I’m an insane list-maker. At times, I think that I would lose my head if I didn’t have my lists. I cling to them like the lap bar on a roller coaster. Without them, I fear the worst might happen. After attending SARK’s workshop last weekend, I walked away with a ton of new perspectives and ideas. One of her simple-yet-brilliant points was about the concept of receiving. She talked about how to receive compliments, receive money, receive good things from others. This is one of those acts that should be easy, after all, who doesn’t like to be given accolades or tokens of appreciation?
The thing is, it’s really not that easy at all, especially if you are a perfectionist like me. (This is another important epiphany I had this weekend, I never realized I was a perfectionist until she told us the perfectionist’s anthem: “Not yet”). I am always raising my bar and telling myself to keep moving, keep going…and the result is that I keep overlooking the small wins and joys that come with every day. Something completely amazing could happen, and I wouldn’t celebrate the accomplishment or opportunity, just think about how I could have done something better, and oh, what’s next?
When you have this mindset, it’s hard to be happy with your accomplishments, hard to fully receive the abundance in your life, and hard to feel like anything you do is ever enough. People are constantly telling me what great work I’m doing, how inspiring I am to them, and how they wish they could be as productive as me. My response is usually something along the lines of, “yeah, but I’m not where I want to be yet” or “thanks, but I think I could be doing more.” Wow. Talk about a person who is not taking the time to stop and appreciate her accomplishments!
Do you do this to yourself? Do you downplay what you do? Have you figured out why? Part of me doesn’t like to take credit for what I’m doing because I don’t want others to feel bad if they’re stuck, another part of me doesn’t believe that what I’m doing is that fabulous (this is my inner-perfectionist speaking), and a teeny tiny part of myself is extremely happy that others are noticing how hard I work. From now on, I’m going to fully receive and acknowledge what others have to give me. I’m going to stop overlooking big milestones and just enjoy each one. Today, I made a list of all the amazing things that happened to me this week. The list was really long! A few hours before that, I was thinking that I wasn’t doing enough and that I should spend more time on big projects. It’s amazing how a change in perception has already helped me see that I’m doing enough. To quote SARK:
“You are enough ~ You do enough ~ You have enough” *you might want to consider writing this down and hanging it close to your computer, on a mirror, on your steering wheel, anywhere that you can be reminded of this, like I did!
If you’re like me and always wanting more, join my new Anti-Perfectionist Movement (APM). You don’t need to sign up or anything, just make a silent promise to yourself that you won’t beat yourself up for not doing enough and allow yourself to enjoy each and every little bit of progress you do make. SARK reminded me that life isn’t about suffering and needing more, it’s about delighting in yourself and every gift, talent, and beautiful thought you have each and every day.
Part of my new Anti-Perfectionist Movement includes this swell “Receiving List” that is hanging about 5 feet away from my computer. It’s time we stop making “To Do” lists and start thinking about what we are giving and receiving from the world by renaming what we do and how we do it. Let’s put our energy into acts of love to give to the world, not pointless tasks and grueling admin work. My only caveat if you’re joining the APM is that you have to promise yourself you’ll only make a “Giving List” if you promise to make a “Receiving List” as well. The “Giving List” will replace your old “To Do” list and the “Receiving List” is the new addition to your life to remind you to stop and acknowledge all the wonderful gifts you are receiving, no matter what they are. Feel free to share your stories with me if you’re experiencing a new take on life. I’ll be chronicling mine here, and would love to add yours as well.