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December – Self Acceptance

“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
Michael Law

This is a time of year when many of us are aiming for a perfect Holiday.  If you are hooked on sappy Hallmark Christmas movies like me, it can be a difficult time of the year.  Our mistakes can be glaring if you celebrate any holiday this time of year.  Comparisons to movies or real life don’t help.  I got two Christmas cards before December 1st this year, this got my unrealistically thinking I should have my gifts or cards out by now.  You might think someone got me a much nicer present than I got them.  The food I brought was not good enough for the holiday meal.  I should be feeling a total sense of peace and love around the Holidays and I only feel stress.  I wrote about perfectionism back in May 2014 and it is still a struggle for me.  Self acceptance is the cure.

We all make mistakes, and often obsess over them.  I have a history of extreme perfectionism compounded by a family background where I can also feel overly responsible for everything in the whole world.  I can be haunted by my mistakes even if others have forgiven them.  I wrote about talking to myself as my own best friend.  I do that and now I am working hard on following the advice I give myself.  It is dang good advice sometimes.  If make a mistake I tell myself to apologize, make restitution where I can and move on.  I also find quiet reflection and meditation really helps to put things into perspective.

Enjoy what ever holiday you celebrate and cut yourself some slack this year.

“Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.

Healthy striving is self-focused: “How can I improve?” Perfectionism is other-focused: “What will they think?”
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are