May 15, 2013

The #1 Secret for Success and Happiness?

Crabby made a thing!  Feel free to share this important reminder somewhere if ya do that sort of thing.


There are SO MANY ways we tend to hold ourselves back when we forget this. And there are so many exciting endeavors and adventures we could be enjoying if we weren't afraid that temporary flailing and failure might compromise our awesomeness. If I let myself get started I could easily turn this into a 20 volume encyclopedia instead of a blog post.

But instead, comporting with the spirit, if not the letter, of "Wordless Wednesdays" I think I'll shut the hell up now.

Anybody else besides me struggle with this sometimes? Any examples of confronting perfectionism and going forth and Kicking Ass?


Public domain images gratefully swiped from graphics fairy.

56 comments:

  1. Crabby, the thing you made is made of awesome. Great reminder.
    I've never worried about doing anything perfectly. If I did I'd never do anything.
    Failure is good. Once you get that first one out of the way, trying other stuff is easy.

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    1. Thanks Leah! Wish I had your sensible attitude towards failure. I dread it when I should just embrace it more often. But working on it!

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  2. I love your "thing!!" I have no clue how to do something like that (especially with your name on it!) - maybe one day I'll learn.
    I didn't realize how much of a perfectionist I was until I started observing Hunter (my youngest) - so many similarities!! Seeing how frustrated he gets when he can't get something just right and long he will keep at it is like looking into a mirror. We are both working on letting it go and just enjoying the fact that we can be awesome without being perfect (I'm going to start saying that every day - thanks!!).

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    1. How funny Kim that you see the same thing so clearly in Hunter! Actually sounds like kids could be a great "personal development" tool.

      And I am too clueless to use photoshop or anything fancy, I used powerpoint which I'm slowly beginning to play with. Much more intuitive!

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  3. Oh your Thing is so going on my inspiration wall tonight!

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    1. Oh good Trabb's Boy!! It was kinda fun to do, I may have to play around more and see what else I can come up with. Hmm... Self Help with Swearwords...t-shirts? Tote bags? Water bottles? Coffee mugs?

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  4. Love the thing you made! Now I just need to take it to heart!

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    1. yeah baglady, easier said than done!

      Oh, and thanks for the FB share, really appreciate it!

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  5. Perfect timing with the "thing" you made. I am tossing perfection (and my sanity some may say) away and preparing to be pretty f-ing awesome. I might have mentioned running my first 5k of the season last week. Well, it was soooo much fun that when I got home, in the fog of my runners high, I signed up for a HALF MARATHON in September. Now that I've committed, I keep asking myself why, why, why? The answer my friends is if I actually live through 13.1 miles I will consider myself PRETTY F-ING AWESOME.
    (and if I have to be picked up at mile ten with poopy pants and missing my shoes I'll consider a diiferent training plan and try again next year.)
    Wish me luck and send cab fare.

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    1. You can do it, mrsmars! I'm running a half this coming weekend and so pumped about it! Come to me if you need encouragement! :-)

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    2. Oh my goodness Christina and HSH, you guys are indeed Pretty F--cking Awesome... and I will keep thinking so even if poopy pants and rescue cabs are involved. But I bet you both do great. Keep us posted!!!

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  6. I have way too much to say about perfectionism. It was a ball and chain for way too long in my life! Perfectionism can paralyze you big time.

    My father was a HUGE perfectionist, so I guess part of it came from him (not that I want to blame my parents for all my flaws - but I'm sure it contributed). Then I married a perfectionist... what's wrong with me?!? But living with someone else who had that trait was a big eye-opener for me. Looking at him made me realize how ridiculous it could get (I was as bad, mind you).

    Luckily I was able to get rid of it. (I'm talking about the perfectionism, not the husband! LOL I'm not that heartless!) I can't describe how much lighter and freer I feel now. I thought my obsessive attention for detail meant a life well lived, but for the most part in meant a life NOT lived.

    Letting go of perfectionism has allowed me to prioritize the right things, and has enabled me to deal with my own mistakes and failures in a healthy way. Instead of looking right under my nose I look ahead!

    And I remind myself that today could be my last day on this Earth... do the tiny details really matter then? The answer is in the question... :-)

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    1. Wow HSH, that's inspirational! Will have to try that "looking ahead" thing, who knows what might be out there!

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  7. Having to do anything outside of my comfort zone makes me nervous and/or cranky. Most of the time it winds up being not so bad, sometimes it winds up being awesome, but it's always hard to remember that in the moment.

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    1. I'm with you JavaChick, but it occurs to me we can still be pretty awesome even if we don't take advantage of EVERY opportunity out there. I'm thinking awesome imperfection comes in many forms!

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  8. I've just done the best I could. I have my moments of awesome and moments when the world has leveled me...

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    1. I bet you were awesome even when leveled, Dr. J!

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  9. I am not a perfectionist at all in fact I take great pleasure in doing things the backwards upside down way. The only problem is that I am a bit of a show-off jerk so when I do something that is impressive (usually by accident)I like to brag and make a big production out of it!

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    1. The backwards upside down way seems to me like a sign of creativity, cindy! And I think everyone needs to be a show-off jerk every once in a while. At least that's my excuse for going around yelling "I made a thing, look everyone, I made a thing!"

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    2. Your entire outlook on life is f-cking awesome, Cindy!

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  10. Cranky!! I LOVE what you made!! I will be sharing it. I love the message and I love the comments. Just the stuff I needed to hear today.

    I am reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. This excerpt is something that really resonated with me. I am trying to wrap my head, heart and hands around this:

    "Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving for excellence. Perfectionism is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is a defensive move. It’s the belief that if we do things perfectly and look perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shied we lug around, thinking it will protect us, when in fact it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from being seen.

    Perfectionism is, at its core, about trying to earn approval. “I am what I accomplish and how well I accomplish it. Please. Perform. Perfect.”

    Healthy striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other focused: What will they think?

    Perfectionism is a form of shame. Where we struggle with perfectionism, we struggle with shame. (Daring Greatly, p. 129)

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    1. Brené Brown is awesome. :-)

      You can hear her talk on TED.

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    2. Oy. That sounds like something I need to read.

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    3. Love that Brene Brown excerpt Theresa, I really need to read more of her. And her Ted talks are great because she's so funny and down to earth.

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    4. Oh and forgot to say thanks Theresa!!!!

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  11. Wow! You made a thing and it IS awesome! Too many of the rest of us make too much out of nothing, don't we and that's part of what 'perfectionism' is about, right?

    Someone once told me that perfection is the enemy. I'm pretty sure it's true.

    The best travel stories aren't about how everyting was perfect - they're about the MISadventures and near catastrophies. Who doesn't love the fact that Wiley Coyote keeps on chasing Road Runner despite blasting right through those stone walls and having anvils fall on his head over and over again?

    Me - I like my heroes all messy and banged up with torn clothes and few scrapes. The evidence of having worked through some struggle (minor or major) is an important aspect to gaining my admiration (because I feel I can relate to that - it's real).

    And that's why I love your site and all the visitors here so much. It's all so real AND fun!! Thanks :)

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    1. Great point, anon, about travel and heroes and clever yet sometimes struggling Cranketeers--all more compelling and interesting when less than "perfect."

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  12. Go forth and be awesome, despite the flailing that may occur. This is what I've gleaned from this post. BOOM!

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  13. LOVE!!!!!!!!!! My post today says a lot to my issues with being enough. I LOVE THIS JAN!!! Sharing! :) Thank you!

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    1. Me too Jody! My latest posting on my blog was about being "good enough"...something I often struggle with.

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    2. Thanks so much Jody, and interesting Jody & Sherri how we're all on the same wavelength today!

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  14. Yes, yes, yes! Since i was a child, it was pounded into me that if you can't do it perfectly to someone else's standard the first time, every time, you are a failure. What you say here is what i've taught my kids, but i can't seem to get myself over that early training.

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    1. How frustrating messymimi, that the old perfectionist standards are still lurking in there! But I bet you're chipping away at them bit by bit. Kids and cats'll will help with that I'm guessing. :)

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  15. I needed this. I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to expectations for myself. Funny that I don't hold others to the same measure. But I fear failure. I have heard fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real and try to remind myself of this. Still fear paralyzes. I admire those who can step out to try new and risky endeavors.

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    1. So many of us share the same struggle mk, but I'm finding over time, and a dose of "f--k it, I'm doing the best I can," it gets better and better over time. You are PFA, far better than being perfect in my book.

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    2. OOOOhhh. mk!! I love the take on what fear stands for! False Evidence Appearing Real. Good stuff!

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  16. Uhhhhh, yeah, like all the time. But I've gotten WAY better at turning off the perfectionist voice inside my head. It took 40+ years to recognize that failing is a good thing! It means you're out there trying new things! For example, I was riding my new bike today, feeling very cool and fancy (I just bought a road bike, replacing my clunky hybrid,) when I had to come to a sudden stop and fell over. (In case you're wondering it takes a while to get used to using cleated bike shoes.) Total loss of cool points, but big deal. It was a great day for a ride and I will eventually learn how to not tip over...right? :)
    Gaye

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 16, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      No, no, Gaye. No loss of cool points there. That's just one of the markers on the road to cool cycling, and everyone does it. The only people I know who have managed to get through their first couple of rides without toppling over have gotten smug and toppled over on their third (or fourth rides) when they have forgotten all about those little cleats.

      Congratulations!

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  17. I've never been a perfectionist. This makes working for perfectionists less than awesome.
    As your Thing scrolled into view, I finished the phrase "You don't have to be perfect..." with "...just get enough sleep." Which tells you where I'm coming from lately.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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  18. When I fall short of perfect, I forget how much improvement I've actually made. Just because my food choices aren't 100% on target, doesn't mean that I'm not eating WAY more healthy than I did a year ago. I lose sight of the big picture and focus on the small failures. Sometimes, these little negatives get the best of me and I start to fall down the slippery slope of "why try." Most of the time, I can snap out of it! Reminding myself that perfection should NOT be a goal is something I do often! I enjoy your site, glad I found it!

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  19. You made a fine thing, Crabby. And you are indeed awesome.

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  20. Its so easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism. I have developed a mechanism where I give myself a good kicking if I start to get this way. Nothing in life is achieved without failing along the way, its all part of the learning process.Never be too hard on yourself.

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  21. I grew up in a perfectionist sort of family, so it's taken me a lot of work to realize that not everything has to be perfect all the time. It's much less stressful when you let some things go.

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  22. There is no such thing as perfect. But that does not stop my from working on being BETTER all the time. There is ALWAYS "better." Stopping at "good enough" soon leads to going backwards.

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  23. I meant to ask you yesterday, how did you make your cool thing? Photoshop? I haven't got that installed on my computer and I know it's pricey. Was wondering if there is another way. I've been wanting to make things too, but wasn't sure where to start.
    Thanks.
    Gaye

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  24. Death Ride GrandmaMay 16, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Thank you, Crabby! If only I had seen this when I was about 22, a lot of stuff might have gone more smoothly. I didn't figure out for a lot of years that it was actually a deeply hidden perfectionist streak that made me such a slob! I'd start cleaning something, but I couldn't get it just right, so I stopped trying. We actually threw away some of our dishes when we moved out of our first apartment - they were beyond help. Now, fortunately, I have figured out how to compromise and am only a little bit sloppy. Once we had kids, we pretty much had to find a middle ground.

    It's never had much effect on my cycling; I never thought of myself as an athlete, as a result of which I have been able to go far beyond where I ever dreamed of going. Ironic, huh?

    It's nice to learn that I have such a lot of great company!

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  25. I absolutely love this post. I struggle with this so often in my life. I am always worried that things might not go the way I want so I avoid them all together.

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  26. First of all - I LOVE the combination of inspiration and swearing. Keep it coming.

    Secondly, I'm about as far from perfect as you can get, especially body type-wise, which makes me uber self-conscious. In the face of that, however, I'm still putting together a comedy show for my non-profit this September with myself as emcee. Such imperfection on stage? - priceless.

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  27. Thanks for making a great thing. I gave it to my mom! Cause she is f-ing awsome. I found your site looking for hysterectomy recovery information(..thanks for addressing those of us who are in shape! ) and have been enjoying your site since.

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  28. This blog post resonated with me. Short but meaningful. I am constantly struggling with myself. I can be my biggest roadblock with my negativity. I strive to keep my confidence levels high but it's always been hard for me today. You just have to remember that you are strong and beautiful and can do anything you set your mind to!

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  29. Love this message. There are certainly days when I would get frustrated at not being able to do something flawlessly. Thank you for reminding me that YES! I can still be AWESOME!

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  30. Being in my most eccentric form of individuality brings out the best in me and I guess the same can be true for everyone. It’s a common belief among us that peculiarity brings unhappiness, uncertainty and disappointment but obviously it does not. Perfectionism is not everything. We could be in our very perfect form in our most idiosyncratic shape. Have a pretty awesome day everyone!

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  31. Ah perfectionism. I struggle with it daily...hourly even. I am my own worst enemy. But I am trying to just push past it and do things anyway.

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  32. This is so true!
    For years I have been always waiting "for the right moment" or changing "just one more thing" in my life, my job, until I finally realized that the most of what I think is total crap, other people actually love. Except for some sceptic misanthrope individuals out there, but hey, we cannot avoid them. And I have chosen to ignore them.
    Works like a charm!

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  33. Life is a struggle.
    The problem is most of us wish to some extent that it wasn't
    All we can do is all we can do.
    No one can explain how we will be better for it.
    Sad really!

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