This one phrase has literally changed my life. Have you ever been so consumed by the thought that if you can’t do something perfectly why do it at all? Or life as you know it will certainly fall apart if things don’t go according to your plan? Do you agonize over every mistake that you make? Are your expectations of yourself and others so high that no one can ever live up to them leaving you and those around you overwhelmed and frustrated?
Acknowledging those thoughts goes a long way in combating them.
These are all insecurities that have plagued me in the past. In the not so distant past actually. As I mentioned in my interview with Professional Organizer, Debbie Jordon Kravitz, I use to completely fall apart if something didn’t go according to my plan. To say I was a control freak was an understatement. Spontaneous wasn’t even a word in my dictionary because heaven forbid I actually do something without planning it to death. It was terrible and I’m sure I wasn’t a lot of fun to live with. But slowly over the years I’ve learned to let go of these exhausting tendencies and embrace the Plan B.
And what I’ve found out is that there is almost always a Plan B solution if you look for one. You might even have to go to plan D or Q but you know what? It isn’t the end of the world. In fact, as I’ve discovered, often Plan B is a much better option if you are open to the possibilities. What it allows me to do is live more in the present because I’m not dwelling on what I really have no control of anyway.
When, last Christmas, my turkey was two hours late in cooking I didn’t go into a tailspin meltdown as I may have in previous years. Instead I served up some cheese and crackers, pulled out some board games and had a great time with my guests.
And it wasn’t the end of the world.
In fact I have had more cooking disasters in the last four years than I have fingers to count. It used to devastate me and now I actually get excited about it because if nothing else Plan B makes for great blog posts as was the case with both my pizza braid and my apple pie :)
And it all worked out in the end.
I can’t pinpoint one “A-Ha” moment for myself where the light bulb went off for me. I think it has just been happening slowly in the past four years as I’ve transitioned into a more simplified lifestyle. As I started acknowledging and putting a voice to my Plan B’s I’ve slowly become aware that Plan B isn’t my enemy. It isn’t so scary after all. I’ve discovered that I actually love the challenge of switching into Plan B mode. Of not panicking but immediately saying to myself “okay we’re going to Plan B, now how can I make the most of this situation?” I like this problem solving mode, it’s a challenge, a new way of looking at things and as a result a new more relaxed me.
Now let me just be honest here for a sec and tell you that I may be a recovering perfectionist but there are days where I still struggle. I don’t even want to begin to tell you how long I put off writing this post because I was so worried I wouldn’t do it justice. In other words, perfectly. Today I decided to just start writing and can see Plan B playing itself out in the fact that it’s not how I originally intended for this post to be written. I had hoped it would be more organized and factual but instead my fingers have moved more into writing from the heart. Well that’s the way it goes sometimes and Plan B is a risk I’m now willing to take. I give myself permission to try things and risk being imperfect. And I just bet that the world isn’t going to fall down around me because of it.
Today I’d like to encourage you to try something new, to step out of your comfort zone in some way, to not be afraid of losing control, and most importantly to embrace Plan B!
For more tips on overcoming perfectionism please don’t miss my interview with Debbie here.