Do you strive to do things in JUST the right way? Do you insist on loading the dishwasher your way? Do you have trouble showing your work if it’s not at its absolute best? Do you avoid difficult tasks if you think that you can’t handle them masterfully?
Or maybe it’s your child who shows these tendencies. Does any grade less than an A leave your son highly disappointed in himself? Does your daughter shy away from new activities when she thinks they might be too hard? Do your kids gets REALLY upset when they can’t seem to figure something out?
Our society seems to reward high-achievers—those people who always excel and never seem to struggle with a task. But perfectionism suppresses our ability to truly grow and learn new things. It stifles innovation.
The antidote to perfectionism is, ironically, failure.
Not the failure of sitting on the couch all day because you can’t motivate yourself to do the work. No, it’s the failure of failing because you tried something outside your comfort zone.
When you try something new and difficult on a regular basis, you quickly get over the need to do everything “right.” You learn how limiting perfectionism can be.
One simple question to ask yourself and your kids every day:
“What did you try that was hard today?”
It can be ANYTHING. It can be a task. A new activity. A difficult conversation.
If you’re not already asking this question on a regular basis, start today. Download this screensaver to remind yourself of it every time you open your phone or computer.