How are you all doing? I hope everyone is doing good!
I want to discuss some issue that came up in a discussion with a friend. I thought a lot about this issue before too and I wanted to share it with you.
The issue is perfectionism. The idea that you cannot make mistakes and whatever you do must be perfect.
I lived with that idea for the biggest part of my life and I still carry traces of it. My perfectionism in my earlier years revolved around my academic scores, coming from a country with many nation-wide exams. Up until college and even after that (in my MA years too), I worked to get the perfect score. I was always very close to that. But now in retrospect, this obsession with academic perfectionism prevented me from doing literally anything else in life. I stopped writing stories so I can focus on school. I am a physically active person and I have always been, but I could not become an athlete (I believe I could have).
Now, I see traces of that perfectionism in different areas of my life. For example, I have been learning German for a while (intermediate level) and I still am afraid to speak the language. For some reason, I want to sound like a native German-speaker as soon as I open my mouth and we all know that is unrealistic.
I have a fear of driving (I have a driver’s license but I don’t drive). There are different reasons for it, but I think one reason is that I want to get everything right in my first try. We know that cannot be either. Most people (all?) learn by making driving mistakes and they fix it for next time. This perfectionism, along with other reasons, is preventing me from driving at all. Who knows, maybe some other things that I don’t want to try is because I want to get them perfect in my first try.
Since I noticed these patterns in me, I have been working on improving them. One major milestone in that process is to convince ourselves that we need time. Nature does not hurry. We should not hurry, either. Another point to keep in mind that that time needs to be used with consistent efforts. Otherwise, it will be just empty time. We need to keep trying; progressing step by step.
Do you notice perfectionist patterns in your life? What are they? Do you think perfectionism is good or bad for you? What do you do handle the perfectionism? Let’s discuss.