Darlene Foster's Blog

“What does perfection have to do with creating an amazing life?”

Posted on: October 6, 2010

Perfection stands in the way of our dreams.  I am sharing this insightful article as I wish everyone an amazing life!

“What does perfection have to do with creating an amazing life?”
by Jan Janzen

Nothing. Yet many people are waiting to have an amazing life when all the ducks are lined up in a row, the bills are paid, the kids are in college, or they’ve found the perfect relationship. Honestly, if that’s you, you’ll be waiting a long time for perfection to happen.

The expression “ducks lined up in a row” is a popular saying that implies that everything needs to be in order. Originating from bowling alley lanes of yesteryear where the pins were called ducks, today we use the expression to signify that the pieces of our lives need to be in place before we move forward.

Now that may be possible with bowling alley pins or even ducks for a moment or two, but it is completely unrealistic to expect all your ducks to be in a row in real life. Waiting for that to happen will only create expectations that go unfulfilled and leave yo u with a life that is a far cry from amazing.

Why do we often expect to be able to line all our ducks up in a row? Our culture, upbringing, religion and what I call tribal mentality tells us that is what is necessary before we can do what we want. Your house needs to be cleaned before you go play. Your work needs to be done before you have fun. Your bills need to be paid before you take a vacation. Are you hearing someone’s voice when you read those words? Note if you are!

On the other hand, there is a completely contrasting message of “play now, pay later” and a “you deserve a break today” philosophy that can play havoc with your mind.

It becomes that constant tug-of-war struggle of “do I or don’t I”? As most of us are aware, that war only creates an overwhelming feeling of guilt, anxiety and fear – all emotions that are not conducive to creating an amazing life.

And to top it all off, the result of those conflicting emotions is a lukewarm, boring, dissatisfactory life. Trying to walk the tightrope between doing what you really want, which usually involves the feeling of “freedom”, and creating the perfect environment to do it in, which invokes the emotion of “responsibility” results in a life that just doesn’t work well at all.

It may look like this for you. You take the weekend off but you feel guilty because the house needs cleaning or there is still work to do at the office. You spend the day wading through tax receipts and getting your financial house in order and you are resentful because you really wanted to go hiking. It’s a no-win lifestyle that the vast majority of people in the Western world live. It creates havoc emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and even financially. Here’s what I suggest to get through this, because everybody I know has experienced it, and most pe ople are living it right now 

  1. Find out where your need for perfection comes from (parents, religion, culture etc). You can discover this by asking yourself some questions like: Where did I learn that I needed to be perfect? Are my parents perfectionists? Is my partner a perfectionist? Did I grow up in a religion that taught me that perfection was the ultimate goal? Then let go of those beliefs. If you’re not sure how to do that, my book Getting Off the Merry-Go-Round explains it in detail. But even using the words, “I let go in every cell of my body the need to be perfect”, is a good place to start.
  2. Pick one thing that would help make your life more amazing in the short-term. Maybe it’s going for a hike every weekend, having one night off a week to just relax, or not setting the alarm on Saturday morning. I’m sure you can find one thing to incorporate into your life this week that would make it more amazing.
  3. Choose one goal that you see as the “if I don’t do this before I die, I will be very upset” goal and focus on achieving that.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t have your bookkeeping in order or live in a clean house. It’s just that you can never do it all. Something will always have to give – always.

However, having the financial resources to pay people to do lots of those things for you will make a world of difference. You could be out hiking and your bookkeeper could be doing your accounting. You could be at the movies with your family while the maid cleans the house. That to me is the ideal scenario and one I focus on daily. Creating your financial freedom will allow you to have more of your ducks in a row than someone who has to do it all by themselves because there is no money. But even billionaires can only be in one place at a time and have to set priorities. They just have more choice than the typical person.

Creating perfection has NOTHING to do with creating an amazing life. Let that one go and take one step this month towards creating your amazing life. Trust that it will be imperfect and love every minute of it!

Jan Janzen is a non-denominational minister, healer and business coach. She is the author of four books and 8 CDs for the spiritual entrepreneur. To receive Jan’s complimentary ebook: 10 Secrets to Living the Life of Your Dreams, visit www.janjanzendaily.com

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