Danger of Great to Good: Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist
I’m a recovering perfectionist. It’s why I’m so dedicated to helping all the super moms out there see the dangers of the concept of great, to good. If we could eradicate the idea of needing to be a great parent, we’d have a lot more happy families out there.
You may well know Jim Collins’ book called Good to Great. In it, he talks about how having a good company can keep you from striving for greatness. I wonder if some companies though, in striving to be great, end up not even good, but possibly mediocre or not even in business? Does perfectionism kill companies too?
I don’t know. What I do know well is how this plays out in the parenting arena. Moms are the most loving, wonderful creatures on the planet. And we are so flipping hard on ourselves. It’s tragic. And it’s getting worse.
The expectations that women have for ourselves are so unattainable, they should be laughable. Except we aren’t laughing.
(Well maybe occasionally we are, such as in this hilarious clip from Cat and Nat as part of their #MomTruths.)
We’re killing ourselves trying to be great moms in all possible ways.
Great is killing good.
The moms I work with come to me broken, discouraged and exasperated because no matter how little sleep they get, no matter how patient they try to be and how many books, videos and audios they listen to about parenting, at the end of the day they are faced with how completely and utterly hopeless their goals are
Meanwhile, our kids are:
- Experiencing war-time anxiety levels
- Struggling with depression and suicide
- Many are misbehaving and going astray like there’s no parent in their lives, let alone one who is hyper-vigilant on them 24/7
The danger of great to good is real. At least in the parenting realm, when we focus on good enough parenting (see this powerful article) we achieve whatever greatness is in our reach. Parents do NOT need to be more driven to achieve excellence.
You owe it to yourself and your kids to relax a bit. Lower the pressure on yourself and on your kids. Quit trying to be great all the time, and you’ll push bad and even mediocre parenting, away. The danger of great is that we can go down in a blaze of glory from the sheer pressure and pain that not being able to be great all the time, creates. Be the leader your child wants and needs you to be, and embrace your goodness as a parent. Refuse to get sucked into the notion that you have to be a great parent.
(And yes, I’m well aware of the irony given my show’s name! Rebranding is being considered on the priority list! And for now, the Great Parenting Show title may be what drew you in, to hear my message that good is all you need. So the title works, and is good enough for now!
How’s that for proving that I’m a recovering perfectionist, not a practicing one?!)