An Emotional Intelligence boosting tip: Say “no” to perfection.
This post was inspired by a post on the Burningbridges blog. You might want to read that one instead of mine. However, for the best results, as the MDs note, “Take two.”
Taken to an extreme the search for perfection becomes a mental health disorder known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. While most of us to not qualify for such a diagnosis, we all know moments when perfectionism tries to rule us. Worried about the pimple no one else sees? What about the creak in your floor that only you notice? And then if grammar and spelling are your thing, do other people’s mistakes get you fuming about their errors instead of reading past the mistakes for content?
What imperfections make you blush with shame? For me it is and always has been the spelling and punctuation errors spawned by my learning disability (dysgraphia). As retirement has allowed me to write more, but mainly on social media where I have to be my own editor, I blush so often my cheeks seem permanently sunburned. Sigh.
But dysgraphia also brought a positive to my life. The early recognition that being perfect was a lost cause focused me instead on what I could do, Writing was a passion, but until word processing came along, I wrote, only in a journal just for me.
Word processing eventually helped me become a published author; that and having lived with 366 foster children – boys and girls needing short-term care and all in trouble with the law. A sad or happy fact, I am not sure which, but each editor of a book of mine fled to another profession after dealing with me.
The lack of perfection in my life lead eventually to developing Emotional Fitness Training and the following tips for saying “No” to perfectionism.
Tip one: Do as the Buddha suggests: moderate your quest for perfection with the thought that everything is “All all right,” at least in terms of the needs of the universe.
Tip two: When what is right for the universe is all wrong for you, strengthen your self-soothing skills. A self-soothing skill is anything that gets you passed bad moments.
Tip three: Do what you can when you can and as best you can. Focus on strengths, worry less about weaknesses. Good enough is really good enough 99.9 per cent of the time.
Tip four: Stand “dead in the water” when you must. Sometimes life beats you so far down you want to kill yourself or another. You know you cannot do that, but you also cannot think of anything else to do. You become immobilized; what I mean when I say “Standing Dead In the Water.” Doing nothing is usually the best strategy when fear, despair or anger become that overwhelming.
Tip five: Remember what matters and what matters most is always making your part of the world better and practicing kindness. When life is beating down on you, before being kind to others, be kind to you.
Some final thoughts: Turn quotes into a quick Emotional Fitness Exercise by taking a Calming Breath (breathe in slowly, hold your breathe for a few moments, breathe out slowly, smile and say a silent “Thank You”) as you read and think about the quote.
Strengthening your self-soothing skills. My 12 Daily Emotional Fitness Exercises are research based and easy to practice self-soothing exercises. New to this idea or this blog? Go here for an introduction to the 12 Daily Exercises or spend $2.99 for my e-Book Self-soothing:How To Create Calm In Your Life.
Thank you and stay strong: Practice Kindness right now by liking, commenting, or sharing this and other EFT posts, free downloads, or other products.
Links of Interest
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
- The five components of emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com)
- Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises.
Disclaimer one: Emotional Fitness Training is not therapy. Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, listen to your heart. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest. Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what like me. Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability, Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense. If you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.