Are you an imperfectionist?
There is a ring on my very pretty blue Kate Spade iPad mini case! It's driving me crazy! I splurged on this case because... Well... It's pretty. And the other night I used my iPad as a hard surface to hold my drink while relaxing on the couch. And now... There this shiny ring on the cover. Argh!! I keep focusing on it. It's driving me nuts! I shouldn't have put the drink on it. Why did I do that?? Now I can't enjoy my iPad because of this stupid ring. Ok... I'm being dramatic because I'm making a point. Do you focus on perfection or imperfection? Are you someone that likes something just so? Maybe it’s not about everything but there are some things that you just can’t tolerate unless they’re done exactly to your specifications? In fact, you may even make the statement at times… “I’m such a perfectionist!” Are you? Here's the thing... You may not be a perfectionist by nature... Or maybe you are... But there have definitely been times in your life when you look at someone, something or a situation and think that it's not "right". Not right as in morally wrong... But in that it doesn't meet your definition of what it should be. And then... If something doesn't meet your definition... You reject it... Become negative about it... But you certainly don't accept it. It's funny because when you try to make something perfect or wish it was more perfect... You are NOT a perfectionist! You are the complete opposite. You are an imperfectionist. You're focusing on all the things that are wrong instead of what is right. So, let me ask you... Are you feeling happy when you're picking something apart? Pointing out what's not right? Wishing it were different? Let me give you another example. On a Friday night, my boyfriend and I had planned to spend some quality time together. No kids. My expectation was that it would be a more romantic evening. Instead, it was a relaxing evening of some reading and watching TV. At first… I started to get upset. I started to focus on what the evening was NOT. It didn’t fit my definition of a perfect night… it didn’t meet my expectations. And was I happy at that moment? No. I wasn’t happy because I had decided that I was going to be unhappy about what was NOT happening that evening. STOP Seriously? Is that how you want to live your moments? Your life? Your days? I know I don’t. What stopped me from ruining my night and probably Joe’s night as well… is that I became aware of my thinking. Awareness is key to change. As I became aware of the fact that I was ruining my night due to my expectations not being met… I pulled myself into the present. I started listing facts. What happens when you list facts… is that you take the emotion out of a situation. You can see things clearly and realize that nothing is “wrong”. It’s all in your imagination. The facts were… we WERE spending time together, we were relaxed, we WERE talking, we sat close and were touching hands… he randomly rubbed my back… we sipped wine… and there is nothing wrong with any of these things. Nothing. So, I decided at that moment that the evening is perfect as it is. I stopped focusing on what wasn’t perfect according to my expectations and the evening was wonderful. It was perfect. It is impossible to be happy and think negative thoughts at the same time. Your brain can only do one thing at a time. So, if you are focusing on good things… positive… there is no room for the negative. Your challenge for today is to be aware of how you think. Listen to your voice about every situation, person and thing. Do you criticize? Do you have a judgement that something should be “Better”? Do you look at an overweight person with judgement because YOUR definition of a body is different? Do you do this to yourself? Do you feel behind? Do you think you should have done more today? Do you expect a person to act a certain way? If you are savvy enough to capture a moment when you are complaining to yourself or to others… or if you feel down, negative, overwhelm… wishing that something was better… STOP. List the facts. Remove the emotion. See the situation for what it really is and nothing more than that. Look for the good in every situation… and stop picking apart all the imperfections. Jen Thoden