Nearly Perfected to Death

The difference between excellence and perfectionism is grace.  In excellence there is the grace of knowing you have done something to the best of your abilities, the grace to be content in a job done well (regardless of mistakes made in the process), and the grace to constantly improve, but never fully master.  In excellence there is understanding of limitations and permission to try again.

In perfectionism there is no grace.  Everything must be done perfectly with no room for improvement and no chance to try again.  Where excellence finds joy in the task, perfectionism finds only the cruel, exacting taskmaster.  Perfectionism leads to paralysis.  If something cannot be done perfectly, it cannot be done at all–and so nothing is done.  The painting remains unpainted, the book remains unwritten.  The perfectionist remains neutralized by the bonds of guilt for being imperfect.  every mistake that the person of excellence accepts through grace is a leech that sucks life from the perfectionist’s soul.

Perfectionism is deadly to the human heart, soul, and mind.

I’ve only recently begun the process of exchanging the perfectionism that nearly killed me for excellence that energizes my daily life.  This blog actually is a part of that process.  Here I put before you thoughts that are not perfect and ideas that will undoubtedly be wrong at one point or another.  A year ago I could not have done that–the fear of failing, of making mistakes, of being–*gasp*–wrong kept me from writing, from sharing, from executing something as simple as a blog.

I call myself a “recovering perfectionist” because, like alcoholism is for some, perfectionism is something I know I will always fight against.  Nevertheless, by grace I will live an excellent life and bury the perfectionist before she buries me.

So the purpose here is discussion of anything and everything.  It’s not about having all the right answers, nor is it about beautiful prose (which should be painfully obvious).  It’s about a little verbal (written) give and take, plain and simple.  So join in and muse with me.  All I ask for is a little grace. After all, I’m not perfect.

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