HOW TO FIND THE GOOD LIFE BY PRACTICING IMPERFECTION

EMOTIONAL FITNESS training TIPS

Emotional fitness tip one: Practice imperfection. Think good enough, when obsessed with getting anything a bit more perfect.  Use “Good enough” as a mantra.

Emotional fitness tip two: Rate how near enough is good enough.  Here’s the Rating Scale poster.

Rating scale poster

Emotional fitness tip three: Improve your ability to see when perfectionism is playing a part in your life.  Challenge delusions of perfection on the media and in real life.  Look for twisted thinking in all media.  Look for people seeking perfection and say gently, “Good enough seem best in this situation” or something to that effect.

Emotional fitness tip four:  Continue to pursue the best you can be. We need goals and ideals are part of setting a goal. However, all goals must be based on a realistic picture of your abilities. If you sing off tune, you will not become the next Voice or American Idol.

Emotional fitness tip five: Focus on your life’s mission rather than the everyday goals that might not matter in the long run. Think about buying my ebook How to Know Your Mission So You Can Reach Your Goals. It will cost you $2.99 which is less than a latte and a bit more important in living the good life.

Parenting advice

Delusions of perfection are particularly painful because it taps into childhood’s reservoir of shame. According to  Jerome Kagan, human development specialist, children struggle with shame as they enter the threes. That is when children realize while  powerless over some things, they are quite capable of doing the unthinkable over younger or weaker beings.

For a three-year old the unthinkable is the desire to do away with the people who keep you from doing what you want.  The only ones you have power over at that age are younger siblings and small animals.  Kagan points out a strong counter emotion is needed to keep from acting on violent impulses which is why shame emerges at this particular age and stage.

Also at that age any failure to do something perfectly creates shame, not being good enough.  Shame is all about having to be perfect and fearing other people’s response when you are imperfect.

First parenting tip: Say “Good try” twice as often as you say “Try harder.”

Second parenting tip: If you child is engaged in competitive sports, counter The Winning is everything mentality with “Having fun is winning even when you lose.”

Third parenting tip: Teach rating scales early on.

Fourth parenting tip: With those moving into the changing thoughts of adolescence engage in conversations about what matters, sweating the small stuff.

Fifth parenting tip:  Children of all ages can be caught up in perfectionism.  Be alert to the possibility a child perfectionism is leading to the mental health disorder called  OCD. Here is a handout, I used when teaching a Challenging Children Course.

OCD quidelines

This is an information guide, if you are worried, about a child talk to a competent mental health professional, share this handout with him or her.

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.

Thank you.

Katherine

POST INSPIRATION from this Word Press Daily Post Prompt: Idyllic – what does your ideal community look like? How is it organized, and how is community life structured? What values does the community share?

Obviously, I want an imperfect but good enough community that practices tolerance and is kind to all. Stay strong all and remember what matters.

 LINKS OF INTEREST

2 Comments

  1. Accepting one’s own imperfections is sooooooo liberating. However, I try to do everything the very best I can even if must been done over several times. It is not an obsession with perfection but a sense of pride in craftsmanship. Then I leave it at that.

    • Right on Carl. There is a difference and we do need to do all we can to be the best we can. Thank you for commenting. Have you done any cartoons about this?

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.