Are you someone who expects to perform in a flawless fashion?  I’ve been fighting that tendency my entire life.  Unfortunately, I’ve passed that gene to my offspring.  I’m probably the only one who, upon entering college, had her mother say “don’t work too hard” and “you don’t have to be the best, just do your best.”

I’ve tried to live up to her words, but I still get angry with myself when what I’ve done isn’t good enough or suffers criticism.  And, unfortunately, when you’re a writer, it happens fairly often. 

We perfectionists realize, at some level, that we can’t and don’t have to be faultless, yet we keep striving for that unreachable goal.  The reality is that perfectionism is another type of procrastination.  Often times projects are never completed because the work is never good enough.  Ask yourself:  What’s better?  A project that hasn’t been completed or one that meets your needs?

Then, too, we are so harried and busy we really don’t have time for perfectionism.  If you have one hundred tasks to accomplish but only have time for fifty, you must 1) pick which of the responsibilities are the most important, and 2) do them good enough.

Something is good enough when it:

  1. Meets your goals
  2. Can be completed in the given time frame.
  3. Stays within budget.
  4. Doesn’t stress you out.

For instance, my dinner party will be perfect with a guest list of thirty where I serve a four-course dinner I prepared with scratch.  Exquisite attention to the table decorations, ambiance, pre-dinner prohibition cocktails, and ten wine selections will make it even more enjoyable.  And everyone will love my presentation of the bananas foster.

So, when will I send your invitation?  NEVER.  Just the thought of organizing everything but the prohibition cocktails throws me into a snit.   

However, I can meet my goal for a perfect dinner party by inviting the gang over for a pot luck dinner, BYOB.  After all, it’s not what you want, but what you need.  And I need to have fun with my friends.

But, sorry, I can’t invite you over just yet.  My house isn’t quite clean enough.  Maybe later…