Lesson 3.5 - Bridging the gap
There’s one more exercise I want to share with you to help you bridge the gap between perfectionism and imperfectionism. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this lesson number 5.
Perfectionism causes some pretty heavy problems because it makes life’s imperfections into bothersome, intimidating, and unsurpassable roadblocks. Perfectionists are frozen in place by what they think is this insurmountable gap between perfect fantasy and present reality, which impairs their ability to progress and enjoy life.
That’s why the final step in bridging the gap between perfectionism and imperfectionism is to get over perfect - I mean it, get over it already - and accept life for what it is: real, messy, and imperfect.
Psychologist Nathaniel Branden has developed an exercise called sentence completion, which is about generating a number of endings to an incomplete sentence.
The key to doing this exercise is to generate at least six endings to each sentence stem, either aloud or in writing. Say or write whatever comes immediately to mind whether or not it makes sense and regardless of internal contradictions and inconsistencies.
It’s very much a stream-of-consciousness exercise. It’s also, in itself, about the practice of acceptance, about expressing whatever comes up without barriers or inhibitions.
After you complete the exercises, you can go over your responses and identify the ones that make sense to you, the ideas you would like to explore further, and the ones that are irrelevant.
Here’s an example of a sentence stem that I completed:
If I accept myself 5% more…
I will stop working so hard
I will not succeed as much
I will succeed more
I will pursue the things that I love
Others will reject me
Others will be upset with me
I will be more accepting of others
Others will be more accepting of me
I will no longer need to prove myself constantly
I will be calmer
It doesn’t all makes sense, right? But that’s okay.
Over on the worksheet you’ll find a list of examples of sentence completion exercises. I want you to pick 3 sentence stems that resonate with you and complete these 3 exercises.
Once you look over your answers and the contradictions in your answers something will shift for you. You’ll see that perfectionism and imperfectionism actually lie very close to each other and that bridging the gap doesn’t require a huge leap after all. You’ll see that fear and acceptance aren’t that far apart at all.
The answer lies in the question itself. It’s just a question of 5% less of this and 5% more of that. Again, acceptance and imperfectionism is a question of taking a small action step or a tiny win.
And that, to me, is very powerful.
Okay my friend, this lesson was short and sweet but a critical step toward imperfectionism. Let’s meet up in the next lesson of this module. I can’t wait to see you there!