Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Perfectionism v Powerlessness

As many people know, I am focusing most of my time on self improvement, which includes a daily stream of meetings. Well, at a meeting today we focused on the topic of perfectionism, and the potential downfalls of being a perfectionist. I’ve always been a perfectionist, it was always my way of seeking acceptance and approval; who would have thought that improving myself would require admitting powerlessness?

Perfection is nothing but an illusion, and in chasing it I was continuously chasing a dream that could never be realized. What’s more, the more I would try to control a situation to bring about the perfection I sought, the farther I was from achieving any level of excellence. Sure, I could appear to do excellent at any given goal on any given day, but in the end I was really moving farther and farther away from any true happiness.

In reality, I have been shocked to find that things get much better the less control I exert over them. When I let things happen as they are meant to happen, and accept the outcome as it is, I tend to be happier with the results then when I tried so hard to influence them. And what’s more, I’m far less stressed, get much less upset over the little things in life. Definitely, since relinquishing control over the events in my life, I’ve been a happier person.

Now it’s not to say that I don’t have to put in the work, and don’t have to put in the effort to push some things in the right direction. In actuality, I believe the goal needs to be some sort of balance between control and powerlessness, a point where I follow the serenity prayer, accepting the things I cannot change, and having the strength to change the things I can. But hardest is the wisdom to know the difference.

Before you go thinking that I understand all this, I’m no where close. In situations where I have the least control I am often most anxious to take control. I can see the futility in what I’m doing, and somehow am unable to do any differently. Go figure!

You know, it takes us full circle to where we started; perfection is just an illusion, and I can only strive for progress. I have a great deal still to learn, about myself, about how to make myself happy, about how to handle situations, about life. But I am working towards bettering myself and towards handling situations in a different way, and that is progress. For today, that’s good enough for me. Hopefully, it will be good enough again tomorrow.

Posted by Scottage at 9:53 PM / | |