Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Too much perfectionism?

I have always known that I suffer from perfectionism.  In a very big way.  And yes, sometimes it makes me crazy.  But I've always been fine with what others do, just hold myself to ridiculously high standards (recognizing it and being to control it are clearly 2 very different things).  I have just been smacked right in the face with the realization that perhaps my expectations of others are too high as well.  I console myself with the knowledge that I would never ask someone (anyone!) to do something I wouldn't do myself.

However....is that fair and realistic?  If I'm willing to be a workaholic, does that mean I expecting others to be as well?  I don't think so, but maybe that's not the impression others are getting.  I think I may be making others feel badly about their abilities.  Not at all what I would ever intend.  I have a freakish ability to memorize policy & procedure (never argue with me about the rules of a game....I have memorized the rules...it's in there, honest), and an internal disposition to follow them to a "t".  i's dotted and t's crossed.  A nearly encyclopedic knowledge of grammar rules.  I can't help it.  And it's not personal when I disagree with someone.  It's just the way it is.  Years of language study and grammar courses at the university level will do that to a person.  I know what a subordinate clause looks like, and I know how to use it successfully in a sentence.

My children accuse me regularly of having high standards.  Too high in their opinion.  So sue me.  Or do your own thing anyway (which is clearly the road they sometimes take....but that is another story).  I think there's a direct correlation between my standards for myself and my professional success.  That makes me happy.

Perfectionism Is A Dream Killer--gotta remember this.If it makes it any better, my perfectionism can be crippling and make it nearly impossible to meet my own goals.  Health and fitness being the prime examples.

We can't all be perfect all of the time.  Even though I like to try.  I don't think it's killed my dreams, but maybe it has.  I just don't want my perfectionism to be responsible for killing the dreams (or self-esteem) of others.

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