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Why Perfection can be Bad!

Today’s video is inspired by my reaction to the typo we made in an email that went out to the Jacquie Straight Up family 2 weeks ago. I wasted time and energy being mortified by that little mistake, by worrying how unprofessional it looked and how it could have even happened after so many checks. Then I had to give my head a shake because the truth is, things are seldom perfect and sweating the small stuff distracts us from what’s really important in life and from making progress on the goals that really matter. Do you know what I mean?

Do you ever get like that when the desire for perfection holds you back, blinds you from love and joy, or actually becomes a big fat excuse for not making progress?

When it comes to not sweating the small stuff, my late friend Rod was my teacher. He was a vibrant bon vivant who was the life and soul of any party but would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. After my first divorce, I moved back into a dingy little rental apartment in Vancouver with one futon and a television. It would have been depressing if it wasn’t for him. “We’ll make this place look fabulous”, he said. “Let’s paint it pumpkin” And so we did, one Saturday we cranked up the tunes, poured a few cocktails and got to work. The place looked great but naturally, me with my OCD tendencies started to focus on all the little splotches of pumpkin paint on the white ceiling and all the teeny tiny places where we had colored out of the lines.

My anxiety built and those little brush strokes of paint became huge mountains blocking me from seeing anything else. So of course, I said  “Now I’ve got to go and buy some white paint to fix this.” We argued back and forth and eventually Rod grabbed my arm, looked me square in the eyes and said with love and conviction “Jacquie Let it GO, it’s NOT a perfect world!” I can’t tell you how many times I have turned to that memory when I’ve needed it most. I lived in that little apartment with its pumpkin splotches on the ceiling for 3 years after Rod’s passing.

Those little imperfections and the lesson they carried kept him close to me for years to come. I would look up at them every evening and think about all the laughter, loyalty and joy he brought into my life – a true friend – not to mention the big lesson he taught me.

In the end, those little imperfections turned out to be perfect after all. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It will stop you from recognizing love, from making progress on your goals and dreams and from enjoying life. And it will stop you from seeing the utter perfection in an imperfect world.

Thank you so much for watching this video – If you’ve liked it, please click the like button and share it on social media – I’d really appreciate that. Now I’d love to hear from you so let me know in the comments below this video how you handle letting go of the small stuff that could hold you back.

12 Comments
  • Lilly
    Posted at 17:30h, 12 April Reply

    This is a subject that hits so close to home and I am so glad that you did a video about this. I am constantly sweating the small stuff. At first it was a way to control the chaos but now I think it ends up creating more anxiety for me. Although I don’t have any advice to let the small stuff go yet, this video has motivated me to try and start letting go, it’s something that I need to do for myself and my sanity.

  • Jacquie
    Posted at 17:45h, 12 April Reply

    So glad it resonated Lilly! And since awareness is the first step to change, you are on your way to letting go of the small stuff!

  • Gracie
    Posted at 18:04h, 12 April Reply

    This is a lesson that I wish I had learned in my younger years. Don’t sweat the small stuff, sounds easier to do then it is, but it makes such a difference in your life in the long run.

    It’s silly but for me the answer to almost every problem in life gratitude. When I am overwhelmed with what is wrong or missing, I try and thing of the things that I do have. I may not have the perfect job or house but I do have a loving family and a roof over my head.

    There are things everyday I want to fix and change from the color of my hair to my decor, but whenever I start to get overwhelmed with OCD or depressed that things aren’t the way I like or aren’t perfect enough, I just take a deep breath and try to remember that the small stuff doesn’t matter in the end and there is a lot to be grateful for.

    • Jacquie
      Posted at 20:31h, 12 April Reply

      Hey Gracie – Not silly at all – I think gratitude is a PERFECT solution! Thanks for sharing! x

  • Jana
    Posted at 07:00h, 13 April Reply

    Just had to say that I didn’t even notice the typo mistake…..so you see, you sweated over nothing:) Thanks for yet another inspiring video. It’s amazing how yet again another of your videos resonated yet again very deeply with me x

    • Jacquie
      Posted at 09:33h, 13 April Reply

      No kidding Jana! Thanks for that and you are so welcome – So glad it resonated! X

  • Helena
    Posted at 10:36h, 13 April Reply

    How IRONIC……….I am painting over SPLOTCHES TODAY!!! lol

  • Helena
    Posted at 12:35h, 13 April Reply

    by the way…….if you ever need a touch of white………white out can do the trick and even has it’s own brush!!!

  • Jacquie
    Posted at 12:36h, 13 April Reply

    Ha ha! Too funny Helena! Don’t let it drive you crazy! xo

    • Helena
      Posted at 16:48h, 13 April Reply

      Too Late………….I’m already there!!! lol

  • Nessie
    Posted at 18:21h, 14 April Reply

    How guilty of me of sweating the small stuff! It is a waste of energy and time! Thank you for pointing out how an imperfection became something positive for you…we should all apply that concept…the hidden “gift” in the small things!

    • Jacquie
      Posted at 10:24h, 16 April Reply

      So pleased this resonated with you Nessie! No guilt though cos’ there can also be a good side to being a perfectionist… the yin and yang of all our character traits! xo

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