Trying Too Hard To Make It All Just Right

by Joan C Webb on January 28, 2012

Perfectionism clip artHas anyone ever said to you, “You’re such a perfectionist!” or “Who died and made you God?” Perhaps you’ve mumbled something similar when dealing with a demanding co-worker or loved one. But what is perfectionism?

One dictionary defines it as “a propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect.” Yet a practicing perfectionist may not always demand straight A’s, refuse to leave the house if the bed’s not made, or endlessly edit a report. Perfectionism is more subtle than that. It’s about unreasonable expectations – how we berate ourselves and others (silently or aloud) for having human (decoded as “weak”) thoughts and emotions, inconsistent commitment levels, or average accomplishments, bodies and relationships.

When we try too hard to make ourselves, our jobs and our families “just right,” we get overly stressed and bone-tired. Who needs that? Relief is possible. It’s a process, but we can reduce our self-sabotaging behaviors by:

Perfectionism clip art 2Realizing that when we fall into the “trying too hard to make it just right” trap, we believe a misconception: That people, projects and circumstances have the capacity to be perfect (or “just right”).

  • Acknowledging that when we adhere to this misconception, life becomes a persistent disappointment.
  • Recognizing that this mind-set increases our anxiety and sabotages our relationships and dreams.
  • Changing our unrealistic expectations to believe the truth: Human beings, organizations, and even our accomplishments do not have the ability to be flawless 24/7. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful! Only God is perfect!

If you doubt that you’ll still be able to reach your God-given goals, become an excellent employee, succeed as a parent or grow spiritually when you relax and release your unrealistic expectations, check out next week’s blog. (Hint: There IS a difference between partnering with God for excellence and operating in perfectionism.)

Just wondering here: Do you ever get tired of trying too hard to make it all just right?


I adapted this article which I originally wrote to be published by Genius Avenue Inc., copyright 2011.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam C in Canada January 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

I have that quote posted in a few places Joan! “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!” Such a good reminder! And yet, how hard it is to just “let go, let God”….Thanks for sharing this!

{Oh, I found out when I get my tonsils out – Feb 6! Now let’s see how much I try to get done in my week & a half off! Haha}

Joan C. Webb January 30, 2012 at 12:53 am

That’s cool that you have the quote posted around where you can be reminded. Good idea. I need that, too.
Soooo, Feb 6 is the day you get your tonsils out. Hope it all goes smoothly and the results are just what you want. Keep me posted. And enjoy your week off! :-)

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