“ Perfectionism is self abuse of the highest order.”
-Anne Wilson Schaef
I’m a type-A perfectionist. I admit it. And it sucks.
The problem with perfectionists is that we are secretly the best procrastinators because we are terrified of failing. Either we will put so much end-game pressure on ourselves that we will produce something utterly fantastic in the 24 hours (or less!) before something is due, or we’ll give ourselves a cop out and say, “well I was just sooooo busy…I ran out of time.”
Because perfectionists are also the busiest. We are on committees and help plan events and lead projects. But anyone will choose to work on the public project with public pressure over the paper that only directs your own grade. Which has more pressure? Which will make you look better?
Perfectionism, for me, is not just about how I feel on the inside. It’s about how others see me. And this past year, I’ve realized that I’ve put so much pressure on myself in my public sphere that I can no longer get anything done. It’s not that I’m necessarily failing at anything. But when I have high standards for what I want to do and everything I do is mediocre in comparison, then I end up wallowing in this pit of failure and annoyance and frustration.
At some point, I’ve got to a) accept that failure will happen, b) say no to things I am not passionate about, and c) prioritize what I want and what I love to do.
It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to ask someone else to take on that thing that no one will really care about as long as its done. It’s okay to prioritize what matters to me.
So, for now, I’m making a commitment to myself to not wait until the last minute. To clean my room. To sit at a real desk. To do my laundry. To sharpen my favorite pencils. To get up with the sun.
To just start.
Thanks for stopping by.
Featured photo by Elise Blaha Cripe. Go read her blog. It is seriously incredible.