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What Is Perfectionism For You?

What is perfectionism for you?

This week, I tried to consciously spend less time working and more time taking it easy. I consciously chose to not schedule calls this week and for several calls already on my agenda, I rescheduled one, chose not to join another and a client rescheduled a third.

In the end, I spent 4.5 hours less on Zoom calls this week. And I spent less time answering emails, posting on Facebook and doing other laptop stuff. Then I realized I hadn’t even written a newsletter this week—a task I enjoy! I had simply forgot to do so.

Has this ever happened to you?

While I didn’t completely live up to my expectations to spend less time on Zoom and my digital devices, I definitely spent less time on my screens than I had in the past two months. So, I’m reminding myself again: this is not about perfection. Every step of me taking care of myself and listening to myself matters.

If switching off completely creates pressure and worry about doing all that work later then I allow myself the flexibility to change my plans (and reschedule events I’d planned with others).

When was the last time you took it a bit more easy?

Recently, in the Honesty Europe Facebook group, I posed this question:

For me, Perfectionism is __. (Fill in the blank)

These are the responses people gave:

  • Being fucked up
  • stressful
  • Embracing my humanness – embracing imperfections With love and opportunities
  • … a little voice in me that wants me to be safe by doing “everything exactly right”. I see the good intention and try to calm them and answer “You’re good enough” and “I protect you”.
  • … distraction from my fear of rejection
  • easy way to fuck up myself.
  • … the myth that something can be done in a way that needs no correction.
  • A pain in the ass – oh for supreme confidence
  • My desperate desire to show that I’m great – while forgetting that people will love me more in my imperfection.
  • Keep tweaking, changing, forgetting the bigger picture or my goal, never satisfied always wanting ‘it’ to be better, better, better so no one can criticize me for anything all the while criticizing myself for not being able to do it ‘right’ and then…, hopefully, waking up… giving myself some love and appreciation and permission to move on. Also: not even starting something out of fear of fucking it up or even do it very quickly, without attention, without my heart in it, fucking it up on purpose and selling that to myself as ‘I didn’t find it important’.
  • Perfectionism for me is a process that concocts art, action, and wisdom.
  • … oftentimes reducing the quantity of what I can deliver (in favor of the quality).

For myself, I wrote: “something I don’t so much like about myself!”

What about you – what is perfectionism for you?

(If you aren’t already a member of the Honesty Europe group on Facebook, I warmly welcome you to join! It’s a closed group for sharing and practicing Radical Honesty. Every week in that group, I post a new exercise or honesty tip and others actively share there, too. Join the group here: Honesty Europe Facebook group

Anyway, about my week…

In addition to feeling “zoomed out” and tired, I had another reason for wanting to work less online. This week, Pete and I have been in our cabin in the woods of Finland with Pete’s son. We have been readying the place for the summer season. So far, I have hauled firewood to the woodshed beside the big sauna, moved the smaller-chopped firewood to another shed, stained the yurt platform with walnut color terrasse oil, collected rubbish from the garage to go to the sorting center, and cleared branches and needles that had fallen around the cabins since last summer.

Beside the main retreat building, Pete tilled a bald and rocky patch of ground, dug out large rocks and planted grass for the outdoor circle of our retreat sessions.

Still to be done: erect the yurt (we take it down for the winter so the material will last longer), set two long docks in the lake, cut down a few perilous-looking older pine trees so they won’t blow down onto the cabin and chop them into firewood and stack that firewood to dry till next summer, buy dry foods (like muesli, nuts, rice, pasta, flower, quinoa, coffee, tea and spices). Hang the hammocks and set out our 6.5-meter-long table for our outside meals.

And most important of all: look at the lake and enjoy its ever-changing scenery, listen to the call of the various birds (who sound like they’re enjoying their mating season), notice the leaves and moss and grass and bushes bursting greener with each passing day, sweat in the sauna, dip into the cold lake water, and play our daily dice games. And, of course: eat and sleep well!

Oh, and enjoy watching the pink and orange sunsets!

This video is a little bit related to the topic: Making commitments vs. Living Up to Other People’s Expectations:

I wish you a peaceful weekend!

Not a perfect one, rather an enjoyable one even when things are less than perfect.

Love,
Tuulia (& Pete)

PS: If you have ever attended any our retreats in Finland, you probably recognize some of the things that I’ve mentioned here! If you haven’t been to our cabins in Finland yet, you are most welcomed! 🧡 Check out the retreats schedule here: Workshops Calendar

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