Perfect Shmerfect


I’m not perfect.

Not even close. Most days, dishes are in the sink, homework is all over the kitchen counter, and the beds are unmade. In fact, last night I went to my son’s basketball practice with a huge hole in the back of my paint-stained sweatpants. Don’t even get me started on the trash in the backseat of my car.

So it came as a surprise to me when I sat down to write a blog post and realized perfection was standing in my way.  Huh? No way, it couldn’t be.

I had ideas to share and I really wanted to publish them on my website. Following through on this goal was nearly impossible. It would require a whole lot of work and take forever. Who had the time or energy to commit to forever? It wasn’t getting done.

Needing to be perfect was preventing me from making movement toward my goal.

Perfectionism shows up in the following ways:

  • Procrastinating
  • Resisting or refusing to accept or comply
  • Lacking commitment and follow-through
  • Comparing to others
  • Creating excuses, such as overwhelm or being too busy
  • Hoping to please and be accepted by all

When you are feeling stuck in some area of your life, dig a little deeper and notice if perfection is holding you back.


Some tips in helping you move forward:

  • Chances are it’s fear talking. Get curious. What is the fear trying to tell you?
  • Baby steps, my friend. Take one tiny movement forward at a time. Small is good.
  • Scale back your goal. Is there a more realistic version available?
  • Break down the task into more manageable chunks. What can I get done in 15 minutes?
  • Think about your bigger purpose and higher intention. Will this help you get there?
  • It’s not about the end result. How can you choose to show up along the way?
  • Feel the feels and do it anyway! That’s how you get to the other side.

Are there other areas in my life in which perfectionism is preventing me from moving forward? Maybe it’s time for me to take a closer look. But what I do know is that I moved it out of the way long enough to trust that my authentic light would shine beyond the clouds of imperfection.

In the Jungle

I worried about my trip to Costa Rica for weeks.

I anticipated all that could go wrong. From a tarantula in the house (there was one in the house a week before—true story) to an earthquake in the area. Fear, being my constant companion, once again accompanied me to the nearest hazard.

I couldn’t avoid it any longer. My family wanted to go swimming in the ocean. They assured me it was the calmest beach in the area.  Surveying the dangers and feeling pretty safe and secure, I tried to coerce my son to jump the waves with me. He refused, so I went out with my daughter. A rogue wave came up and crushed us. I clenched my daughter’s hand and feared for our lives.  When the calm returned, we were shaken but relieved.  We had survived (although I did lose my favorite pair of sunglasses, which may scar me for life).

I had anticipated every worst case scenario but never feared a large wave sweeping us off our feet on the calmest beach with the smallest waves in Costa Rica. As I rode home that day, I pondered what was to learn. 

Life can’t be controlled.  Anything can happen at any time. We can ruin a vacation worrying about our zipline breaking in midair or a poisonous dart frog attacking us in our sleep. We can choose to allow the rogue thoughts to control us or we can let go and know that the waves will guide us back to something greater.