Do you ever get bothered by the tiny details that seem to ruin everything?
Are you afraid to let others take on a part of your tasks because you fear they can’t do it as well as you can?
Do you tend to push yourself to meet your high standards?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you, my friend, are a perfectionist. My definition of a perfectionist, is the obsession that one has to achieve acceptance from oneself and everyone else. Perhaps the easiest part in my opinion is achieving acceptance from oneself. When you meet your expectations you tend to get excited and proud, but that fleeting joy only lasts for a few seconds before you create yourself another higher, more difficult goal to strive toward. The cycle never ends since the ultimate goal keeps getting further and further away. Suddenly getting an 85% on an exam isn’t good enough, and a 93% isn’t even close to 100%. And perhaps getting 100% means yay, now I can go find another challenge to crush. Some times it feels stressful and discouraging because you never stop wondering when you can reach that goal, so that you can finally sit back and be the happiest person in the world. Unfortunately, the road to happiness seems to always have walls rising up every time you take a step toward it. These walls are the ones YOU yourself put up, to make you feel that happiness needs to be earned through hard-work.
In addition to the stresses you already faced internally, you have to meet the expectations of everyone around you. You must be smarter than Tim, or prettier than Jane, or funnier than Missy. When you meet someone better than you, you feel like you no longer have worth. You suddenly make up horrible stories about that seemingly, perfect person to make them seem more…human, or imperfect?
Why do we strive for perfection but when we see perfection, we become so resentful toward it?
For those people that you (in your mind) have defeated, they are worthless, their opinions don’t matter, and the things they do aren’t as …perfect as you. Your team’s project doesn’t work? No problem, you rewrite project paper since you definitely can’t have everyone else preventing you from getting that 100%.
At the end of day, it’s not the papers that you rewrite, or the exam grades that earn you the recognition or the happiness you desperately wish to achieve. It is definitely NOT it at all. It’s knowing when to let your team mates contribute their parts in the project and accept that this is a team effort and accept that it is ok to TRUST them. It is knowing when tell yourself, good job, you have done 80%, now let’s move on to another goal.
More importantly, it’s the self awareness of when to tell yourself that it is ok to be “good enough.” To say, I accept being the IMperfect me and I love myself for it. Our idea of happiness comes once we meet our goals is distorted. Really, we can achieve happiness whenever we let ourselves be happy. When you let go and accept that your hard work is good enough, you release the burden that you carry on your shoulders. Suddenly, things become more optimistic, and you don’t feel like you owe yourself or the world anything. When you accept that certain things are out of your control, and that the efforts you put in are worth the trouble (and not burning yourself out), then yeah, I guarantee that you will be a much ,much, happier person.
Here’s my top 5 tips to be a perfectly, happy IMperfectionist.
1. Do 80% of the first goal and finish the remaining 20% when you finish the other goals. (You’d accomplish more and not burn out)
2. Always reflect and acknowledge the hard work you have done and reward yourself for your efforts. (This will motivate you and also give you some time to relax and thus, will make you happier.)
3. In a team, have some confidence and trust in your team mates. (You’d be surprise how your team can take you far together, if you let them.)
4. Don’t just focus on the things that you are great at, try out new things that you haven’t done before. (This will broaden your experiences and lower your expectations of yourself – just a little bit.)
5. Forgive yourself when you don’t meet a goal. (Self-forgiveness is very hard at first, but it gets easier later. I find that I feel less burdened by the guilt that I can’t meet a goal. When I forgive myself, I give myself another chance to try again.)
–This post is not perfect but I did try my best. 🙂
And that, I leave you with the quote below. Have a wonderful, perfect day! 😛