Only one week has passed since the start of the new year and I am already worried.
Worried that not much has changed from the previous one. That stress will kick in soon and I won’t be ready enough to cope with it. Worried, because for the first time in many years, I entered January without resolutions. Worried that would imply chaos, indecision and imperfection.
Yes, I am a perfectionist. That kind of person who finds satisfaction in a tick on the agenda or rewriting the same sentence over and over again until it sounds flawless.
I always thought that my ‘love for the detail’ was a quality worth mentioning in all those cover letters and job interviews. Until a few days ago, when I randomly found this quote in my social media feed:
You are not a perfectionist, you are just scaredGary Vee
Was that true? Was I just scared? Maybe that was the reason of all my stress and compulsive disorders… In fact, after a short Google search I discovered that perfectionism is also deeply studied in psychology and can be very damaging in its pathologic form. It is an unhealthy belief that anything less than perfect is unacceptable.
Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, appeared at the top of my search:
Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. It is not about healthy achievement and growth. Perfectionism is used by many people as a shield to protect against the pain of blame, judgment, or shameBrené Brown
That discovery made me think a lot. I have always thought quality lays in perfection. In that flawless detail that makes hours and hours of work worth it. However, if you think about Jackson Pollock, he made brilliant paintings pouring and splashing liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface, perhaps even without looking at it.
Therefore, if 2020 was the year of being scared and locking myself in (even metaphorically), 2021 will be my chance to get out of my comfort zone and defeat fear.
It will be the year of going with the flow, picking up a brush and start painting my life, as it is. Because sometimes my habit of looking out for perfection makes me forget that life is already perfect as it is.