This is for all those perfectionists out there. We want to think that perfectionism is about having a high degree of excellence. Not true! It is actually about fear. That's right. . .FEAR.
Perfectionists are not able to separate their self-worth from their work. Any flaws in their work are considered measurements of their personal worth. So they try to pinpoint all the details about a project and consider all the possibilities for error [which, by the way, is impossible] because they take it personally if anything goes wrong or is not as good as someone else's. That is the fear of rejection. It is the fear that your flaws will be revealed for all the world to see.
The truth is—no one actually expects you to be perfect. Your intent is more important than the millions of details you manage to paralyze yourself with. If you will allow yourself to do a good job, aware that you can make adjustments if they are needed, wondrous things will occur.
· Your stress level will reduce
· You will be surprised to discover that you don't make as many mistakes as you thought you would
· Plus, you will realize that some of those things that stared back at you so glaringly in the past were actually quite unimportant to anyone but you.
Relax! The tension you create by striving to be perfect cuts you off from the flow of well-being. So despite your efforts to be perfect, you can never achieve as high a standard of excellence as you will achieve when you are calm, centered, and at peace with yourself.
My Personal Experience
As a recovering perfectionist, I can remember times in high school—in the days of typewriters) when I would re-do a term paper from start to finish because there was a single typo! How ridiculous is that? When I started working, I often worked later than I should have because I spent so much time reviewing my work.
What was I afraid would happen? I was obviously investing a great deal of energy to ward off something! Strangely enough, I don't remember actually putting my feelings about it into words. Of course, if anyone asked, I always chanted my mantra about my desire to do excellent work.
Now that I am much older and find myself being more particular about where I invest my energies, I realize that all that craziness was based on the fear at that time that I wasn't quite good enough. My question now is: Good enough for whom?
So now when I experience déjà vu watching some younger person driving themselves over the edge worrying about details that no one will ever notice but them, I try to reach out and touch them. I just can't help myself when I think about how much valuable time they waste fretting over the small stuff!
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