I do not like using labels, but this is one that fits most with Parkinson’s: Perfectionism. Like me, prior to and during much of my time with Parkinson’s, most of the rest of you feel that you have to do everything perfectly. And, like me, most of you are intelligent enough to know that you cannot do everything perfectly. Do you see the problem here?
Over the last couple of weeks, I have had this conversation with many people, the perfectionism conversation. However, it has landed on a new level of awareness that looks like this:
“Do you feel that you need to do things perfectly?”
“Please provide me a list of everything you have done perfectly in your life.”
“Since you have never done anything perfectly, do you feel you have had any successes in life?”
“Can you see where this will provide a mental block to you being successful in your full recovery? That is, if you cannot look at your life and see any successes, don’t you think it will block you from the success of your full recovery?”
“And, is this feeling at least in part because you do not feel you are doing the Parkinson’s Recipe for Recovery® perfectly?”
Now, do all of you see the problem here? Perfectionism is setting yourself up to fail for no other reason than whatever you did, no matter how well you did it, no matter how much praise or how many awards you have won from it or how much money have you earned from it, or no matter how many people said it was absolutely perfect…to you, it was not perfect…so, to you, it was a failure. That is a BIG PROBLEM!
I have heard from people over the years that they did not think they were doing the Recipe perfectly, so they knew they would not be having a recovery. I have explained countless times that there is no perfect way to do the Recipe. I could not do the Recipe exactly how it is listed, for example, because my balance was poor I could not bend backwards in Medical Qigong for the Liver. It did not prevent me from my full recovery.
To help you move away from perfectionism, please accept that you are doing your best, and that your best is good enough. Click here for a reminder of just how important this concept is. Please repeat, “I am doing my best, and my best is good enough!”
If your life would feel completely undone if you were not striving to be perfect, here is the one area where being perfect will work very well for all of you: Be perfectly HAPPY. Happiness is a choice. So, choose to be happy and do it perfectly.
To assist you in choosing to be perfectly happy, I am going to borrow a thought from our good friend Penny Wassman. Last year when I did a post about your right to be happy, Penny suggested, “I think it might be a great fit for our group to adopt Pharrell Williams wonderful song “Happy” as our PD group theme song.” Thank you, Penny. I’m all in!
Choose to be happy, perfectly happy…and smile.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,