public speaking

Thoughts from a Recovering Perfectionist

I’d like to tell you that there is a formula to make everyone happy. But there’s not. Actually it’s not your job. Not at work. Not at home.

One of my university students was talking about that today in a communications course that I teach at the University of New Brunswick, and I thought, “That reminder was for me.”

We work hard. We do our best to do the right thing. We make difficult decisions. We communicate our thoughts and feelings with respect in an assertive manner. Then we need to let it go.

Whoever they are ~ you have no control over them or if they’re happy about what you said. We were not meant to have control over them, and guess what? You can handle the fallout at home or work or wherever no matter what happens. Why? Because you’re still here, and I bet you’ve done things harder than this before.

Let it go, and focus on what you can control ~ you. Examine where you could have been more articulate or more kind, and then let it go. The last step is the hardest, especially for a perfectionist. I handle it by journaling about it or taking a walk. Whatever you choose to do ~ you can handle this kindly and be happy!

What do you do to help let things go after you’ve done your best?


  1. Mary Jane Copps on December 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Great reminder, Catherine. For me, yoga allows me to appreciate the moment. Meditation helps me realize I’ve done my best.

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