Not living up to my own expectations is quite a challenge. I admit it, I tend to be extremely hard on myself. Some have speculated whether or not this is part of a complex known as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). I would argue that it’s pride. I’m a failure, I just need to accept it.
Being a perfectionist is a pain. One of the most dangerous aspects of being a perfectionist is the inability to accept failure; mostly, in ourselves. This goes beyond a mere disappointment in our performance and jumps straight to obsessive occupation of the mind. We can’t seem let go the fact that we didn’t do as well as we would have liked.
As an adult this is hard enough, now imagine you’re a child. How do we teach our children that it’s okay to fail? And, just as importantly, when to get back up and try again?
Remain Calm – Don’t add to the situation by getting frustrated and emotional. Take a breath, pray, and then move on.
Take Stock of the Situation – Every situation offers something to learn. While we may have ‘failed’ at our initial (or subsequent) attempt at this current goal, each new attempt offers something to learn by.
Focus On What’s Important – Don’t lose sight of what your true purpose was in this endeavor. Stay focused on the main goal and keep working.
Don’t Compare – You are not other people. Don’t worry about how others could have or would have done better. You are you; do your best and keep trying. What more can anyone ask?
Move On – Not all situations need to be tried again and again, despite popular opinion. Assess each situation and decide which would be best. If trying again is what’s needed, then do so. However, don’t be afraid to move on to something completely different, if this goal no longer becomes important. It is okay to walk away from some goals.
Perfectionism can be a good thing, if managed properly and kept in perspective. We just need to remember that we’re all human and failing is just another important lesson in life.
Time to Chime In: Do you have children who are perfectionists? How do you help them through moments of failure?
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10