Are You a Perfectionist?
For most of my life I thought I might be a Type A personality, but then, I didn’t really know what that meant. I do now. It means I have to do everything perfectly; I have to be perfect, which of course is impossible. It means something inside of me is always shooting for perfection, missing and then beating up on myself for the failure. Well I have just one thing to say about this Type A stuff.
I don’t want it anymore.
I quit. You don’t have to hit me over the head; I get it. It’s impossible to achieve this ridiculous unconscious goal that has plagued me for most of my life!
I make mistakes. Pay attention and sooner or later I’m going to say something really stupid here in a comment. (Perhaps I already have.) I’m going to write a lame post. I’m going to let you down – not say what you need to hear, not be here when you need me. I’m going to let us both down.
Sure, I believe in shooting for the stars. I believe in trying hard and doing my best, but I can do all that without the agenda of continually proving something to you that I need to believe myself. It’s just too hard that way.
Whew! I’m glad I got that out! I’m off the hook. I’m no longer demanding perfection from myself, nor from you. We’re all doing our best most days. On days when we’re tired or sick we’re not so resourceful so we don’t do our best, but it’s the best we can do on that day. It may be an admirable goal to shoot for the stars but sometimes we just hit a street light. So what? That’s not what it’s about.
I’d like to believe life is more than a perfect race to a perfect finish line. I’d rather think of it as a friendly, enjoyable run through the countryside where we’re all on the same team. Sometimes we challenge one another by speeding up, perhaps modeling something worthwhile. But we don’t do it to prove our superiority. We do it because we want to.
And if you drop in to my house and you see dust and clutter around, well so be it. If I know you’re coming, I’ll bake a cake – I really will. But the spotless-house-with-the-fresh-baked-cake-on-the-counter me is not the everyday me. Not anymore.
Are you a perfectionist?
photo credit: Steve H