I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have to be perfect. Some people would call it a value, others a flaw. No matter how you look at it, the need for perfection pops it’s ugly head for most of us at one time or another. We want everything to be “just so” before we put it out to the world. How do I know? Because I’ve been there!
For a few months now I’ve been postponing a few projects that have been on my list for a long time. Different excuses seem to get in the way. Then, I began procrastinating, which lead to guilt, and then stress. Sound familiar? It wasn’t until I watched a video in a class I’m taking, that I realized I was stuck in being perfect.
Some women need to be perfect in everything they do. Other women are selective. We all want our children to have perfect manners when they‘re in public. We usually want to look our best for a date or a job interview. And when I make the time to sit down and paint, I expect it to be perfect every time! Of course it’s not!!! Then I avoid painting for a while and do something that I know I’m good at.
What about our homes? There are so many ways we create perfection in our minds. We want the perfect paint color, the perfect designer, the perfect budget, the perfect weather before we start the kitchen remodel. The list goes on and on. How many times have you passed on an opportunity to join a book club because you were self conscious about hosting it at your house? I remember my mom telling me that I couldn’t have a sleepover because the house wasn’t clean enough! Often we’re so focused on not failing that we don’t even begin the process. We’re on “overwhelm” before we even get started! The sad truth is that if we just take action without waiting for the perfect kitchen, the perfect wall color, or the perfect window treatment, our lives would be more enriched with relationships and happy memories.
Let’s take a look at a few things that can make a huge difference in getting us out of perfect and into action:
Realize that nothing is perfect. Did you know that Amish quilters always leave one mistake in their quilts because “only God is perfect”?
Be realistic. Acknowledge your limits of time, money and resources. Don’t let these obstacles keep you from moving forward with little changes.
Be flexible. Realize that the project will probably take longer than you expect. Go with the flow and relax. Enjoy the process.
Trust yourself. If you inner voice is telling you not to buy something. Listen to it!
Be authentic. Be true to yourself. And, please, don’t check your personality at the front door. Every woman brings their own dreams, visions, and talents to the table. Don’t be afraid to let your uniqueness shine.
Make a plan. Small steps, done consistently, are sometimes better than one big effort. You know the old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?…one bite at a time.” Use these words to guide you through your home makeover.
Mistakes happen. Sometimes you have a “What was I thinking!” moment that sends you into a panic. Instead of feeling like you’ve failed or having a meltdown, sit back, take a deep breath, and get creative. There’s almost always a way to fix it. Did you forget to measure the wall, or test the paint color in the room? Learn from your mistakes and take that with you into the next project.
Take risks. Sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a little. Go ahead. Add some turquoise to the walls. Throw an animal print pillow on the sofa.
Seek help. Network with your friends, hire professionals, or take a class. I can’t stress this enough! So many design disappointments happen because you didn’t ask for help, assumed your contractor could read your mind, or didn’t want to pay for help.
Be kind to yourself. If updating your home is taking too long because of no money, no time, or no help, it’s time to tell yourself “good enough…for now”. Throw caution to the wind, call your friends, and have a spur of the moment party. Sometimes entertaining at the last minute is the perfect excuse to not be perfect ! You’ll be more relaxed and feel less pressure. Best of all, your guests will feel welcomed. And isn’t that the point… enjoying what life has to offer?