Confessions of a Perfectionist

Perfectionism: disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable- Merriam Webster Dictionary
I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to end up the way I dream of it to end based on the effort I put into the task. Examples, come from college mostly, as that is where I devote most of my time during the year. I set a goal I want and work hard to reach that goal. In my mind, I have a goal I want and allocate the amount of time I believe I need to obtain that goal. For example, I wanted to get an A- on a test in management class last semester and allocated 2-4 hours studying time per day for half a week leading up to the test. I expected to get an A-. In the end, I didn’t. When that happened, I felt bad because I felt my hard work didn’t pay off. To those who said “at least you tried.’Try’ isn’t in my book. It was either a success or a total failure.

Everything to be perfect and that’s hard and it has affected my life in various aspects. It has had an effect on my health. I exerted a lot of time and energy into the task that I got sick. Memorizing the material by reading the textbook and reviewing the professor’s notes replaced much needed sleep. I ended up getting sick three times last semester. It affected my social life as well. Time at the gym, hanging out with friends, and family time were replaced by studying. I was either confined to my room or in class. Looking back on it now I very much regret not spending time with my friend who graduated. If I could do it all over again I’d spend more time with my graduated friend cause I may or may not see him again. I feel guilty for abandoning him, when he never abandoned me. Most of all, it affected my morale too. I find myself feeling dejected every time I got my test back.

Every time I wonder is it worth trying? Somehow I convince myself it is because of my goal and every time I come out on the losing end. Some might wonder, if it’s so bad, why continue being a perfectionist? Being a perfectionist sucks. Really. It drains the life out of me with no guarantees that I will ever succeed. It affects every aspect of my life. Trust me, I tried to not be a perfectionist! Unfortunately, it’s like a really bad addiction. Once you’re on it, it’s really, really, really hard to stop. Once you’re a perfectionist, it’s really, really, really hard to stop being one.




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