Perfectionism, What Is It Good For?

Door ClosedI was revising a post about the pitfalls of perfectionism and realized I couldn’t stop revising it. I had fallen into the very pitfall I wrote about in the post that no one would read.

What a conundrum and interesting predicament.

Interesting, because this predicament of mine could serve as a learning experience for other perfectionists. The perfect opportunity, I thought, to think out loud while asking the question: Why can’t I finish a post I’ve revised countless times and now look at with contempt?

Is the problem really my dissatisfaction with the piece or is there a deeper, darker reason why I can’t finish it?

I don’t have the answer because I just started asking the question.

This will be my therapy session. And I will be the therapist, which I know, seems unfair and probably counterproductive. But since I have the floor or whatever it is I have, I will continue asking the question, and hopefully, you will continue reading.

A Q&A will follow at which point I hope you’ll jump in with your thoughts or recommendation that I should be committed by the Geek Squad.

I should also probably mention that I’m ADD and a bit neurotic.

Anyway, as I type these rambling words (that never stop), I had an epiphany about my post that I had blamed perfectionism for not completing and realized that perfectionism was the symptom, not the cause — Because the cause was fear.

Yes, my thoughts were stuck in that cerebral mud pit in my brain known as fear, or post-traumatic post syndrome when I should have realized that writing a piece of anything, whether crap or candy, doesn’t matter. Writing something, anything is the point.

And making a point doesn’t hurt either.

Allowing the fear of failure to hold me or you back is really the true meaning of insanity and should be served with a restraining order.

Now, write something, then rinse and repeat.

22 Comments Perfectionism, What Is It Good For?

  1. Melisa

    I too, all too often, fall prey to perfectionism…20 minutes spent on an email response that should have and could have taken 1 minute, setting up reminders to make appointments or calls that never happen, losing hours at the computer perusing YouTube videos and the list goes on. It’s exhausting and frustrating being me. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and suspect that I am ADD. I think it’s time I do something about it. I appreciate your sharing and perspective. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Lauren
      Twitter:

      Hi Melisa,
      Yes, I, too, wasted time exhaustively reviewing emails and such. Sometimes, I find it best to just walk away, if you can, and revisit it later. Clearing my head really helps.
      Lost time and time lost bouncing around the Internet is a huge problem for me, too. I have a timer I might start using to help with my time management issues. I’ll let you know if it works. It’s exhausting to be ADD.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Lauren

      Reply
  2. Rocky Murasing
    Twitter:

    I am not much familiar with the definition or meaning of Perfectionism. But, somewhere I feel, I got this thing within me. I can’t recall it since when. My issue is, whatever I do, I would find some mistakes in it. I would hardly satisfy of what I create. Was I looking for Perfection?

    Reply
  3. Ray Lee
    Twitter:

    Hello Lauren,

    Really informative article post.

    I have found your blog through Networked Blogs. It is always pleasure to keep in touch with bloggers like you. After reading you article I must say you’re a pro blogger.

    ~Ray

    Reply
  4. Anuradha Chawla
    Twitter:

    Hey Lauren,

    Reading second article on the same day. i like the way you write. Wow it is so great and informative, I have bookmarked your
    blog and will come back regularly.. And Great post! It helped me write my latest post in an hour, rather than putting it off and taking a few hours! Thanks!!

    Reply

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