If you procrastinate on doing things because you feel like you’ll screw up the task if you don’t it at precisely the right time in exactly the right way, you’re a perfectionist.
If you often struggle in learning how to “do the thing” because you’re worried about “doing it wrong” as you’re learning a new tradition or practice, you’re a perfectionist.
Bottom line: your concern over doing things “wrong” or “not good enough” is getting in the way of your practice, and likely during a very stressful time at that. In fact it’s likely that you’re struggling even more BECAUSE it’s currently a very stressful time for everyone.
So, what to do?
Doing part of something is better than doing nothing at all
Like with exercise, do what you can. Don’t have time for a 30-60 min workout? Do 10-15 minutes. Fit it in, get it done.
Regular spiritual practice is the same way. Find small ways to do things or shorten up a routine that you’re used to doing (or want to do). Find a way to fit it in and do what you can.
Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. Being a perfectionist can get in the way of you doing something good for yourself. Don’t let that happen.
If you wait for perfection, you’ll never get it done.
I’m sorry, my fellow perfectionist, but we are human. By definition we will NEVER be perfect. We will screw up, learn from it, and adjust our behavior after that. And things are rapidly descending into the bowels of fire and crap right now and will likely get worse. Take care of yourself now and adjust your expectations.
Spirituality should heal and sustain you, not stress you out.
I did the Abramelin rite and the first thing I included in my vows beforehand was that I would not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Not using the excuse of “it must be perfect or I can’t do it” get in the way of the rite–or ANY rite–freed me to get things done and accomplish my goals without being a slave to my overly high expectations.
Being a perfectionist gears you towards orthopraxy, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing
There are a number of witch or pagan traditions which are orthopraxic vs orthodoxic. Examples include Hellenism and various traditions of initiatory witchcraft, especially those derived from Alexandrian or Gardnerian traditions. If you’re coming from a religion or tradition which is ordinarily orthodoxic, often belief is emphasized over action.
In orthopraxic traditions, this isn’t the case. Your action is more important than your belief. This means that you must do the thing and not just sit in your laurels.
But this doesn’t mean that you must be a perfectionist about your practice. The key is to do the things you’re supposed to do. That doesn’t mean that they have to either be perfect or elaborate.
If your holiday ritual just consists of you eating cookies and drinking wine that’s fine too
Light a candle. Say a few words. Eat a cookie, drink wine or tea or whatever. Hot cocoa, if that’s your thing. It doesn’t even have to be alcoholic, just make drinking the beverage a sacred act.
Let’s be honest, if you’re struggling right now to do things you’re not alone. And you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it, either. Do what you can do. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re a perfectionist, you’re likely VERY stressed right now and you need to do something about it
I recommend engaging in actions which act to bring down your blood pressure and anxiety. Self care is necessary right now.
You can even make it a spiritual act. Do prayers during or before you do something to ease your soul.
It’s okay to not feel okay right now, and it’s also okay if you keep screwing up and either forgetting to do rituals or not capable of doing them. If all you can manage is a brief prayer, it is a thing and again, something is better than nothing.
Just take care of you, and do it repeatedly.