Thursday, June 18, 2015

Paralyzing Perfection


I admit it...I'm a perfectionist.  I like things to be "just so."  Especially when I'm doing things for others, I want - whatever it is - to be impressive, impeccable, and well-received.

Wow...that's a lot of pressure.  At times, this self-imposed pressure can be astounding.  Where do I start?  Now that I've started and things are going the way I pictured, how do I keep moving forward?   How do I change my vision or accept this different outcome? I don't think it's "good enough" - I should just quit, or throw it away or what?!  There are times that this way of thinking has prevented me from doing great things because I'm paralyzed by my "need" for everything to be out-of-this-world.

Have you ever encountered similar feelings? A common sentiment from families who've tried using some of the other sign programs on the market, reflects this concern.  Often, they don't see their child signing back as soon or as much as they expected.  They only know how to sign in specific contexts - such as when singing a particular song.  They're frustrated, and often give up.

With Signing Smart, that paralyzing perfection mission is combated by support, research, and strategy. Signing Smart families, teachers, and caregivers learn how to use signs in ANY situation - not just via songs and finger plays.  They learn about the research of Drs. Anthony and Lindert that sets appropriate expectations for when and how children should start signing back. From day 1, students learn "general signs" like MORE, ALL-DONE, and LIGHT that can be used in almost any situation, so that a sign is always available to enhance communication with their little one. To top it all off, my students all have multiple ways to ask questions of me and other Signing Smart families. Together, we often discover that perfection - the exact right thing - doesn't always look "perfect." Early signs don't look like the dictionary, but they are exactly right for little hands and developing brains.

With support and proper expectations, this:

easily becomes perfection:

SUCCESS - you might have it and not even know!


35 comments:

  1. So glad that God takes us where we are at and expects us to do our best, maybe not perfect! stopping by from Reflect. Cute pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all about having tools to deal with the situation, and we often have more tools than we realize. God expects a our best, but definitely gives us what we need to achieve that! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I am a recovering perfectionist. :-) Stopping by as your neighbor at the #RaRaLinkup.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One step at a time. This post was about knowing what to do when signing with little ones, but I think the general concept applies to many areas of life. If we stop for a minute and step back from the situation, we often have more tools to handle whatever we're going through than we think. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. I found you on the Raising Homemakers Link up today. Glad to find your site.

    And, that perfectionism monster does come after most of us. I know I have to fight him!

    Thanks for sharing such an honest and refreshing post. I pray that God will give you much hope as you learn to communicate and sign~

    Blessings,
    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Melanie. I hope you'll stop back and share more of our adventures! It IS hard confronting the perfectionism monster - but I think in most situations we have more tools to help us than we might think!

      Delete
  4. While we don't sign in our family, I can understand the frustration with perfection, although mine is more on myself. Whether it's my hair, or my work, whatever it is, I struggle with accepting the fact that not everything is and can be perfect. But in life, all things are beautiful perfect or not.

    liz @ sundays with sophie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfection definitely doesn't show up ONLY related to signing! I think the same approach is usable in almost any situation - if we force ourselves to step back for a minute, we realize we have more tools to see how we are on the right track than we might think we do! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Great post! Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday link party. I hope you'll join us again next week. Sharing your post on Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and for hosing a great link party. I always enjoy fining some great posts there. I appreciate your sharing my post as well!

      Delete
  6. I would admit that I'm a perfectionist, but that would require me admitting that I have a weakness!! (HA!) Great thoughts here. Yes, perfectionism can be paralyzing, and for me it leads to all kinds of anxiety. There's only been one perfect Person, and only through Him can we gain freedom to be ourselves - flaws, shortcomings, mistakes and all.

    GOD BLESS!

    (Your neighbor at Reflect Linkup!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Sharon! I think in all areas of life we have more tools - earthly and divine - than we realize. We're often not as far off as we're certain we are! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  7. I think a lot of is based in fear and we all know fear paralyzes us. I don't like to make mistakes or look stupid or lacking in any way. So when it happens, well...I'm afraid what people think. So there you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great observation, Debbie! That fear often clouds us from seeing all the tools and resources we have available to us in any given situation. I find - when I can finally step back and look at the whole thing clearly - that my fears were entirely unfounded. Here's to accepting the fear and pressing on anyway! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. I definitely know that feeling! I used to be a perfectionist and as a result I wouldn't try a lot of things for fear of failure. I began to slowly get over it and it's amazing how much my life has changed just by trying anything and everything I've always wanted to, results be damned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear you've found your courage. Part of confronting your perfectionism is definitely getting over the fear, and starting to accept the results, whatever they may be. I think as we do so, we start to realize how many different resources we have to confront whatever we want or need! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. I class myself as a recovering perfectionist. I really get the frustration in yourself if things don't work exactly as you expect. I am learning to persevere. #smallstepsamazingachievements

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think motherhood teaches (maybe forces?) us to let go of some of our perfectionist ways. I'm finding that - just like with signing - if we can force ourselves to step back and look at all of the tools and resources we have we're usually closer to perfect than we think - it just doesn't always match our ideal of what perfect should be! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. Thanks for joining #fbfriday hope to see you again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU for hosting a fun link up!

      Delete
  11. Ah, the perfectionist trap. Been there, quite often! Thanks for sharing and thank you for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. It means the world. Feel free to share this or any other post you have at my Make it Pretty party which is currently live. Here is the link so you can check it out. http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/2015/06/make-it-pretty-monday-week-140.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an easy trap to fall into, for sure - but we have the tools to handle it! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  12. Thank you so much for sharing this great post with us at Good Morning Mondays. I am not really a perfectionist but I do know that there are some things that have to be just so or it really bothers me and I get uptight. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes a new point of view and some extra facts about the situation can help us deal with those moments we want to have just so, but don't have the power to change! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is a fantastic post! Love that you have found a great resource for you and your family and your insight is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a fantastic post! Love that you have found a great resource for you and your family and your insight is wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by! There are tons of good reasons to sign with kids, and I can't recommend Signing Smart highly enough!

      Delete
  16. Enjoyed reading this, we have children who strive for perfection and get extremely frustrated when it's not immediately achieved. It can be almost as dehabilitating as anxiety - from a "not wanting to make a mistake" viewpoint. Really insightful.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand all too well! This applies not only to signing with our little ones - often if we can have the right expectations of any situation we're able to see that perfect is right where we are. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  17. A great post, I think I can also be guilty of this. A great way of thinking. After reading your post the other week, I purchased the Sing and Sign DVD for Little E to watch with me #SSAmazingAchievements

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This applies not only to signing of course - having the correct expectations of anything is so important! I'm so excited to hear you've started signing in your home! My favorite series comes from Signing Smart....I encourage you to check it out when you're ready for something new. I'm happy to help any way I can - thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  18. I know that feeling! In terms of signs, we did some for my eldest from a couple of months old, but she showed little interest until she was about a year. Then she took to it very suddenly and loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 12 months seems to be a line in the sand - many kiddos pick up signs very quickly after that point. I'm glad your finding success! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete