Being Perfect

by Anna

Perfectionism and ambition are a lethal mix. They will drive you insane if you don’t realise what they do to you. If I had one wish it would be for everything to be perfect.

That is a far-fetched wish and I am well aware that nothing, ever, will be perfect. Life just doesn’t work that way. This however doesn’t stop me from trying, again and again, tirelessly aiming to reach perfection.

I am not sure where this sense of perfection comes from. Probably from my father’s genes, he was apparently very strict, which I couldn’t possibly tell since he was never part of my life. Maybe it has to do with my childhood teacher repeatedly teasing me in front of the class and criticising me for not knowing what she thought I ought to know. Or maybe I just want to please everyone.

It can be very frustrating and I now have the fear that others avoid me, especially at work, because my high sense for perfection drives me to constantly strive for the better, no, the best of it. This in turn is quite understandably very overburdening for those with a lesser sense of perfection who either don’t care as much as me to get things right or it gives them too many extra things to do on top of what they are already doing. Some people are quite rightly very happy with the way the world turns and it simply might not be within their eye of perception to spot the difference it takes to achieve a better outcome.

To be honest it exhausts me too. I get myself into kind of a frenzy and the worst is that as soon as I reached a more perfect solution my brain doesn’t stop there, no it begins to create an even better way of making it even more perfect.

So where does it stop? Will it ever stop?

If the world wouldn’t turn on its own I would probably find a way to tweak it a little so that it would turn just a little bit better to make it more perfect 🙂

Yes, it does make me laugh. Laughter is good. It takes the intensity off the ridiculous self scrutiny which I do to myself on a daily basis.

What gets me most though is the fact that I can’t please everyone. I can try. I can work really hard, be a really nice person, supportive colleague, a friend with an open ear. I could pick up all the litter in town, greet absolutely everyone I pass, donate money to any charity that asks  me to and do my job really well. But at the end of the day there will be a new piece of plastic littering the streets, there will be one person who feels left out because I looked the other way to greet someone else, there will still be loads of charities left who want my money and there will be someone at work who says I didn’t get back to him quick enough. There will be people who say you didn’t treat them nice, colleagues will claim you don’t do your job right and friends might say that you are not there for them when they need you.

“It is all in the eye of the beholder.” The mysterious eye of the beholder. What creature is it and what does it hold?

I can’t even stand it if my dear boyfriend looks across and stares blankly at my screen because this peace of writing isn’t edited yet which makes it “imperfect”! It makes me nervous because I could be criticies for a mistake that I haven’t even spotted yet because I didn’t have a chance to check on it.

Now, I do try my best. And I am sure everyone does. We really shouldn’t beat ourself up for feeling a failure because we couldn’t achieve the 110% perfection we were aiming for. “Nobody is perfect.” My answer to this is usually an indignant “I am!” Followed by the other’s answer: “Not even you are.” To which I reply:”But I can try.”

I don’t give up easily, I am a fighter. But recently it dawned on me that I am like a running horse. One day I will simply just drop dead from all the running and then what did I have from it?

Stress is part of what drives us daily. It is once again the adrenaline that keeps us going. We need some force to move our butt. But we should also remind ourselves on the same daily basis that we deserve a time of peace. Time to give our horse some rest and enjoy ourselves.

Yet another lesson of a life time which I am sure I will still have to work on “perfecting” 😉