Don’t Let Perfection be the Enemy of Good

I have an aerospace engineering degree from Purdue University. I don’t say that to brag, I haven’t used it in eighteen years. My point is that most people who’ve been trained in engineering suffer from a serious case of perfectionism syndrome. After all, you don’t want your planes and spacecrafts falling from the sky. It’s essential that your engineers are smart, responsible, organized and detail oriented. I am just saying we are predisposed is all.

Nothing is perfect

Part of starting this blog is to help remind myself that in daily life, better is better. Nothing has to be perfect, I no longer design satellites.

Good enough

Yesterday, I was cleaning our oven by hand (my life is so glam now!) because when I tried to use the self-cleaning part, the oven caught fire due to a globbity mess on the bottom. So I began the tedious task of scrubbing (I used How Jen Does It). Needless to say, it was messy and took awhile. Some of that nasty, crusty, burnt stuff got on my kitchen floor. My thought process went like this…

“I need to sweep that ash up before someone (the kids) gets it on their shoe and spreads it to the carpet.” Sigh. “I really need to vacuum the whole house and I should start at the top (we have four stories) and work my way down because that’s how you’re supposed to do it.” Sigh. “Really, I should dust first, then vacuum, then mop. That is the right way.” Sigh. “But that will take forever and I’m already tired.” Sigh. “Okay Cari, get over yourself and just clean up this mess in front of you and that’s it. That’s good enough.”

Do you see? It took some convincing myself to stop trying to make everything perfect. I’m getting better, but as you can tell, it’s still a work in process.

Most people suffer varying degrees of this. How to you deal with perfectionism syndrome? Can you relate? Comment below!

4 Replies to “Don’t Let Perfection be the Enemy of Good”

  1. Cari you are perfect in my book. You hang in there and enjoy life and your kids and husband as I have found life at my age, i is short now and I try to be thankful for each day I get. So take it easy on yourself and enjoy each day you get. Life goes by too fast. Take care.

  2. Perfectionist syndrome, eh? Well, lately I’ve been noticing that I tense my stomach muscles, tighten my jaw, and shorten my breath whenever I’m in perfectionist mode. I’m just trying so hard to get it right, or thinking so hard about getting it right that my body suffers. So when I catch myself behaving this way, I stop, breathe, and tell myself to smile, smile, and smile some more. Then hopefully I start to laugh, and the tension melts, and my need for perfection floats away.

    1. Yes, I tend to over-ride my body when in perfectionism syndrome. I’m so busy trying to get everything done perfectly that I don’t notice much of anything and can’t stop and take a deep breath, as you suggest. You’re right about amusement being the universal tonic though. Ahhh, good reminders Marie…thank you so much for commenting! xo

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