- Harder to See the Big Picture
- “If you want something done right…”
- Can Be Inflexible
- Emotionally Draining
- Conclusion: Not Worth My Peace
Last night, I went to dinner with a friend. We were talking about our classes, and this led us to the topic of perfectionism. We both agreed that we set high goals for ourselves, and can potentially get discouraged if those goals aren’t met. Of course, within the context of school, I personally set goals to finish assignments, readings, or projects by a certain day. For example, I had every intention to finish the powerpoint for my Church History presentation by last Friday. I even wrote it down in my planner!
To be honest, I’ve been struggling with the research portion for almost 2 weeks. I’m having a really hard time finding the sources I need to back up the points I want to make. The thing is, what I am experiencing now is forcing me to face something that I always seem to fall into…perfectionism. I will say, though, that this year, the perfectionist side of me is slowly being tamed.
Nonetheless, perfectionism is draining my friends. Here are 5 Draining Characteristics of Perfectionism that I have experienced, and am experiencing slightly right now.
Sometimes put things off until the last minute because I am waiting for the “right time.” The problem with waiting for the right time, the perfect time, or the ideal time is that it may never happen. For example, instead of waiting to gather all of the information I think I need for my presentation, I should probably just START writing in something.
Solution to procrastination? As Nike likes to say, “Just Do It.”
2. Harder to See the Big Picture
Again, with my project I know by the way I am reading the text books, that I am focusing too much on all of the little details and trying to piece them together in my head before putting them on a powerpoint slide. For me, I noticed that if I don’t understand all of the little pieces of information, it’s really hard for me to move on from it. This is overwhelming.
Another example is when I am writing a paper. I can edit, and edit, and edit, and edit the heck out of an essay, and I am almost never satisfied with it. It isn’t until a month later when I go back to read it that I think to myself, “Why did I stress over this so much?”
3. “If you want something done right…”
“…you got to do it yourself.” I’ve been catching myself and trying to reverse this mindset. It is very draining to do everything yourself because you think that your way is the right way, or the “perfect” way. I have to remind myself that my way is a preference, and so is everyone else’s way. Sometimes things won’t turn out the way I want them, and that’s okay! In other words, I’m trying to learn how to let go of control. I didn’t realize how much control I try to hold on to, and I’m tired of it.
4. Can Be Inflexible
I, for the most part, am a pretty laid-back person. However, there were many times where I remember not “flexing” because I was too stuck on my plan. For instance, during my 38 Day Fast I could have avoided passing out if I had listened to the voices of my family. Some of my family members were getting concerned because, I guess my eyes looked different. My brother’s actually asked my mom if she could talk to me about it. She did, but I thought I was okay, and I had a goal of completing a 40 Day Fast. As some of you already know…that didn’t happen.
5. Emotionally Draining
This past weekend, I started feeling emotionally drained because I did not finish my history powerpoint on the day I said I would finish it. I felt burnt out, tired, and actually needed a nap! In other words, I got to the point where I wanted to give up, but I knew I couldn’t.
This past Friday, a friend of mine and I were sitting on the balcony of the common area in our dorm. We were talking about all of the assignments that we have coming up. While we were talking, some of our other dorm mates came joined us and we started to hang out. After about 30-45 minutes, I looked at my friend and said, “Ugh. What should we do?” She said to me, “We’re either going to go back to our rooms and study, or we are going to be present and enjoy the company of our friends.”
Well guess what? We decided to enjoy the company of our friends for the rest of the day/weekend! (lol) It was a lot of fun just being in the moment. I didn’t realize how much I needed to relax from the emotional roller coaster that was running inside me.
Conclusion: Not Worth My Peace
Going back to the conversation I was having at dinner with my friend that I mentioned in the beginning of this blog. After we had talked a little bit about our struggles with perfectionism, we began to reflect on the grand scheme of things. Meaning, we both realized that the things that we so often worry ourselves with, are but a drop of sand in the bucket of eternity.
In short, I walked away from dinner with the realization that perfectionism, although it might make an essay look nice and organized, is not worth it. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be at peace.