Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Confession: I'm a Perfectionist and It's Not Fun

So remember how I was going to use my blogging break last week to write a bunch of posts that have been just sitting around in my brain waiting to be written? Yeah, um, about that.

Turns out I have writer's block. But not the kind where you run out of ideas. The kind of writer's block where I have plenty of ideas swirling around in my head but then when I go to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?) I just kind of blank out because I feel like I don't know how to really articulate my thoughts. So instead of just starting to type and working it out as I go, I freeze up and don't even try. Lame.

Ok, this ecard is actually rather perfect here (no pun intended) because it articulates my exact feelings BUT the mistake in the grammar is driving me crazy. So wonderfully ironic. *I'd rather...*

This is not a new phenomenon for me. It pretty much comes with territory of being horribly perfectionistic. And I don't say "I'm a perfectionist" in that humble-brag, "I do everything perfectly or not at all" kind of way (because of course I don't do everything perfectly). Being a perfectionist is actually really frustrating, because it paralyzes you. It says "I don't know that I can hit this out of the park on the first try, so forget it." Or "I tried that once and sucked at it, so never mind."

Of course at the root of all of this is ugly, stinking pride. Being afraid to fail because what? I'm afraid what people will think? I'm afraid my worth will go down in their estimation? And so what if it does? Why am I SO afraid of that?

Pride does not serve. Pride does not love. Pride is more concerned with it's own comfort and status than it is with helping others.

It's really funny too, because of course I KNOW being perfect is a big ol' lie and entirely impossible, and I've already failed at being perfect. Like, on Day 1. So I know what I need to do instead is to "cease striving." But I still struggle.

I think ultimately I just don't want this fear to keep me from the potential to accomplish some pretty great things. From following God's plan for me into the great unknown. Gosh, I hate unknowns. I'm pretty much the exact opposite of an adventurer, someone who's willing to throw caution to the wind and just go for it. I've always said I wish God would just give me a 5 year plan, you know? Just lay it out for me so I know what the next 5 years is going to look like and which way I'm supposed to go, and I'll be good. That's obviously not how it works though.

I know my goal in life is not meant to be "Do everything perfectly and make sure everyone likes you and always be safe and never do anything you could fail at." If you never try, then you'll never know, right? (h/t to Coldplay)

Sheesh. This got heavy in a hurry. Sorry about that. I just have a lot of feelings.

Making Melissa

Hump Day Happenings


  1. OMG that perfectionist eCard is so ironic! A little tiny piece of my iPhone case just chipped off and it's driving me crazy because it's not perfectly smooth and keeps catching in my pockets. Happy Humpday!

  2. I used to struggle with perfectionist tendencies a great deal more--but in recent years, thankfully I've been able to let go of that "need" to a much greater extent. It's not worth it, because really, when we let it, the desire to be 'perfect' can control our lives.

  3. I think the fear you feel is totally normal and in some ways we all feel it!! The only time in my life I knew I was being a perfectionist and it wasn't good was during wedding planning...I needed to do everything myself and ultimately it led to more headaches than anything else LOL!! Also, I have this fear that if it's not perfect I'm letting people down - see right there with you on being irrational! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

  4. This post really hit home. I've always put so much stock into what other people think about me, and sometimes it's so hard to just stop altogether. If it makes you feel better, I think you freakin rock. :)

  5. I use to feel that I had to be perfect all the time and now that I'm older, I'm like as long as I'm happy, that is all that matters. Although, I do still prefer to do things myself, I struggle with delegating things.

  6. I can't deal with the perfectionist ecard mistakes. I just can't. also I feel ya, sometimes I have to really talk myself into trying things I'm probably going to fail at -- because you never really know!

  7. I'm a perfectionist too, but in the past few years I've tried to let myself go ((just a little bit)). I'm not ever going to be what everyone wants, so Iiving by chance is sometimes exciting. You'll get through this little block. Thinking of you!

  8. I have an issue with trying to be perfect with everything too and it can be so overwhelming. I am really trying to let go of that and realize that not everything is perfect. No person is perfect. That I need to at least give things a shot because you never know!!!

  9. It's okay to have a lot of feelings and to feel a little overwhelmed! BUT remember that it's okay...and to dream big :)

  10. Holy cow, I could have written this post verbatim because I am EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY. Perfectionism to the point of paralysis.

    This is something I'm actively working on fixing because it's an unhealthy way to live.

    Oh, don't apologize for having all the feelings. It's fine. We all have them.

  11. I think I'm too lazy to be a perfectionist. I want things done correctly, yes, but if it doesn't come out perfect, ahh well.

  12. Girl...first off, I love that ecard! So funny! Secondly, I feel ya! I am a perfectionist as well and it is not fun! I use to not be one, at all. Not one bit. Then came grad school, and somehow somewhere in there, I became a perfectionist and threw on a huge helping of anxiety too. It was hard to deal with for a long time. Years later, and I am still trying to get back to my go-with-the-flow / it-will-all-work-out mentality that I used to have. Getting there, slowly but surely. You're not alone dear! XOXO

    1. Thank you so much! It helps so much to know I'm not alone! I'm better than I used to be about it, but I still struggle! I'm a work in progress, I guess! :)

  13. i always thought of perfectionist as always perfect like you said - but yeah i'm more like you, giving up because i won't hit it out of the park or because i was bad at something the first time.

  14. I love what you said about wishing God would give you a 5-year-plan! I literally think about this like once a week. I published blog posts daily for a few months because I needed to know what it felt like to publish something without poring over it for forever...and it totally helped me loosen up and be okay with not being perfect. You'll get there! I always love reading!

  15. It's funny, I'm currently in a week long hiatus and have a half written post in my drafts entitled "I'm Not Perfect and That's Okay." about my struggles with perfectionism, life, and my blog. But, I got about halfway through and didn't like it. I think you have the best attitude you can about it. That you sometimes just need to stop and think about things in a bigger view and a different perspective. It's always going to be a challenge. If you learn the magical solution you'll have to share it, I feel like through reading the comments plenty of others have this challenge too. Maybe we need to start a perfectionist bloggers anonymous.


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