Monthly Archives: March 2014

You’re Better Than Some, Not as Good as Others

Striving for excellence is a worthy enterprise. But if you find yourself in distress because of real or perceived failures along the way, or you quit because you’re not perfect, then you have a problem.

I struggle with being a perfectionist. I work really hard to do everything well, and I get upset and distracted if I can’t. However, I don’t quit – I find another route.

For example, some of the jewelry I make is fine silver from precious metal clay. It’s not easy to work with and dries practically just by looking at it. I decided to take a three-day private lesson from an incredible metal clay artist, Lisa Barth. While training with Lisa, I made a number of nice things, but I had in my mind that anything I made had to look as good as what she made. After two and a half weeks of frustration, I ended up throwing away most of my work.

Why couldn’t I do it like she did? Was it because she had done it longer?

No, time was only partially the answer. The problem was that I am not artistic in the sense that Lisa is. For example, I could take painting lessons from Da Vinci all day, but I could never paint like him in 40 years of practice. There’s a certain quality you have to have.

I needed to accept the fact that I could NOT do Da Vinci (or Lisa Barth) – I could ONLY do Dr. Laura.

The minute I told myself that, I made a couple of things immediately! They weren’t complex, but they were nice. I freed myself up by recognizing that even though I didn’t have that talent, I did have a talent.

I don’t perceive it as any form of quitting or being negative about myself. I consider it being honest with myself. Things don’t make you feel bad about yourself; your ATTITUDE about those things makes you feel bad about yourself.

Here are some tips for the next time you’re struggling with the need to be perfect:

    • Realize you are limited – more limited in some areas and less limited in others. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just reality.

 

    • Accept that there are always going to be people better than you. Every day, say to yourself, “I’m better than some, not as good as others.”

 

    • Recognize that mistakes happen and they should happen. You cannot be on your game 24/7. People who are always down on themselves do not live as long.

 

    • Try not to get impatient with yourself when you are stressed out. When you are stressed, try to avoid activities that require an intense amount of concentration or focus. These types of activities can make the stress worse instead of better.

 

  • Have a sense of humor.

 

Why Women Have the Power in a Marriage

A recent study out of UC Berkeley found that wives matter more when it comes to resolving marital spats. I couldn’t help but laugh. Duh! It’s not exactly a new discovery that women hold most of the power in a relationship. Why? Consider this typical husband and wife exchange:

Wife: “I’m having a problem with someone at work.”
Husband: “Well, I think this is what you ought to do.”
Wife: “I don’t want you to solve it. I want you to listen to me. I want you to hear my feelings!”

Male and female brains are wired very differently. Men are problem solvers. Women, on the other hand, are more verbal and don’t like anybody to fix their problems. Instead, they want to talk about their pain and upset feelings.

This is why women have more influence over arguments in their marriages.  Because men think in terms of solutions rather than feelings, if a woman cuts the emotion and approaches her husband with a plan, things become a lot more manageable.

In addition, women have more power in a marriage because men are very dependent on feminine approval. It starts out with their mothers and later comes in the form of sex with their wives. By contrast, women get their approval from their mothers, sisters, and girlfriends.  Men are much more emotionally reliant on women than women on men. This is one of the reasons why after a death or divorce, men find somebody else much quicker.

So, for all you women who want to have more satisfaction in your marriages, stop talking for a moment and come up with one or two potential solutions to the problem. Suddenly, you and your husband will be talking instead of yelling. If you pull your emotional act together, things will go better.