Ok, be honest, do you struggle with perfection? I’m talking about struggling to always be perfect. I’m pretty hard on myself and I have found that I”m constantly pursuing perfection. Becoming a Dad made this come front and center in ways it didn’t before. Here’s why, I thought I would be a natural at it. Boy was I in for a surprise. But it’s not just with being a Dad… That’s just what finally pulled this front and center in my life. When I look back, I’ve always been hard on myself. Like if I failed then I failed the human race. Now we could dive into why this is the case but you’re not my therapist and that’s not why you read this blog. Instead, let’s dive into a principle that is helping me overcome this need to be perfect.
The “Good Enough” Principle
I can’t tell you where I heard this originally, but it’s been transformative. When I first heard it, I was pretty adamant I would never need it because to me it sounded like an excuse to be lazy. Boy was I wrong. Do you know how much time we waste trying to make everything perfect? Good work goes undone because we are busy running through how to make it the best ever. For me, good times were being missed with my girls (Mommy & Callie Bug) because I was having a mental meltdown because I couldn’t feed her or handled a situation wrong. The “good enough” principle humbles yourself to recognize you’re human, there’s things you won’t be able to do right, but just try and do as good as you can. Make it good enough and move on. Stop dwelling on what you cannot perfect. How freeing for me this was! And still is.
Look, nobody actually thinks you’re perfect; so stop pursuing perfection. It’s true! And it’s ok to not have any freaking clue what you’re doing. This is where your tribe, your people, your peeps, your homies, your buddies, or whatever you call them come in. For me, it was my wife. Needless to say, she never expected me to have it all together or to know what I was doing. Yet, she was so patient with me while I was beating myself up trying to be perfect. But I learned to lean on those people who can help you master the good enough principle.
I guess what I’m trying to encourage you to do in this post is the same I’m reminding myself to keep doing = stop wasting time trying to make everything perfect and just do your best. Master making it “good enough” and move on. Here’s a clear application from my own life:
We have bottle fed with formula since Callianne was pretty much a few days old. Callianne has always been finicky to say the least about her eating. And for some reason, there came a day when Callie would NOT take a bottle from me. Still to this day, she prefers Mommy for her bottles. When she first started refusing me, man it hurt. I took it personally then constantly wondered what the heck was wrong with me. She would eat baby food and always wanted to drink what I drank and eat what I was eating, but no bottle. When it came to bottles and Daddy, she would flip her lid (a polite way to say it with no cursing). I would get so angry, I would even start to tear up (putting it lightly).
Finally, the “good enough” principle dawned on me (with help from my wife). I was great at making eating baby food fun. I was good enough at that so it really didn’t matter if I couldn’t give her that bottle. I had to understand that’s a weakness and just lean into my strengths. Why? Because her life wasn’t in danger just because Daddy can’t feed her a bottle. I can feed her other things, play with her, bathe her, and more. To put it nicely, I had to quit being a baby myself and just lean into what I could do “good enough.” I can’t tell you how freeing this has been ever since.
I hope that’s encouraging to those of you who empathize with always trying to be perfect. Master the “good enough” and lean on your people. Hope this helps! Take care and we will see you next time!