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Perfection's Lesson

September 20, 2014

“Aaaaaahhhhhhh! This article sounds like shit! DELETE…..I still hate it….I suck at writing! DELETE!  Why am I even trying to write a blog, I’m not a writer! AUGH!” 

 

Hi, my name is Sabrina and I suffer from perfectionism:  “Sabrina you know better, what’s wrong with you!”, “The cookies could have been better if I just…”,  “How does Pinterest make it look so easy?!”. 

 

Can anyone out there relate?

 

Sign of mania: I feel everything important, to me, needs to be perfect! 

 

My family has a deli and at this deli I take care of prepping the salad bar, like chopping cukes, apples, and peppers.  I also make customers their salads and at the end of the day I thoroughly clean the bar by putting product away, washing dishes, get the picture? 

 

When and if the salad bar isn’t picture perfect I want to freak out.  

“Why in the hell did you put the spoon for the garbanzo beans back crooked? You know I like it when the spoons are lined up in the same direction and look uniform! What will the customers think if they see a crooked spoon?! You FOOL!”

 

 I know, I sound crazy!

 

 I guarantee that my brother Joseph and coworker Florin have called me more than crazy at times. 

 

Thing is, I want the salad bar to look clean and pretty, and that’s okay. 

What takes it too far is:  “ARE YOU F!@#  SERIOUS, WHY DO I HAVE TO REPEAT MYSELF EVERYDAY?” or mumbling under my breath “they are soooo ridiculous, don’t they know how to work?!” 

 

Whether it is my need for perfect order, the right outfit, or paint color there comes a point when I have to let go of controlling the outcome.

 

Sometimes things aren’t going to get done or be done the way I hope or expect. 

 

That’s ok.

 

My need to control how the salad bar looks, how this blog post sounds, or worrying that who ever reads this will mark it up with grammar corrections would and could hinder me from enjoying my work or writing this blog. 

 

There have been many times I stopped myself from doing things I wanted to do because I didn’t think I was good enough.  And, I have found work miserable because I was so uptight about how everything needed to be.  

 

Words of wisdom:

True quality comes when we are able to put our hearts into something - when there is love for what is being produced. 

That means letting go of judgment, expectations and being open to a creative edge that might want to change things up, or make things a little messy.

 

I won’t get on my soap box and say, “By letting go of always wanting to control, you can experience joy in what you do.”  

 

I won’t say that because what does that even mean?

 

How can I “just let go”?

 

 I’ve had people ask, “What does it mean to be detached?” and I’ve had a difficult time answering.  Letting go isn’t something that can be done overnight; it must be consciously worked towards. 

 

Here is an example of shifting a thought pattern from rigid and controlling to free and peaceful:

Control Thought: The salad bar is messy and I want it to be perfectly clean without a single item out of place.

 

Awareness: I’m obsessing over the condition of the salad bar to the point that it is making me a bitch and unhappy this is not healthy.

 

New Thought Process:  I recognize my need to control this area of work.  It is great that I take pride and care in the quality of my work however it is also okay if my work doesn’t meet my high expectations.  There is no need to put these expectations on others.

 

I’m not going to lie, I have to remind myself sometimes hourly of this new thought process, but you know what… I’ve lightened up. 

 

Maybe not completely, but enough that I’m not stressed out if a feta cheese crumble spilled into the parmesan while I making a customer their salad.

 

The point is flaws or mistakes that take place are not always a reflection on the quality of our work.  If we allow ourselves to look into our unrealistic needs or wants we can learn something.

 

It might seem silly, but I learned a huge lesson about myself over a salad bar.

 

 I’m controlling.

 

 Now I can do something to change that.

 

 I can learn to release my need to control, one day, one moment, one breath at a time. 

 

Side Note:  If you’re like me you might want this “letting go” thing to be perfect (yeah, I know, vicious circle).  Patience, grasshopper, Patience. 

 

Be loving and kind with yourself.  Loving kindness is the only sure way to make lasting progress.

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