Are You a Perfectionist?

A perfectionist is someone who strives for flawlessness and perfection in various aspects of life.

Some key characteristics of the perfectionist are:

  • Perfectionists set excessively high standards for themselves.
  • Perfectionists are highly critical of themselves.
  • Perfectionists tend to set unreasonably high goals for themselves.

Although I don’t like to admit it, that accurately describes me.

I do espouse the principle of “Embrace Imperfection.” And I truly, firmly believe in that concept. It’s our imperfections that make us authentic and vulnerable, that make us more relatable. I know all of that, but sometimes imperfection is just hard for me to accept.

Currently, I am writing and creating videos for a new class. I am “on camera” for much of the presentation. That means that before I record, I will change out of my comfy-around-the-house clothes into something a bit more appropriate for class. I will pay attention to my hair, and actually put on a little make-up, something I reluctantly and rarely do (the makeup part; I do comb my hair every day).

The other day, I had just finished a 2-hour recording session and was quite proud of myself for getting it done. It was exhausting, and I was ready for a break. Knowing that I had finished a recording session, my husband came into my office with a “Well done!”  But then he paused before saying anything else and asked, “Have you been recording like that?”

I thought I looked fairly decent, but I looked down and noticed that the entire right side of my blouse was tucked under.

I immediately deflated. Two hours of recording… ruined because of my blouse?

I remember looking at myself before I started the recording, and I looked fine. How did this blouse thing happen? I still don’t know.

I wondered if I should just “embrace imperfection” and leave the recording as it was, put a disclaimer at the beginning of the video: “Clothes faux pax ahead.”  Should I embrace it, with a sense of humor, emphasizing the fact that I am not perfect, nor do I have to be?

You know, if this had just been a class that I was producing for myself, I might have left it as it was and gone with the disclamer.  But I am writing this class for a digital scrapbooking site, where it’s not just my image that is important, but theirs also.

So I straightened my collar, hit RECORD, and started all over again.

And even though I did re-record those 2 hours, I have this picture on my desktop as a reminder that embracing imperfections allows us to be authentic and genuine, and encourages us to accept ourselves as we are, recognizing that flaws and mistakes are a natural part of life.

But if you take the class, and notice that my collars are perfectly straightened, I hope that you will think of this story and smile, because you know the real story.


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I am a creator of digital scrapbook kits and Photoshop tutorials. Someone needs to hear your story, and I will help you tell it.

Comments (8)

  1. jen

    Cracks me up!!!

    February 8, 2024 at 7:23 am
  2. Janet Hull

    Oh Karen, I so “feel your pain!” I too (along with one of my sisters) am a perfectionist! In my opinion it is a mostly a great attribute but at the same time it can be a curse! I sew American Girl doll clothes for my grand nieces (8 dolls) and there have been several times that under my standards I have redone as in my mind they were not prefect! Years ago I did ceramic Christmas ornaments to sell at Christmas Boutiques and it there was a problem after finishing (particularly if the glaze had imperfections) I would discard it….the upside of that is that my friend would not let me discard it instead she kept them for herself and she still has them! As a note, I had not even noticed the collar when I saw the photo!

    February 8, 2024 at 10:31 am
    • You are exactly right Janet. Striving for perfection can be both a blessing and a curse. We just keep to learn when “good enough” truly IS good enough. Your story about the “imperfect” ceramics reminds me of a craft event I went to recently. The artist was making bowls out of old, unused tree limbs. They were gorgeous! But occasionally if one wasn’t as pretty as he thought it should be or there was something that wasn’t up to his standard, he put the bowl aside. He brought those to the fair and had them in a big cart with a tarp over it. At different times during the day, I noticed that he would allow customers to reach in and pick out one of those “imperfect” items. He did that for kids and for customers who bought several “perfect” items. I thought it was a great marketing/customer service idea. (I’m glad you didn’t notice the collar until I mentioned it!)

      February 12, 2024 at 7:13 am
  3. Carol Detwiler

    This not only makes me smile – it makes me your sister! LOL. Everything you did was ‘ME.’ Except, my poor husband would be feeling guilty for pointing out the flaw – and then he would spend the next hour trying to convince me that no one would notice so it’s OK just as it is! (He is almost as bad as I am in the ‘perfection’ field – making his “it will be OK” just a bit hard to swallow!!) LOL You’re the best!

    February 9, 2024 at 8:42 am
    • Welcome to the family, Sister! It’s so sweet that your husband would try to convince you all was okay. I understand your hesitancy in accepting his “okay” when you know what that truly means in his world. Thanks for sharing your story.

      February 12, 2024 at 7:09 am
  4. Sue Ogden

    Oh, Karen, I so THOROUGHLY understand! At 75, I’m still way too much of a perfectionist and a friend reminded me recently that time just “might” be running out so maybe I should relax a bit. He doesn’t know how clean and neat my house used to be! Now I’m working on bringing that “relaxation” into my crafting and digital life! Your class would have been a hit regardless of your collar, I didn’t even notice it in just the photo until AFTER reading the story!

    February 9, 2024 at 4:19 pm
    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sue. I am glad to know you understand and can relate. 🙂 It’s funny… multiple people have said they didn’t notice the collar until I mentioned it. Maybe I should have just left the video as it was and saved myself the additional 2 hours. 😉

      February 12, 2024 at 7:07 am
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