Having a low opinion of yourself is not ‘modesty.’ It’s self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not ‘egotism.’ It’s a necessary precondition to happiness and success.” – Bobby Sommer
I don’t think people take the idea of being a perfectionist seriously enough; they think of someone who is incredibly driven to do their best, but that’s not what being a perfectionist is about. They look at that person and admire them. But there’s nothing really admirable about being a perfectionist.
Sure, I am constantly pushing myself to be the best – I try not to judge anyone, I am always self-conscious of how I behave, I always wonder what others expect of me and try to live up to it, I always don’t want to be caught doing something I shouldn’t be doing. But my entire life feels like I’m walking on a tightrope – a straight line. And diverging off the line needs to be methodically planned – I need an end goal.
Being a perfectionist is not striving for one’s best – it’s striving to not fail, it’s anxiety that one might not do as well as others expect. And sometimes it’s about inertia – choosing to put off something ’cause not doing something well, or something not turning out the way you want is just not worth the effort.
It’s about planning your day so precisely, to the minute, that if you’re just five minutes off you start to panic and snap at everyone. Like literally, I wake up five minutes late I know exactly how long my shower must be and how fast I must walk to the train station to catch the emptiest train. And I constantly stare at my watch.
And sometimes, it’s just so overwhelming – which is probably why I write this post now. ‘Cause potential new experiences terrify me. It terrifies me because, unlike video games, you can’t rewind or force quit and try again from your last checkpoint. If you fail – life moves on, and you have to live with that failure. And that terrifies me too. ‘Cause some days I am reminded of a particular moment of failure in my past and it’ll replay in my head like a slap in my face. You could have done this! You shouldn’t have done that! Now you have to live with it!
Technically I’ve always been pretty good with failure, I’ve always taken it as a “learning experience” – I think this is what a lot of people tell me. I take it as constructive criticism and I always try to learn from mistakes and try to make myself better from it, so that’s good. But I guess, I have to admit that while I do this, I only do this so that I won’t experience that failure again – ’cause otherwise I would literally be more disappointed than I was before.
I thought I’d write all this down ’cause whenever I write in this blog I always try to sound so cheerful and put together – and sometimes a bit too sarcastic for my own good – so I thought I’d change the beat a bit (so this post sounds a bit like my 3am posts). I thought I’d just write about my worries instead. ‘Cause I am human.
And you guys don’t get to see the “backstage” of me putting together a post – which usually involves about four drafts and two edits for me to be satisfied enough to post the darn thing up.
In fact, this post itself took me four hours to even get the courage to write. ‘Cause I put in the first quote and my perfectionism kicked in – this post is not going to be anywhere near as detailed and expressive as I imagined it in my head when I thought of writing about it – so I saved it to drafts and then closed the tab. (I’m back though.)
Regardless, I’ll leave it there. So yes, I have incredibly perfectionist tendencies in me. Sometimes, it can be wonderful, sometimes the tiresome amount of effort I put into something can be completely worth it – I take pride in the work I do, but sometimes I can avoid doing so many things because I don’t feel prepared enough, and sometimes I waste so much time just worrying endlessly about the next day or the next few hours.
And, I guess this is what a blog is for: my worries.
Till next time,