How Do I Stop Being a Perfectionist?

“How do I stop being a perfectionist? How do you move away from perfectionism?”

These are the questions you ask, and on one level the answers are simple.

We shift out of perfectionism through daily, real-world action, rewriting our old patterns of behavior and belief.

But you’re not just asking for the how-to. You’re asking for the hope. You’re asking, “Is it really possible for us to change?”

Let me tell you a story.

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Do More of What Feels Like Magic

There’s nothing kids love quite like feeling “grown up.” Give them some responsibility, and they’re hooked.

At least, that’s how I felt when I worked in my dad’s home office. My dad has his own business, and when he had invoices to mail, he let me help him prepare the envelopes.

This was thrilling to me. As a small child, I loved pressing the return-address stamp onto the black ink pad. I loved the stamp’s disappearing act, the swivel that made the raised letters come and go.

One moment, there were no words in the upper left hand corner of the envelope, and then next, there were several lines of text. Amazing!

Sure, I enjoyed pressing the stamps too, but I didn’t begrudge my younger brother Willie taking on that task instead. For me, the magic was always in the words.

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Do You Risk Reaching Out?

Have you ever received an invitation that made your heart say YES before your mind could even catch up? Ever had such a strong gut feeling that you needed to be at this exact place, doing this exact thing?

That’s how I felt when I was asked to give the keynote speech at this year’s Heart of L’Arche Fundraising Breakfast in Arlington, Virginia on April 25, 2018.

Titled, “Risk Reaching Out,” this talk was part of a program that helped raise over $135,000 to support the L’Arche Greater Washington DC community.

L’Arche is a worldwide nonprofit that creates homes where people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities share life together.

(I served in various roles there for five years, and it’s where my husband Jonathan and I met. The people there are family, and they are with me wherever I go.)

Click here to watch the keynote talk on YouTube, or press play below. I also include the approximate text of the talk, so you can read along.

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