I’m a little prone to fantasy. I guess because I’ve always been so introspective I spend a lot of time thinking and using my imagination. Which is a good thing when it comes to my ability to empathize with others or share a vision at work. But it gets me into a lot of trouble in my personal life. Here’s an example:
Last year, around our anniversary, Josh randomly told me to pack a bag. He would not give me any information as to what to pack, when we were leaving, or where we were going.
Trigger my fantasy:
Long story short…we went to Dallas to see our favorite band Blue October in concert.
Now don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Blue October. It was a wonderful trip with my wonderful husband. He worked so hard to put it together and surprise me (which is really hard to do). But I was initially disappointed with it because I let myself get all wrapped up in a fantasy of Josh whisking me away on a extended weekend in the Caribbean.
I ruined a really great experience with my imagination. Not only did I hurt myself, I hurt Josh too.
This happens to me on a small scale too. Like going to the campus fitness center to run on the treadmill with all these high expectations of myself about how awesome the workout will be
But then I get started and I’m just like
So then I’m all down on myself because I didn’t have a good workout. And I’m obviously a lazy slob.
I know. It all goes back to my problem with perfectionism.
The worst way this habit manifests itself is through the stories I tell myself when I am feeling shame or embarrassment. Brene Brown talks about this in her newest book Rising Strong. When we feel hurt we make up stories about it.
So if someone is short with me I automatically start making up all these reasons why I must have upset that person (because it’s obviously always my fault when someone else is upset). Not only is this nonsense, it’s destructive.
But Brene teaches us how to recognize these patterns and stories and replace them with more rational thoughts.
Changing the way my mind works has been an ongoing process for nearly a decade and I’m not sure how much progress I’ve really made.
But I won’t let what progress I have made be overshadowed by my incessant need for perfection. Sure, I’m not not where I want to be. But I’m not where I used to be either. Focusing on perfection is counterproductive to the entire process. So what do we do?