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Day 33 Perfectionism and me

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by walter-z, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. walter-z

    walter-z New Member

    Today you asked to write about perfectionism and how it affects my life. I would like to share my thoughts with you. Is there anybody with similiar experiences?

    How perfectionism affects my life?
    I am unhappy. Due to the given boundary conditions, I can do almost nothing as perfect as I actually want. How could I be happy with nothing perfectly done?

    Why do I have this personality trait?
    My parents, especially my mother, showed me their love by the work they did for us children or each other. They did not know any other way to show their love. The more perfect the work the greater the love. I developed this opinion in my childhood.

    How did the perfectionism lead to my symptoms?
    If I knew that, I would be very happy! – But during the 33 days of TMS recovery program I have recognized that perfectionism is one of the roots of my symptoms and perhaps also the way from perfectionism to my symptoms.
    Four years ago, a big project had been started in my company. My working group has not been involved to its preparation. But we had to realize substantial parts of it. Because our knowledge had been incorporated too late in the project, the result of our work could not be perfect.
    Shortly before, I had realized that I cannot hike on narrow paths in the mountains any longer due to a numbness in my left foot. Cause was a spinal stenosis in the fourth lumbar vertebra. In the Neurological Clinic a laminotomy was performed.
    I was unhappy at work, because we could not do our work as good as I would like to do. I have often thought in the hospital: Wouldn’t a disease be beautiful? Just so much that I cannot go to work any longer, but only so much that I can live reasonably well at home.
    After the surgery, which was carried out shortly after the start of this project, I got lower back pain. I could not sit for long periods. After five days I had to stop working again. Only after three months, I was able to resume my work. (I have the numbness in my left foot even today.)
    It looks like, that at that time I had no way to make my work perfect and I had apparently desired a disease.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.
  2. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like you know the answer walter-z. Perfectionism is a trait that almost drove me off the deep end. No one could keep up with my high standards and expectations including myself. After I realized I had to take it easy on myself and slow the perfectionism down by allowing some less than perfect circumstances to happen did I start to understand what I was doing to myself.
    I started to think of how rough I was on my son to be like me and he was just trying to be happy and live life like I should have been doing. I was wanting to give him lessons and now I have learned lessons from him.
    He took my dads personality, always cool and calm about any situation no matter how it might turn out, after all the best you can do is the best you can do.
    I remember as a young man in my teens and twenties I was like a drill sergeant. I was playing football in high school, learning martial arts, becoming a pro wrestler and boxing all at the same time and all my skills had to be perfect. I would practice 16 hrs a day and that wasn't my psychology or science or mathematical studies I loved so much.
    To make a long story short, when I learned to lighten up and take life as a peaceful time full of hope and laughter and to be part of that instead of always trying to get the next objective worked out perfect, well then I started to learn how life was beautiful and peaceful and full of harmony.
    I also learned at this time the power my son and dad had in a moment of doubt -- they could always light the room with a smile and a warm feeling of "its ok, no problems".
    To be at ease and make honest mistakes is learning to grow and become better at what you do, it's going to happen from time to time any way, might as well go with the flow. :)
  3. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Herbie, great advice. I wish my book publisher friend would lighten up on his perfectionism,
    but at least I've learned not to let his perfectionism affect me. I've learned to work at my own pace.
    Eric "Herbie" Watson likes this.

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