Perfectionism – The Un-Live-Able GOAL!

Do you often find yourself finding it difficult to get past an idea?

Do you wait until everything is ‘PERFECT’ before telling or doing anything?

Do you often find yourself ‘UNHAPPY’ with the outcome and feel that you could have done better?

Many of us experience such emotions that cause immense ‘STRESS’ not just to ourselves but also to those who interact with us – family, friends, and co-workers.

And for the perfectionist in us, it is normal to feel this way.


When we have a thought or idea that we want to do or get across, we have to communicate to
other people. Many do not get past this stage of wanting to, for they decide that they will wait
until everything is perfect before they tell anyone or do anything.

I have heard people say that they’ll start when they have more money, and time, learn more,
practice more, when the kids are older, etc, etc, etc. The challenge with this is there is no perfect time.

The best time to get started is now. Yes, you may need to be selective at first with whom you talk to as there are negative people out there who may try to stop you or shut you down. Yet, I have found that most people shut themselves down by their fears and need to have everything just so.

I was talking to this lady who wanted to go to a job interview. She had spoken to her sister about the interview. Her sister replied, “make sure you do the interview perfectly because in this city people know each other and if you blow it, you can kiss your career goodbye”.

WOW, no pressure there. Going into an interview with that in your mind is a good way to blow it. You will probably be terrified, which can cause the mistakes you are trying to prevent. I have heard things like this before, yet most people are not sitting there just waiting to crush other people who come in. I have found that most are kind, generous, and helpful. What you need is encouragement and just to do your best. The world does not end with a bad interview.

Reality is much brighter when you look at the most successful people out there. They repeatedly said that they failed their way to the top, that they learned from their mistakes, and went on. There are millionaires that lost everything, brushed themselves off, and then created millions. They talked to people and connected with them. You can’t succeed by being a hermit.

We are not born with all knowledge of all things. We are not robots, calculating our every move. We are human beings that learn by what we do. We discover by how we interact. We learn when we communicate our thoughts and ideas.

Are there naysayers out there? Yes, run from them. Find the ones who are looking forward to hearing from you and wish to encourage you. You will always learn more and communicate more with positive and encouraging people.

I remember this one day I was sitting in the car, waiting for my partner while he ran into the store. The following just flowed out onto the paper.


It is in the trying and being that makes us human. It is the journey, not the end that tells us who we are and what we are made of. Perfection is not a means, it leaves no room for variation, creativity, and understanding of the process. It is through trial and error that we gain knowledge and wisdom. We remember and learn more through our mistakes than by what we do perfectly.

For if everything were perfect, done perfectly, there would be no journey, no life, no adventure,…only an end.

Do you wish to STOP! living the un-live-able GOAL! and get rid of the STRESS that it gives? Let’s talk.

Just Tell The Truth

Jane was sitting in a taxi, wondering if she had overdressed for the evening.  She was on her way to receiving an award for “Employee of the Year”.

As she stared out of the window reminiscing about all the good things that had happened to her, she saw her dad rooting through the garbage dumpster.  It was getting dark with blustery winds and steam coming out of manholes as she saw people hurrying along the sidewalks.

She was stuck in traffic just two blocks away from the conference where she was heading.  Dad was just about 20 feet away.  He had rags around his shoulders to keep out the chill and was picking through all the trash and loading them onto his truck.

She could see the childish glee in his eyes when he found something interesting that he liked in the dumpster.

His eyes were sunk deep in the sockets with the skin parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements.  To people walking by, he probably looked like a ragged old man working hard to make ends meet.

AS he looked up, Jane was overcome with panic that he would call out her name and that someone who was on the way to the same awards night would spot them together and Dad would introduce himself and her secret would be out.

She slid herself down in the seat and asked the driver to take the next lane away from where her dad was standing.

Back home after receiving the award and soaking in all the flashlights that went with it, she returned home, still rattled from seeing her dad and the unexpectedness of coming across him, the sight of him happily moving the trash from the dumpster.  She laid down and played some music to settle her emotions.  She looked around the room and the luxury she had around herself.  She had turned her apartment into a sort of place where a person would love to live.

The fact was that she never enjoyed the apartment without worrying about her dad who was still leading his life around filth and garbage and living in a tiny one-room apartment where he spent almost all his life taking care of Mom and her two siblings.

While she fretted about them, she was embarrassed by them too, and ashamed of herself for leading a luxurious life while her old parents were still working hard to earn their living and make ends meet. 

What could I do? She lamented as Jane had tried countless times, but her dad would insist that they didn’t need anything, and all her mom would ask of her would be something as silly as perfume.  They told Jane that they were living the way they wanted to.

After ducking down in the taxi so Dad wouldn’t see her, she hated herself, her luxurious apartment, clothes.  She had to do something.  She sent word through a friend that she wanted to meet mom and dad for lunch at their favorite restaurant.

Dad was sitting at the table carefully studying the menu as Jane arrived.  Dad and mom had made an effort to fix themselves up.  They wore the best they could from the wardrobe.  Dad was looking tired after driving straight home and picking up mom after a hard day’s work.

“It’s our baby girl” they called out in unison.  Jane kissed them both as she saw her mom emptying packets of sauce and some breadsticks into her purse.  “a little snack for later” she explained.

Jane ordered some of her dad and mom’s favorites.  “I’m worried about you”, said Jane.  Tell me what I can do to help.  I have earned enough in these years.  “Tell me what it is you both need”.  Well, mom thought for a while and said she could do with a visit to the beauty clinic, and dad, well he wanted a new pipe as the old one had really worn out quite a bit.

“Oh, come on, be serious,” said Jane.  “I am talking about something that could help change your life for the better.  Make you both comfortable.

“We are fine,” said Jane’s dad.  It looks like you are the one who needs help.

“Come on dad, I saw you picking trash from the dumpster a few days ago.”  “Why didn’t you say hello?” asked her dad.

“Well, I was too ashamed, dad. I hid.”

“You, see?  That’s exactly what I’m saying.  You are way too easily embarrassed.  Your mom and I are who we are.  Accept it.”

“And what am I supposed to tell people about my parents?”

“Just tell the truth,”. “That’s simple enough.”

There is no way that you can run away from your truth.  Embrace it!

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The negative consequences of parental communication

There is no denying the fact that we inherit most of our traits from our parents.  My strong conviction about how a bed should be made to how the icing should be on the cake.  Not to forget all my anxiety.

Though your parents didn’t intentionally gift you a worrisome nature, unwittingly how they spoke to you when you were young definitely had an impact on your anxiety and worry in adulthood.

It’s important to understand that most parents would have inadvertently said offending or paradoxical things to a child at least a few times in their lives.  They might not have had the time to think through the psychological implications of their words and action.

Words can be powerful and can generate intense feelings of anxiety in children, your actions can be even more powerful.  As a parent, your role is to provide a predictable and reliable environment.  As parents, your words can become problematic when you invalidate what your child is feeling.  Unpredictable behaviors make children anxious and create an emotional template that becomes problematic for the child in adulthood.  It is important to understand that your children rely on you to validate their confusing emotions and feelings and when as parents you deny or minimize those feelings, they tend to get anxious when those very emotions reappear.

Some words and phrases often used by parents which must be avoided are:

  1. Stop crying, don’t be a sissy, be strong! – statements like these can convey to the child that being sad and expressing those emotions are bad or unacceptable.  As a result when such feelings resurface in adulthood, it leads to anxiety as they wouldn’t know how to respond leading to suppressing those emotions.
  2. Relax, calm down! – Often when someone is going through an anxious situation, people end up making this statement which is counterproductive. Though the intent is to help and diffuse the situation, the person becomes even more anxious.  They would start to feel that they do not have the ability to deal with the situation as others which can erode their self-confidence.  It is like a quicksand, the more you repeat the more anxious the child becomes.
  3. Come on, hurry! – Almost every parent would have made this statement and almost on a daily basis when their children have to get ready for school.  “Now, you are irritating me, hurry up before I blow my top”, such statements have never really worked.  Those who have experienced would vouch for it.  The more you shout the more delayed the kids will be.  They get very anxious unable to deal with the situation, often leaving them confused and exasperated.  There are better ways to manage.
  4. There is nothing to worry about – This is another statement which can actually make the child even more worried.  They might perceive it as an attempt to diffuse a situation which they must actually be worried about.  By attempting to quickly put off the flame you end up having the opposite effect.
  5. Not a big deal – Is a statement that makes the child feel that you have not completely understood their emotional state and are brushing it aside.  This can lead to detachment, and they would stop sharing their feelings with you.  Over a period of time, they would learn how to suppress such feelings leading to anxiety.
  6. Don’t climb the tree, you are going to fall and break your bones! – Why do we have to exaggerate in an attempt to stop our kids from doing certain things which we don’t want them to?  Why don’t we look at conveying our concerns in a more realistic way and help them make the choices?  When you keep repeating such statements, they become fearful of action and tentative in their approach as adults.
  7. Come here, let me do that for you – communicates to the child that they are incapable of handling the situation on their own.  While your intent is to help your child, it has the opposite effect.  They become afraid of making choices as they grow up to be adults.
  8. You can do whatever you want and feel like, I am there for you! – this may sound like a very positive statement to make, however, has a devastating effect on the psyche of your child.  We wouldn’t realize that the child could perceive it as a compromise the parent is willing to make for his/her happiness.  Statements like “I have never stopped you from doing anything”; “I have always given you the permission to do what you feel” etc., still communicates a lack of intent to engage with the child or you are still the one calling the shots.  Ponder!

It is highly unlikely that you will never make any of the statements I have mentioned above.  However, being mindful of the deep impact it can have on your child and its consequence, when they grow up to be adults, will make a huge difference!

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Paradox – Parenting guffaws

Have you not served them their gingerbread yet?

Asked the baker momma to her little girls so fret.

We were just going to, momma,

Said the girls on the edge of trauma.

Just going to? Oh indeed!

Said momma fierce in her voice and deed.

That is so very interesting,

And who may I ask, permit you that giving?

We didn’t give it away just yet momma,

We only thought after the permission you gonna.

You only thought! That is very kind of you,

I thank the both of you.

But I thank you both to not go thinking!

Cause I am here to do all the thinking.

As baker momma shouted in her terrible voice

The poor girls seem to have lost their voice.

Tears welled down baker momma’s daughter,

As she burst out in a harsh crackle of laughter.

Oh! Look at her! just look at her! All cowardy,

Isn’t she a poor little cry-baby?

Baker momma shrieked pointing her knotty finger,

As large tear came coursing down her daughter.

Within minutes she made them feel small and frightened,

As the daughters distress only got heightened.

For momma blocked all three areas of human functioning,

That of her daughters acting, thinking and feeling.

Seeing all this, only this comes to mind,

Cause momma had put her daughters in a double bind.

The daughters felt so used,

The monkey is now confused!

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The fear of feedback is real. 

Many avoid it as they expect the worst: arguments, difficult to meet demands, pressure to comply, or even threats of detachment in relationships. So rather than seek feedback, people avoid the truth and instead continue to try and guess what others might be thinking.

These are old patterns that manifest themselves in maladaptive behaviors like denial, blaming, procrastination, brooding, and self-neglect.  If people continue in this vain for prolonged periods in life, then they are not just driving blindfolded but also living in a world that could be far away from reality.  It could be their own fantasy world.  The day the bubble bursts, they come crashing down and that can be highly damaging to the person.

Can you overcome the fear of feedback?  Of course, you can!

Is there a process? Is it simple?  Yes, there is a process, and it is simple!

GARFing – a step by step method of giving and receiving feedback.  It not just improves the quality of your relationship but contributes immensely towards your mental well-being.

When you don’t use it, you are prone to carrying a lot of ‘GARBAGE’ in your mind, which slowly eats away into your self-esteem and confidence. 

So much so that at some point your relationships start to stink!


GARFing is the skill you must master!

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Driving with blindfolds on!

Leading your life without continual feedback, giving, and receiving is akin to driving your car with a blindfold!

Most people fear feedback, lest it forces them to confront their ‘truth’ and make them vulnerable. People even imagine the worst when there is a talk of feedback.

Just imagine for a moment, if someone calls you over and tells you that they have feedback to share.

What do you feel momentarily? That would give you the answer of how you might be dealing with feedback.

We all know that ‘feedback’ is the engine that keeps the life machine moving forward, yet we fail to learn, know or utilize the full power of this powerful engine.

Don’t try to drive your life blindfolded! then the only thing you will end up doing is have your hands of the steering – folded and in prayers!

If you wish to learn about this powerful tool, JOIN ME for a PERSONALIZED Assessment of your life-driving skills and lessons on effectively using the skill of GARFing.

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