Subject: Perfectionism Is An Evil Taskmaster
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
produced by Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Adventurer
Monday, February 28, 2000
A banner week for new subscribers! The highest number
ever! Readership increased by 9.8%! Thank you for
sharing CTJ with your friends and networks. This week I
invite you to forward CTJ to 3 friends as a gift to celebrate
the approaching spring. As we enter this time of opening
and blossoming and beginnings, let CTJ be a resource for a
new commitment to your success and that of those
Perfectionism Is An Evil Taskmaster!
On this Sunday, the 14th anniversary of my entering
recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction and an eating
disorder, I am aware of the degree to which perfectionism
still impedes my having the level of success, joy and
freedom I want in my life. I believe I am not alone in this
Anne Wilson Schaef talks about perfectionism in one of
her daily meditation books:
“Perfectionism is setting up an abstract, external
ideal of what we should be or should not be able to
do that has little or no relationship to who we are
or what we need to do and then trying to mold
ourselves into that ideal.
“In trying to be the abstract perfect, we batter,
judge, and distort ourselves. No matter what we do
or how we try to achieve, it is never enough. We
are never enough. Trying too hard and never trying
at all are two sides of the coin of perfection.
Unfortunately, it is a coin that never pays off.”
“…we may use perfectionism to keep ourselves
from getting anything done. If it has to be done
perfectly, why even start? Perfectionism and
procrastination go hand in hand, and accomplish
Perfectionism creates fear, delay, “stuckness” and
paralysis. It keeps us from experiencing the joy of moving
forward in our lives, of becoming the people we really
are, of doing the things that are most important to us.
Perfectionism is a set of chains which keeps us locked in
the status quo. The chains are anchored deeply in the wall
of our past. We release them by choosing to live in the
present and by choosing to take action. To act in spite of
the fear; in spite of not knowing the outcome; in spite of
the ever-present judgment that it won’t be good enough.
To once again quote Peter McWilliams, “… don’t worry —
just DO IT!” You may be amazed at the results!
Perfectionism is an attitude. We choose our attitudes. You
can make a different choice today.
Making different choices requires practice. Here are a
couple of ways for you to practice letting go of
Each day for the next 7 days, make a conscious choice to do
something completely imperfectly.
Sing a song out of key
Send an email to a friend with lots of typos
Overcook the vegetables
Wear mismatched socks
Don’t get your mail
Leave the dinner dishes in the sink overnight
Don’t dust anything
Be a few minutes late for an appointment
Each day for the next 7 days, give yourself permission, out
loud and in the mirror, to make at least 10 mistakes today.
Look yourself in the eye and say, “Today I give myself
permission to be human. I will make at least 10 mistakes
and celebrate the opportunities for learning they give
I invite you to contact me at mailto:email@example.com
and share some of your mistakes and imperfections with
me. I love to celebrate humans becoming human! Let me
know how your humanness is evolving!
Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.
Anne Wilson Schaef
When in doubt, make a fool of yourself.
There is a microscopically thin line between being
brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot
So what the hell, leap
I have learned more from my mistakes than from my
successes. Make as many mistakes as you can, as quickly as
Sir Humphrey Davy
Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right
to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn
new things and move forward with your life. Remember
that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting
your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human
can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more
Dr. David M. Burns
Mistakes + Laughter + Learning = LIFE!
Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
One of the best! This book, published originally in 1987, is
filled with concrete techniques to turn passivity into
assertiveness, “I can’t” into “I’ll handle it” and “what will
they think” into “I’m worth it.” It’s easy to read and
absorb, and full of lots of common sense and honesty. The
first time I read it, it compelled me to take actions that
forever changed my life for the better. It’s a great book for
getting unstuck and beginning to create the life you really
want. Order it here for only $10.36:
The Laws of Spirit: Simple, Powerful Truths for Making
Life Work by Dan Millman.
Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior,
offers a teaching tale, a parable, in which he encounters a
woman of great wisdom while on a mountain hike.
Seemingly ageless, with mutable features and lightning
quick reflexes, this nameless sage takes him on an odyssey
of spiritual discovery. Through stories, tests, and
experiences in the wilderness, she illuminates the laws of
balance, choice, process, presence, compassion, faith,
expectation, integrity, action, cycles, surrender, and unity.
The laws of Spirit belong to each and all of us. They are
found within our own hearts and at the heart of every
religion, moral system, and spiritual tradition. As you
make your own odyssey through the pages of this book,
you will find keys to inner peace and hidden potential
opening doors to a deeper sense of meaning, connection,
and harmony with all of creation.
This is a book that you will refer to again and again for
inspiration on life’s journey. Order it here by clicking on:
The following true story was sent to me by my good friend
Sally Shiekman-Miller. Thanks, Sally!
Walking on the Moon
On July 20 , 1969, as commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar
Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot
on the moon. His first words, after stepping on the moon,
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for
mankind” were televised to Earth and heard by millions.
But, just before he reentered the lander he made the
enigmatic remark: “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”
Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark
concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However,
upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian
or American space program.
Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to
what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant, but
Armstrong always just smiled.
On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering
questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26
year old question to Armstrong. This time he finally
responded. Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong
felt he could answer the question.
In 1938 when he was a kid in a small midwest town, he
was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His
friend hit a fly ball which landed in his neighbor’s yard by
the bedroom window.
His neighbors were Mr. & Mrs. Gorsky.
As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong
heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. “Sex! You
want sex?! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on
Give yourself the gift of being imperfect this week.
This first opportunity is a great offering from Phil
Humbert. A marvelous way to combine a vacation with
creating the success you really want in your life. Check
+++ SUMMER SUCCESS SERIES(tm)
This is BIG! I’m delighted to announce that my “Summer
Success Series” will be in Green Lake, Wisconsin! This is
an amazing place, and I want you to join us! You are
invited! This is a unique event, where you create the
seminar YOU need for success! There are many options
between May 27th and June 8th, and the price is a bargain.
For info (and to register!) visit:
SPRING SPECIAL! Sign up by March 2nd!
I’m offering a series of 3 half hour coaching sessions
during the month of March for $100. The perfect way to
have a partner to support you in letting go of your
perfectionism. Or in creating more freedom, joy and
success in your life. Celebrate spring with the gift of
coaching. Email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to
reserve a spot!
YOUR BEST YEAR YET! Workshop
My next YBYY Workshop available to the public will
happen in Aspen, Colorado on the morning of Saturday,
March 25. For more information visit my website at
www.tothesummit.com/YBYY.html or email me at
mailto: YBYY@tothesummit.com. A great excuse to visit
Aspen, create a plan to make the next 12 months be your
Best Year Yet, and get some great spring skiing in at the
I have a few spaces available in my coaching practice.
Every serious athlete has a COACH. Why not have one
for the most important game of all: Life! Contact me at
mailto:email@example.com or visit her website for
information and resources for having the life you
REALLY want at https://www.tothesummit.com.
Copyright © 2000, all rights reserved, by Margo Chisholm
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Margo Chisholm is available for individual and group
coaching. Every dedicated athlete has a coach. Why not
have a coach for the most important game of all: the
game of life. Visit our website at
https://www.tothesummit.com for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an email to
“At every moment of our life we have an
opportunity to choose joy.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346
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