Perfection is a nice idea. Sure, everyone would love to be perfect, but some of us can end up being much more obsessed with it than others.
I have been a major perfectionist pretty much my whole life, but I never realized how bad it was until my first couple of semesters in college.
A lot of people’s perfectionism comes from their parents or how they were treated growing up. But my parents have always been very understanding and encouraged me to do my best without pushing me to be competitive. But growing up the youngest of three brothers, I’ve always felt the need to do better than not only them, but everyone else too.
I’ve never been happy just doing well. I wanted to be the best; I had to be the best. I felt that if I did not do 100 percent in everything, then I was failing and possibly being looked down on. I have always focused more on how much more I could have done than how well I did.
This desire for perfection and need for superiority only caused me more anxiety and stress. It also kept making me more and more depressed.
I couldn’t relax or “cut loose” because I always had to be 100 percent ready for anything. I was so afraid of making a mistake in front of people that I could hardly even have fun with my friends.
I started to realize that I was pushing and had pushed many of my closest friends away because I constantly had to one-up everyone; everything was a competition, and I had to win.
After two fairly miserable semesters combined with the stress from work and my daily life, I decided this was not the way I wanted my life to be. I was being ridiculous and needed to make a change.
I realized I was being obsessive, selfish and, above all, a jerk.
Since that “self-realizing” moment, I’ve actually been able to breath clearly, stay confident and be comfortable.
I still work hard and do my best, but I have finally realized that I’d rather enjoy life than be perfect any day.