Perfectionism is passe; Imperfect is au courant!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Perfectionism is <em>passe</em>; Imperfect is <em>au courant</em>!
Perfectionism is passé and Imperfection is au courant. Praise God, I’m in style! I am, oh so, imperfect in spite of a recurring case of perfectionism my entire life. When I mentioned this inclination toward perfectionism to a dear and close friend, she gave me a look that needed no words, “You? Perfect? I don’t think so. I’m the one obsessed with perfection.” The lesson, for me, at that point was that we all have our own brand of perfectionism. She didn’t seem stricken with the disease because she wasn’t trying to perfect herself in the same arenas in which I was anguishing---and vice versa.

Motherhood, however, is an equal opportunity arena for perfectionism. At the debut of the first child, perfectionism holds the power to bring a successful, accomplished young woman to her knees with despair that she may not be the perfect mother. Then along come Becky Beaupre Gillispie and Hollee Schwartz Temple. In their new book, good enough is the new perfect, they ring the death knell on perfectionism and declare “good enough” a noble goal. Just let that sink deeply into your psyche for a moment.

Deep relief spreads throughout my body. If only they had written this book before my parenting years had become ancient history. However, one book does not a trend make. The demise of perfectionism is being noted by other voices.

My new guru, Brene` Brown, declares that imperfection even has gifts! Her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, suggests that we need to let go of who we think we’re suppose to be and embrace who we are. From my personal experience, that level of acceptance is the gift of age and I’m just grateful that I can bring that imperfection to the relationship with my grandchildren even if I didn’t get to apply it to my own childrearing.

Thank you, Becky and Hollee, for getting the word out to young mothers everywhere. May your message spread like dandelion seeds in spring.

The book good enough is the new perfect was provided to me through my membership in From Left To Write. This is not intended to be a review of the book.

updated: 6 years ago

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MichelleWednesday, May 11th 2011 11:03PM

I'm with you - and Brene Brown has it perfectly, too.  I love her attitude and how she's managing her life right now, down to how (not) seriously she takes herself.  Becky & Hollee did a great job with this, too, in making our OWN version of good enough and not trying to prescribe any particular level for us.  If only it were that easy to find, though!

I am with you about how hard it is to find that perfect (pun intended) level of good enough. Honestandtruly, thanks for stopping by. I love puns! ;-)

AprilWednesday, May 11th 2011 1:15AM

It is true that we feel a lot of pressure to do everything perfectly. Sometimes, good enough really is.

Formerlyaprildawn, I'm still digesting the fact that as we are having this conversation it doesn't come up that we compromise perfection as work. All the compromise seems to be in parenting. What's up with that?

CherylTuesday, May 10th 2011 10:10PM

I'm so glad to know that imperfect is "in." I have been working my way through The Gifts of Imperfection and am trying to let go of my perfectionist tendencies. I realize that it really does little more than set me up for failure.

Secondglantz, I'm glad you've found Brene Brown's work. It is so comforting when you let her concepts deeply into your soul.

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