I need to learn how to fail and how to have confidence in that failure.
People make mistakes. I understand that. What I can’t seem to get through my thick skull is that I am allowed to make mistakes too. I treat my failures or mistakes like the movie Independence Day and the aliens are coming. Where is Will Smith?
But in all seriousness, when a friend makes a mistake I try to help or make them feel better. Instead, when it comes to myself, I have bad dreams over what I could potentially do wrong personally and in business. When I do make a blunder, one of the worst feelings come over–this sick to my stomach shame. I’ve no tolerance for my potential mistakes or the ones I actually make. Grace is hard to find when I consider myself.
It comes in waves for me. For months, I seem to be giving up my perfectionism to God (I call myself a recovering perfectionist) and then it rears its ugly head again. I am trying to figure out the connection between those times when I am able to give it all to God and those times I hold myself to an extremely high standard.
Maybe it is because I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me in a big way several times in my life? Recently, I was talking to my dear old mum about those times. I just said, “I feel like people have a certain emotional capacity, like a gas tank, and so much went down in such a short amount of time, at a time in my life when I was most vulnerable that it just created this perfect storm and…like, I kind of hope God recognizes how full it is.” I know that’s not how it works; it’s just how it feels sometimes.
Let’s talk about love languages (I am very much rolling my eyes at myself right now). Last time I took it mine was quality time. But affirmation in new relationships, specifically rocky relationships, or when I am trying or beginning something new, I need a pat on the back–which makes me feel so dumb. Want to hear something that makes me feel even more ridiculous? On one level, I just want to make sure I am doing things to someone’s satisfaction and if I am not, I want to know how I can do it to their satisfaction (I’ve been told by professors and managers that I am very good at taking constructive criticism and it is true that I love it because I always want to be better, better, better) but then when it isn’t about the things I do or make or work related, I just want to know that I am liked (so that’s the most ridiculous part).
All of this adds more stress to my body and my chronic illness is triggered by stress. So I’ll be getting to the bottom of why my perfectionist tendencies have been higher than normal this summer.