You may recall that a couple of months ago I undertook a blogging challenge compliments of a US blogger I follow, Tina from Faith, Fitness, Fun. The 30 days of self-love challenge required me to write about a number of pre-set topics (30, obviously). There were no prizes, no accolades. The ‘challenge’ part didn’t signify that you compete and win something; rather it referred to the emotional and mental challenge of writing about things that may be confronting and uncomfortable. (And possibly I added the ‘challenge’ part myself!) The themes themselves threw up a lot of issues for me and I got a lot of value from pondering on them, even if I don’t (yet) have all of the answers.
My own ‘Desiring perfection’ post goes on (and on) about my younger years and how I’d strived (and starved) for perfection. I end by saying that I don’t want to be ‘perfect’ any more; that I want to be ‘good enough’.
But reading Liz’s blog made me think about the topic again. I suspect I don’t desire perfection BUT I still have perfectionist behaviours and attitudes. On this weight loss program I wonder why ‘I’ haven’t lost as much weight as everyone else and probably berate myself for not being as committed as I should be. Again… I compare myself to others FAR too much. As Liz says in her post, there will always be someone better. At something. Or everything. On the weekend, I also got a comment from a blogger (J) from 52 Weeks, 52 pounds, who suggested I consider the ‘continuous improvement’ approach rather than targetting perfection. Which made a LOT of sense.
What interested me most about Liz’s post however, was a comment she made about wanting to be ‘recognised’ for her achievements. This seriously resonated with me. Which – on one hand scares the shit out of me, because I wonder if I’m wanting it to ‘be all about me’ again!?!
But when I think about it, attention and recognition are basic human needs. I mean, logically, I know one person isn’t going to be the best AT EVERYTHING. As I’ve said in this blog before… I do realise that I can only be the best ME possible. For no one else can achieve that.
But… I wonder now, is my constant striving for perfection more about being congratulated, or acknowledged or recognised for my achievements – rather than the actual achievement itself. Possibly.
Naturally, the over-analyser that I am now needs to wonder why this is. In my perfection post I talk about having an over-achieving big brother and perhaps (through no one’s fault) getting a little lost in the background. Perhaps my battle with anorexia was indeed about starving for attention. Does that matter anymore? I don’t think so.
I need to focus more on the NOW and what I need to do differently as I move forward. Work-wise, I have probably (on occasions) felt I hadn’t received the recognition I deserved – although I have chosen to work with (relatively) important people and organisations, but in support roles. In my current role, however, I feel valued and acknowledged. Which is a change.
Although I worry it will make me sound pathetic (okay, more so!), I wonder if my lack of importance in other peoples’ lives makes me feel a bit insignificant in my non-working life. Sure, I am a daughter and sister, and a friend and aunt; but I’m no one’s great love, or mother, or wife etc.
I’m not saying people don’t care whether I live or die, but (other than my parents), I’m not the centre of anyone’s universe. Which begs the question: should I be? Does one need to be loved in that way to feel important and valued, or to feel – at least – acknowledgd and noticed? God, I hope not.