Every week, I check my search results to see how people are finding my blog. Really, it’s just interesting and gives me an idea of how well my SEO is working and what I should be writing more/less of.
Sometimes I get some funny search results like “can u have dark chocolate on sugar detox” (answer: sorry, no). My top searches are typically blog tips and my Insanity results. That aside, I think search results are a great inspiration for blog topics.
Some search results that struck me from last week were “I’m a perfectionist and I like to have a plan.” Oh, how I know this all too well…
A Plan, Please
First things, first. Plans are, in and of themselves, good.
Without plans, people wouldn’t accomplish much. Plans are good for understanding how you are going to accomplish something, especially in a given amount of time. I often believe the statement, “Without a plan, you’re planning to fail.”
But planning goes awry when the perfectionist takes over. Why? Because perfectionists…
- make unrealistic plans, with too many or too high of goals
- get so excited about plans that they idolize the plan
- believe the plan must be followed, and if it’s not, believe they have failed
- don’t understand the concept of failure being acceptable or sometimes necessary for growth
Like I said above, I can relate very much to the thinking that I like things to be perfect, so I like to plan it all out. I plan a lot, mostly because I find it helps me be more successful, but partly because I like to know what to expect.
That is a big part of a perfectionist personality: being able to know what to expect. And plans provide that, or at least people expect them to.
Some things I plan out frequently are: my workout schedule or running training plans, meal planning, cleaning schedules, blog post planning, daily schedules, and reading plans for books or the Bible.
I truly believe a perfectionist designed this little notepad that I frequently use to plan out my day:
Note my sarcasm 😉
Planning out my day is useful when I know I need to get a lot done, but what I write down doesn’t always happen. I have to consider it a very rough guideline instead of being “set in stone.” And I have to remind myself that just because I planned for one thing does not mean that there is not room for change to occur.
But that’s when plans can become so disappointing: when you’ve spent all this time drafting up the perfect plan, hoping to follow it well, and then – BAM – you don’t. Life gets in the way. You skipped your plan for a few days, and now you’re way off track. And now you’re stuck in the gloom of thinking, “Why did my plan fail? I created it, so why didn’t it happen? Why didn’t I do better? Why is this not what I expected?”
Because you’re human, duh. But try telling that to a perfectionist and you might end up with a punch in the face. Disappointment is not far behind a perfectionist plan because the standard they hold themselves to is ridiculous. Seriously.
They believe that if they can dream it up, that they can do it, even if it’s way too hard or completely unrealistic. They rely far too much on themselves for everything and maybe even think others want them to carry out perfect plans.
There is no room for mistakes or error. It is all simply black and white and the grey of mistakes not only doesn’t exist, but is labeled “failure” in the perfectionist’s eyes.
In the end, it is exhausting and unfair to hold yourself to any level of perfection.
Room to Breathe
Instead of being obsessed with plans or aiming for perfect, I’ve adopted a new mindset. I know plans are good, but plans are not everything. I am not my plan. And my plan does not define what I can or cannot do.
I am just a person, and I am allowed room to breathe.
I still create plans and probably always will. To do lists are my best friend – but only when I tell the perfectionist in me to take a hike.
may not don’t accomplish all my plans, but I’ve taught myself to be okay with that. I don’t have time or energy to waste being upset that things aren’t perfect anymore. I see the progress I make.
That progress is littered with flaws, with the fingerprints of imperfect me, exactly as it’s supposed to be. Turns out, it’s all pretty beautiful from one angle or another.
Questions for You:
- What’s an unrealistic goal or expectation you’ve made for yourself? How does that affect you?
- Does planning help you grow or frustrate you? Why or why not?