For as long as I can remember I have been a self-proclaimed “perfectionist”. For years I thought that this was a great quality to have. I have always taken pride in the quality of work that I produced no matter what it was for. I could be volunteering for an event at my son’s school or working on an assignment at work. No matter what the occasion, my end result had to be in my eyes perfect. I never looked at this as a negative quality but rather a positive. My thought was that I will not produce sub-par anything and have my name attached to it. What I did not realize was my perfectionism was making me anxious and aggravating my mental state. If things were not perfect, then there was a problem. It was all or nothing. If whatever project I was working on was not 100% correct and 100% perfect, I would work myself into a frenzy. Often, I would be forced to start all over or just give up all together. The circumstances had to be perfect as well. I looked for perfection all around me, and when I did not find it, I was a mess.
Over the years, I have had many dreams, goals and desires. My perfectionism stepped in and caused me to kick my dreams to the curb because the situation was not ideal, or the timing was not right. What I did not realize was that there would never be a right time to do anything. You just have to do it. As I look back at all the times that I allowed my so called need to be perfect in every situation take over, I realize that perfectionism is a mask for fear. I was afraid. What if it didn’t work out? What if no one liked it? What if I did a bad job? I would literally talk myself out of every hope and dream that I ever had. I had no hope, I didn’t trust the process, and I did not trust my own intuition. I sought out approval from people who did not have my vison and hoped they gave me the okay to proceed. How sad.
There is a big difference with caring about the quality of work that you produce and scaring yourself out of doing everything that you want to do and hiding behind a mask called perfectionism.
I have come a long way and have learned that there will never be a right time, or a right circumstance. What I do know is that all you can do is your best. And usually things will always work themselves out. The price to pay for perfectionism is an expensive one. It will take your time, your sanity, and it will rob you of your hopes and dreams if you are not very careful.