Do you want to have a perfect Christmas or a stress-less Christmas?
Maybe you’re thinking, “When I have a perfect Christmas, that will be stress-less.” Unfortunately, the two don’t go together. Trying to achieve something impossible–perfection–can never be stress-less.
Are you noticing I’m using the word “stress-less” not stress-free? That’s because the less we strive for perfection, the less stress we will experience.
Maybe right now, you’re thinking, “I’m not looking for perfection; I just want things to go well, especially at Christmas.” I’d like to offer a little quiz I developed that might help you see whether you’re striving for perfection in your life more than you realize. From one perfectionist to a potential another, we don’t always recognize our tendency toward perfectionism.
Oh, we can so easily do that and not realize it.
So here’s my little quiz. Keep track of any of these statements that apply to you, even if a particular statement isn’t in your life 100% of the time.
- _____ Most of the time I sense God is disappointed with me.
- _____ I spend lots of energy evaluating my performance.
- _____ I tend to think in terms of “all or nothing.”
- _____ I think I should have my act together by now.
- _____ My expectations tend to be unrealistic.
- _____ For me, “good” is rarely “good enough.”
- _____ I often wonder why people can’t get their act together.
- _____ I’m compelled to straighten out misunderstandings.
- _____ I won’t begin something if there’s a possibility I can’t do it well.
To determine your results, if you found 3 or more of those statements applying to you, you have perfectionist tendencies. You may not be experiencing perfectionism in every area of your life but the thinking of any of those statements can bring stress into your life, especially at Christmas when we think we must express our love to others perfectly in order for each person to feel loved.
Right about now, you may be expecting me to give you one overall solution to rid you of your Christmas perfectionism. But here’s a part of the solution you may not find welcome.
There are no instant, overall, all-or-nothing solutions. But I will be sharing with you some ideas over the next couple of posts I hope you will find helpful. Having to wait and receive little pieces, not the whole banana, can in itself be a way to whittle away at the tentacles of perfectionistic tendencies.