Sunday, November 24, 2013

Confessions of an Imperfect-Perfectionist

So truthfully, I have the plague of perfectionism. In fact, at first I wanted to name this blog "Confessions of an Imperfect Perfectionist", but seeing as how I am striving not to define myself constantly as perfect or imperfect, I chose a different title. I have often heard that your greatest strength can also be your biggest weakness--and I believe that. I'll most likely touch on perfectionism and its struggles a lot throughout this blog, but for tonight--just a simple thought: We were sent here imperfect for a reason with an innate desire to be perfect. That is a strength. Wanting to do things perfectly (or even well) is a strength. Letting the fear of failure (ie. the fear of doing them imperfectly) affect you or impede your progression, creativity and/or contribution to life and society is a weakness. My brother shared a great analogy he heard from a fellow missionary while serving a Church Mission in Texas. It has many applications, but it fits this subject quite well. I'm paraphrasing, but the analogy goes something like this: A man spoke about the feeling of having two wolves inside of him constantly fighting for food. One of the wolves was good, one was evil. The man talked about how the wolf that was winning in his soul (or the kind of person he was) depended on which wolf he fed. So, I try to ask myself--am I feeding the weak side of perfectionism by allowing fear of failure to halt or completely block my progression or am I focusing on the strength side of perfectionism which involves giving my best and trying to become better--even on things I can't do perfectly? I ask you the same question--maybe more in relation to your greatest strength and weakness--which wolf are you feeding?