by Shavonta Arline, Contributing Writer
I have a confession to make: I like things to be done the right way most of the time. Well…really I don’t just like them done the right way, I want them done the perfect way…the perfect “Shavonta” way that is. That’s right, I’m a bit a perfectionist, but I’m not exactly proud about it. Although it doesn’t sound like a bad word, perfectionism has crept into my life- and relationships at times- and left them looking like a hurricane came through: total damage. You see perfectionism is rooted in a need to control everything and experience a sense of affirmation based on what we are able to accomplish. Simply put, it can ruin us if left unchecked.
Below are a few tips to help you cope if you struggle with perfectionism or love and work with a perfectionist.
If you are a perfectionist…
1. Chill out: Although it would be wonderful to accomplish everything on your to do list and flawlessly execute a plan you’ve been working on for months, sometimes we just miss the mark. It’s understandably disappointing to experience failure, but it’s also very important to realize that it’s not the end of the world. Cut yourself some slack sometimes.
2. Don’t Judge: Perfectionists have a tendency to have a harsh perception of those who have not adopted their rigid habits and outlook on life. But it’s important to keep in mind that although others may not do things the way you do, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Everyone has a set of gifts and talents to bring into a project or relationship. Don’t try to force others to meet a set of standards that even you cannot measure up to all the time. Doing so will only create unnecessary tension, resentment from the people you are trying to control and may leave you solo. Measuring up to your expectation stick may not be what’s hot to others. Let folks be who they are.
If you’re trying to cope with a perfectionist…
1. Don’t take it personally: If you have a rather laid back, go-with-the-flow type of disposition on life, linking up with a perfectionist personally or professionally can be a less than ideal arrangement- until you all can find a balance. Your personality may come across as lazy and unorganized while theirs may seem to be overbearing and critical. Know when to let things roll off your back, when to speak up and most importantly when to roll out! Always keep an attitude of dignity and esteem about yourself.
2. Take Note When Necessary: So you may not have color coded tabbed binder to organize every aspect of your life, or a systematic procedure for lining up the spices in your cabinet, but there’s a pretty decent chance that the perfectionist in your life has some worthy habits you could learn from. If perfectionists are nothing else, they are calculated and well-thought. This means that they have likely spent a considerable time planning exactly how each tedious chore and process they engage in will be helpful to them at some point in the future. When you see something they’ve done that you like, don’t be too proud to give them kudos and adopt it for your own!
There is nothing wrong with wanting to work and live with a spirit of excellence fuelling all that you do. After all, high standards are often what motivate us to achieve. But it is imperative to grasp that nothing in life is perfect, including you. It is also important to understand that if you can’t enjoy and celebrate the journey, struggle, success and failure without attaching it to your sense of worth; you have some inside work that needs to be done.
Today embrace your perfect imperfections!