This morning I woke up at 4:00 am with Jeff Foxworthy on my mind. I must have been dreaming about his “You might be a Redneck if …” but he had changed it up to “You might be a Perfectionist if ….!” Some of you are still in denial that you are a perfectionist. We see your blogs and emails saying, “How can I be a perfectionist if my house is so messy!” It is that perfectionism that causes it. Let me explain.
Born Organized people and Sidetracked people are both perfectionist. The Born Organized person actually creates the environment that everything has to be in place. They cannot mentally or physically leave anything out of order. For Sidetracked people like us; we get overwhelmed by it. We want it in order but we don’t think we have enough time to do it right. This is when we do nothing. Getting overwhelmed is caused by our perfectionism.
You come to us looking for help to get rid of your clutter and CHAOS. You just want to get your house clean. Deep down inside you realized that this clutter and CHAOS has infested every area of your life. Even if you are not ready to admit it; your finances show that evidence, your schedule is crazy and your relationships are falling apart. Here goes your perfectionism again. You are looking for the perfect answer to your problem. There is no such thing as perfect.
I hear people use that term “perfect” all the time as an adjective. It saddens me that so many people use that word without even thinking of the burden it puts on their family to live up to that unrealistic view of life.
Our perfectionism causes us to be critical of others. We see something they are doing wrong and it is our duty to correct them. We do this to our children, our husbands and sometimes even total strangers. We think it is our duty because after all we can do it better than they can. All this does is show the world that you are a rude person. What example are you setting for your children when you correct their father all the time? Your children just want to be loved. The message you are giving them is that if they are not perfect they are not worthy to be loved. Isn’t that the message you heard growing up. We have been saddled with this from the day we were born, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all!” Guess what! That is exactly what we did! NOTHING. Perfectionism once again!
Let’s have some fun with this topic so you can see the perfectionist in you!
You might be a perfectionist if ..
You might be a perfectionist if ..You spend hours cleaning the grout with a toothbrush when there is a sink full of dishes.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You put the salt shakers in the center of the table when they become out of place after someone uses them during the meal.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You go to put the groceries away you pull out every single shelf in the refrigerator to clean them while the groceries are getting warm on the counter.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You go to replace a light bulb and end up tearing the whole light fixture apart cleaning it.
You might be a perfectionist if ..While doing laundry you spend hours trying to get a stain out of a $2 shirt when there are 10 piles that need to be washed and put away.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You spend six hours balancing your checkbook looking for a penny mistake.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You put the children’s toys away while they are still playing with them because it looks too messy.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You go to put away a book and end up spending hours rearranging the books in your bookshelf by height, color or alphabetical order when you were only clearing out a hot spot on your table.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You spend good money and valuable time searching the aisles of the grocery store for the latest greatest cleaning product to get your home in order when all it takes is a little soap and elbow grease.
You might be a perfectionist if ..You get an email, card or letter from someone and all you see is the mistakes that were made in their penmanship, spelling or grammar instead of the message of love. (You know who your are)
You might be a perfectionist if ..You put off doing the things you love because you don’t think you have enough time. How many memories are you not making because you think there is not enough time to do it right.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You fall off your diet wagon and give up; then start eating everything in sight.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You make a mess on your stove and go running down the hallway wanting to buy a new one.
You might be a perfectionist if .. Your baby spills milk and you explode in anger over a little mess.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You don’t have eight hours to clean your house; so you do nothing.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You automatically assume that everyone else is wrong and you have all the answers.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You make sure that everything goes exactly how you planned it.
You might be a perfectionist if.. You get upset in traffic because everyone else is a bad driver.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You shut down when things don’t go your way!
You might be a perfectionist if .. You read one of my essays and only see the mistakes and miss the message. Then shoot off an email complaining about how I need a proofreader.
You might be a perfectionist if .. You get a few emails in your inbox and automatically unsubscribe because you don’t have time to read them all.
Have you caught perfectionism in yourself? Do you have another one for us to add to this list? Send it to FlyLady@flylady.net with LAUGH.
Each of us has an opportunity to turn off our perfectionism switch if we really what to! I have done it. We can replace perfectionism with an open heart and loving gestures.
Are you ready to FLY!
Please fight the urge to send a rude email complaining about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. You would not correct someone in person; what makes you think it is O.K to do it from behind a computer or phone screen. We do not edit testimonials.
Perfectionism is not an asset. It is a wedge that you insert into your relationships. When you feel the urge to correct or complain; that is your red flag that perfectionism is rearing its ugly head.
Your perfectionism is the reason you won’t write on your calendar.
Your perfectionism is the reason your home is in CHAOS! Release it and FLY!