Heard That, Voltaire: On Perfectionism Vs. Enoughism

My name is Emily, and I’m a perfectionist.

VoltaireToday is one of those days when I do so much–whether it be chores around the house, taking care of my family, completing work for students and my dissertation, etc.–and yet feel terrible guilt that I am not doing enough (I walked instead of ran this morning; the house is steadily becoming messier; the dogs probably need more attention; when am I going to get that section of the dissertation done? It goes on and on).

When did I install this horrible self-monitoring device? When did she decide everything has to be perfect, including me, my house, my work? How do I uninstall her and have an Office Space style montage of beating her with a baseball bat while “Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangster” plays in the background?

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten is: 1) praise the small things, 2) remind yourself daily that (a) you are enough, just as you are and (b) all is well, and 3) determine what is “good enough” and find freedom in it.

What is some of the best advice you’ve gotten regarding perfectionism and goal-creating/goal-meeting? Please feel free to share—we are in this thing together.

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