Whenever I do something, I strive to make it as close to perfect as possible. I’m a perfectionist…
Mostly I am a perfectionist when it comes to my own projects and experiences, and I am not so critical when it comes to others and what they do. Now I say mostly because I understand that people have varying skills and as long as they put forth their best efforts, even if it is not perfect, I’m not bothered, however, it’s when someone is lazy or apathetic that my perfectionism can cause me to feel disdain towards them. This is detrimental to myself and my own psyche because I always believe I’m not doing enough, I can do more, like nothing I do is as good as it could be.
Whenever I pick up a task, I feel I need to make sure that it is done in the best manner that anyone could possibly do it in which means I do things very well… However it also means the things that I just don’t have the aptitude for can truly frustrate me. It also means that I spend a great deal of time on simple tasks that don’t require much detail so when things are time sensitive, my perfectionism becomes an issue.
I wondered how I ended up becoming a perfectionist and although I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, I can remember a feeling; Failure. Failure was one of the worst feelings that left a huge lump in my throat and it made my chest tight. I felt that if I didn’t do something well enough, I failed… I let myself down, I let someone else down, I wasn’t good enough and so I needed to be better, and make sure anything I did, was perfect.
My perfectionism was something I struggled with for a long time, I accepted it as part of myself and didn’t think of it as a problem until I started working full time. I quickly got good at my day job and the tasks I was given but eventually I started trying to take on too much work because my perfectionism demanded the task be done by me because I knew the work I did was near perfect and I didn’t trust anyone else to attain that. Of course I couldn’t complete all the tasks I picked up either and that just lead to letting myself down and telling myself I needed to be better then trying to pick up even more tasks and continually letting myself down when i was unable to do them all.
This behaviour obviously wasn’t sustainable because no one is perfect at everything but that’s the pressure I tried to put on myself. Identifying this behaviour throughout my journey really showed me how self destructive being a perfectionist is. Looking deeper, I didn’t attain the skill of doing things with a high quality because I was trying to achieve perfection, I did so because I took pride and care in the things I did. I developed those traits through the pursuit of perfection but they are not reliant on being perfect and now that I can see how self destructive trying to be perfect is, I’ve held onto those traits while allowing myself to make mistakes and letting go of my perfectionism.
Now that I can accept my mistakes, failure no longer makes me feel as though I am not good enough, in fact failure is another way to become better. Failure is a lesson and through these lessons we can actually come closer to perfection without the obsession of never making a mistake.