I’m a perfectionist. I spend plentiful amounts of time just to perfect something. Perfectionism is my disease. However, perfectionism is not necessarily a bad trait. I mean, there are lots of worse things one can be.
This perfectionism, first, comes from my passion to improve and give my best to everything I do. Second, it’s because of how I was raised. I was brought up in an environment where success is praised and failure punished; and people are celebrated for being the best. Back in primary school, we were often taught to follow specific guidelines and non-conformance resulted in shaming and/or punishment. Because of that, combined with an innate sensitivity, I’ve learned to be meticulous about every single thing I do. I constantly spot mistakes when others don’t see any. And I’m good at correcting and editing things because I get secret joy from seeking out impergections, even though sometimes that really annoys people (sorry, not sorry).
When I have an exam to read for, the perfectionist-in-me craves as much information as possible. In school, when I’d an assignment to work on, I’d research on the topic in question until the data overload left me quite baffled as to how to proceed. Also in group projects, I often had to take over the work due to teammates not meeting the deadline or just to improve the overall standard of our project (I would often end up putting in a lot more work). Most of the times, it was at the expense of my time and sleep.
This perfectionism has even extended beyond my studies to every area in my life. I have an all-or-nothing approach…it’s either I do everything well or I don’t do it at all. I don’t have an in-between. Unfortunately, this makes me procrastinate just to do that something at the “right” moment. Because I only want to start when I’m ready so as to deliver the best quality of work, though this state of “readiness” never seems to come sometimes.
For me, there’s no room for mistakes. When I fail or when something goes wrong, I beat myself up and feel extremely bad about the mistake for a long while. Hence, I keep my things, under the excuse of polishing them to perfection. Perhaps that’s why some people tend to think that I’m someone who really has everything together (Bya he?!) Kumbe, I’m constantly busting my ass to live up to my impossible standards. I can never have that “I don’t care about this, so I’m not going to try” mentality. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing a small simple thing, I’m still going to stress over it. People don’t understand why such little things that wouldn’t bother/matter to them, can stress me so much.
With blog posts, I am relentless in “perfecting” every post. I spend weeks (if not months) drafting, editing, deleting and refining the posts before putting them out there. They are thoroughly thought through before they get published. I am constantly changing aspects of my blog, just to make sure that everything looks perfect. Even so, I find myself returning to improve the contents every few months.
Perfectionism sure has helped me excel and come off as crazy throughtout my life (it makes me dismiss things that seem awkward or too personal, even if they’re authentic and reflect me closely). Being a perfectionist helps me learn and become more conscious and aware with each day that passes…it has helped me to do well in school, perform well in my internships, it encourages me to do everything well…
I wish I wasn’t a perfectionist, but being one has helped me achieve very precise standards and become an overachiever in many ways than I would ever admit aloud.