
"Hello. I just rang you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed? Well, you don't have to worry about them now, I've just shot them all." Within five minutes there were half a dozen police cars in the area, an Armed Response unit, the works. Of course, they caught the burglars red-handed. One of the policemen said to this man: "I thought you said you'd shot them!"
He replied: "I thought you said there was no-one available!"
"We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself."
A young man is reported to have approached the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (one of the great musical prodigies of all time), and asked, "Herr Mozart, I have the ambition to write symphonies and perhaps you can advise me how to get started."
Mozart said, "The best advice I can give you is to wait until you are older and more experienced, and try your hand at less ambitious pieces to begin with."
The young man looked astonished. "But, Herr Mozart, you yourself wrote symphonies when you were considerably younger than I."
"Ah," said Mozart, "but I did so without asking advice."
Teacher: "Remember, Class -- Nothing Is Impossible."
Melissa: "What about squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tube and putting it back in again?"
The Minister, after listening to an impromptu campaign speech, "Before I vote for you for sheriff, I'd like to know if you partake of intoxicating beverages?"
Candidate for sheriff, "Before I answer, tell me if this is an inquiry or an invitation."
Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.
On a street, where the speed is limited to 30 mph the police stop a driver.
"Not only have you been driving too fast, you've been passing cars where it is not allowed. Your lights don't work, your tires all completely worn out. This is surely going to cost you a lot. What's your name?"
"Schtrathewisizeski Vocgefastilongchinic", replied the foreign driver.
"Well, I'll let you go this time but don't do it again."
“The maxim, "Nothing prevails but perfection," may be spelled PARALYSIS.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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