I’m not a perfectionist…

This post is a continuation from my revelations yesterday on why my “gotta be perfect moments” cause me to become unglued and my need for others to think I’m “perfect”. And the disappointment that arises when I face situations (often) where I’m proven that I’m not perfect.

I just realized that I live by this internal mantra – “I’m not a perfectionist, I just want you to think I am.”

If you dont know me well, I’ll share that I’m not really a Type A personality – I’m more of a B+ personality.  I like organization and structure but I also have a go-with-the-flow, we’ll-feel-it-out trait that adds some ‘slack’ in my life.  I don’t feel the need to always keep my house spotless, in fact, since I’ve had kids, it’s often chaos.  I don’t mind looking “casual” when I go to social events.  But despite by personality traits, I am constantly challenged by the fact that I want others to see me as someone who keeps it real but also someone who shockingly seems to have it all together. But in fact, I’m so far from it.

I’m no Betty Crocker, I love recipes with 5 ingredients that take 10 minutes but I still want to knock your socks off when you try them.  And no, my house does not stay clean, if you come to visit, my husband and I run around like crazy straightening up five minutes before you ring my doorbell.  While I can talk up the times when I’m really feeling close to God (and there are those high’s), I feel like a complete failure (and don’t really shout it from the rooftops) the weeks when I don’t have enough discipline to ever crack His Book.  When I throw a party, I want it to seem like I remembered every detail and that I am Martha Stewart’s party-planning twin.

I realized in my attempts for perfection, my unglued moments come to the surface much easier.   I become completely frazzled when during my 5-minute “company-is-on-the-way” cleaning, my kids are hanging onto my legs and crying to be held. Don’t they know there is “throw everything in the closet and pantry” cleaning to be done? Or when I’m rushing around from one place to another, trying to get my errands done quickly and I hit every red light in town – by the time I get home, I’m completely on edge and exhausted from the frustration of bad drivers everywhere.  I’ve realized that when things throw me off from running an efficient and put-together life, I’m overcome by tons of unglued moments.

I’m also realizing that many of my moments come from how I internalize my own personal failures of not stacking up to someone else’s perfection.  As Pastor Furtick says, “I am comparing my normal to someone else’s highlight reel.” While those around me may seem perfect and pulled-together in my eyes.  I am not getting to see their true self – their insecurities, failures and challenges – I’m only seeing what they want me to see.  For example, when Jane Smith throws an amazing event for her daughter, and every detail is thought out and executed, I feel the pressure to keep up with Jane.  Meanwhile, I didn’t realize that Jane was crying in the bathroom 15 minutes before the party started because her appetizers got burnt and her kids ruined the centerpieces that are now sitting in the trash.  Then when my party doesn’t go off as I invisioned (agh, I forgot to buy the cute gingham napkins – it’s ruined!) – I’ll often mope in my failure and be on edge – not recognizing that I’m not the only one whose party veered off course. When my only focus was on Jane’s “success” and my “failure”.

This Unglued study has been eye opening for me to see how much I worry about my highlight reel and my drive for the “perception of perfection” which often results in an unglued life.

I can’t wait to continue this study and find out the practical ways to get this in check and to work on this to better myself.

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