Sunday, May 11, 2014

And I thought I might be overreacting ... Am I a perfectionist?

When I was in high school,  I really enjoyed art class. I felt like that was the only class where I could just be me. I could create whatever I wanted and they wouldn't be wrong. I looked for harder projects that would push me to make my piece perfect. It always had to be perfect.

Time passed and I never payed to much attention to my need for perfection until I started this blog.
Since this blog, I've noticed that I might be a little bit to strict with myself. I pay close attention to the way my writing looks, says, and makes others feel. I'm constantly reading and re-reading sentences hoping I can make it better.

Though my amazing professor Betty Ming Liu tells me that she sees the improvement, I feel like it's not enough. I know that there's so much improvement to be made.

One night while I was stuck writing my first blog post, I decided to search for some inspiration in Betty's blog. After reading a couple of her blog posts, I really wondered. How am I ever going to get to this point? Her writing just seems so natural and effortless.

Then I discovered that I'm not the only one suffering from this problem called "perfectionism."

Betty explains and gives steps to recovery in her blog post Don't be a perfectionist: 5 steps to recovery. 

Of course, I had to read the blog post and all the comments.  One of the comments was written by Author Hillary Rettig. She left a very useful link to her own blog where she went in depth about perfectionism in her blog post Perfectionism Defined.

So I thought I had heard it all. I had found Betty's tip to recovery and Hillary's definition of my problem. Undoubtedly I could fight this thing! or so I thought.

Oh how wrong I was. While deleting emails I found a very useful link from LinkedIn. It was titled Its Not You, It's Science: How Perfectionism Hold Women Back. I immediately clicked on it and read the New York Times article written by Jessica Bennett

In the article she writes that our perfectionism is a result of our lack of confidence. That is the reason why we hold back, and doubt ourselves. She then writes, "But perhaps the most useful aspect of all of this talk about confidence is recognizing that it's a problem at all. Knowing that it's there, that it's backed up by science, that it's not just you - and then trying to correct for it"

Silly me! here I was thinking I have a problem, well maybe I do. But it's a little comforting to know that I'm not the only woman experiencing this. There are scientific studies to prove why I cut myself short thinking I'm not good enough. 

The insight and advice I got from these three wonderful, successful  women, will come in handy. 

As I work on perfecting every angle of my life, I'm also working on my self confidence. Learning to be patient, and overcome obstacles one day at time. Maybe I will never reach my idea of perfection, but the improvements will be visible. I know that when that happens I will finally obtain the confidence I need.

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