Throughout this series of posts about perfection, I have pointed out the pitfalls of perfectionism. But, paradoxically, I would argue that despite all its drawbacks and dangers, we need perfectionism.
I believe there are two sides of the coin for perfectionism. Some people strive for perfection out of a longing to achieve the very best that they can. Others strive for perfection out of fear of what happens when things go wrong. They are terrified of the consequences of a misstep and, even more so, of the reactions of other people to their ‘failure’.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost This quote perfectly illustrates how I feel about making important decisions. I stand at a junction, and the path I take will have a radical effect […]
This was my Easter egg competition entry, age 8. Next to this photo in my album, it says, ‘My Easter rabbit-egg – made by me’. I didn’t write those words – and I didn’t make the ‘Easter rabbit-egg’. It was my mother’s idea, and she was also responsible for most of the execution. I did […]
In the 1993 film ‘Cool Runnings’, a group of underdogs is striving hard to win a gold medal at bobsledding. On the evening before the crucial Olympic run, the team driver asks their coach why he once cheated, even though he already had two gold medals. The coach replies, “A gold medal is a wonderful […]
In their first years at school, each of my daughters had a friendship book, in which their friends could stick a photo and answer questions about themselves. I loved the answers to the question, ‘What do you want to be when you are older?’. They varied from the hilariously mundane, ‘4, and after that 5’, […]
For many years, being tired was just part of my life. I woke up tired, felt tired all day long, and by 9:30pm I was grateful to fall into bed. I was tired in the week, tired at weekends, tired during the holidays. But that was normal, wasn’t it? I was a working mother of […]
It’s a frequently recurring storyline in detective tales. A crime has been committed, and evidence has been found that appears to point in the direction of one of the characters, Mr J. Detective A – the ‘bad’ detective – sees the evidence and immediately concludes Mr J is guilty, arrests him and throws him into […]
I finished my first course of coaching full of energy and enthusiasm, and confidence in my ability to change myself for the better. Less than a year later, it was Christmas. A popular song was the tongue-in-cheek anti-Christmas hit ‘Ik wil alleen maar huilen’ (All I want to do is cry) by Stippenlift. Coincidental, because […]
What do you do when you are a complete failure? Either you give up, or you have to change yourself completely. That was the frame of mind I was in when I started my first course of coaching, and giving up seemed by far the most realistic option. The coaching plan was for eight sessions, […]