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Blog: The Nature of Being Organized
Letting Go Of Perfectionism

Perfectionism changed my life. I actually spent the first half of my life proving to the world that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. How exhausting! Since then I've been working on accepting my imperfections. How freeing! The decision to change came when I realized the impact my perfectionism was having on my relationships, job and mood. Something had to shift!
It was simple, really; I had to learn to "mess up my life"! My first experiment with "messing up" was to leave my dirty dishes in the sink. The next morning I discovered that I had not been swallowed up by the sink monster. Good. I branched out from there leaving the bed unmade, paper piles on the coffee table and desk and purposely showing up late for meetings and events. I even practiced writing sloppy—believe me my sloppy handwriting was someone else's neat handwriting. Letting go of these old habits and patterns was very painful and uncomfortable at first.
What I discovered over time, though, was that I had much more time in my day; I felt lighter and happier. What a gift my perfectionism has been! I've come a long way since my first experiment with leaving the dishes in the sink. Sometimes I choose to leave them in the sink and leave the bed unmade and leave the coffee table piled with stuff. You can barely make out my signature now, too. Such freedom!
 I believe I have found the middle ground between perfectionism and chaos.  My perfectionism doesn't manage me any longer and neither does my stuff.  I've found a way to be in control of my life that's actually productive and compassionate. I've learned that it's all about changing my perception of what's happening outside of me. I'm not the angry person I used to be, but instead I've traded it all in for patience, acceptance, gratitude, and peace. I choose to see life situations as opportunities for growth not as something that is happening to me. This is the gift of living life from the inside out.
 Does someone you know need to read this? Please pass it on. Do you have a perfectionism story? I'd love to hear it!
Love To You,

posted on: 2/26/2009 12:00:00 PM by Maggie McCauley
category: The Mental Side

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Discuss This Post

by Fefa on 3/3/2009 7:53:38 AM:

Ohh!!, I used to be a complete perfectionist and I never knew that... and everybody told me, my entire life! :S but It seems that I needed to realize about this on my own to take it seriously. Since then (a year ago, now I´m 25),now that I know, I´m working on it, and experimenting with "messing up" in different areas of my life, and it's fun! :P. But from time to time I see myself again being a perfectionist(procrastinating for instance...)... and I laugh to myself, and think... when I´ll be completely safe from this!! :P... but this is nice anyway, because, now I know! ;). And, just little time ago I took this song from The Carpenters "I need to be in love" and it says:"I know I ask perfection from a quite imperfect World and fool enough to think that´s what I'll find"... wise words. Regards!

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The Nature of Being Organized

by Maggie McCauley

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About Maggie:

Maggie McCauley, ACC, LICSW, The Effortless Organizing Coach, is the president of "A New View". She takes a holistic approach to organizing coaching her clients to create new habits that promote overall well-being, a sense of freedom and peace of mind.

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My Favorite Books

  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  • It's Hard To Make A Difference When You Can't Find Your Keys by Marilyn Paul
  • Organize With Confidence by Elizabeth Hagen
  • The Secret Of Letting Go by Guy Finley
  • Life Is Short--Wear Your Party Pants by Loretta La Roche
  • The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  • The Seven Whispers by Christina Baldwin
  • Loving What Is by Byron Katie
  • Making A Change For Good by Cheri Huber
  • "Happiness Now!" by Robert Holden, PhD.

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