Perfectionism and me

9 12 2014

There was a time when I used to look at people who juggle various things in life and feel envious. I used to stare at them wide-eyed as they donned multiple roles, playing them to perfection (or so it seemed to me). Their ability to stretch themselves to perform and achieve more used to amaze me. They are always busy dealing with multiple projects – at home and work. Looking at myself, I used to feel inadequate and supremely under-achieved for not risking taking up more than I can comfortably handle. I used to perceive it as my inability to handle pressure. I seriously thought it’s a weakness on part of me. I was on one side of the fence and felt forever distanced from the “glorious” other side, unable to fathom its real insinuations.

How naïve and ignorant was I!

Fast forward a few years: Out of conscious choice or otherwise, I found myself in the labyrinth of responsibilities – work, home, kid, social life, reading, travel, academics, and learning pursuits. I congratulated myself for pulling them off and allowed myself to soak in the warm glow of “a sense of achievement”. I was relentless in pursuing my goals (way too many) and actually felt proud when I was referred to as a “perfectionist”. I couldn’t believe I was actually on the much coveted “other side” of the fence.

I think you can now sense where this is leading to. 😛

But over the time, I began to see the side-effects of my attitude. I was always under a lot of stress. Smile and laughter became a rarity. I lost a lot of weight. And people around me were convinced that I’m going through a difficult situation at personal front and even started making wild speculations.  😛

Only then I realized that it’s not as greener as I thought it would be. Trying to do too many things and trying to be a perfectionist sucks your energy and actually robs you off of your happiness. Only during the “Science of Happiness” course did I realize how toxic maximizing and perfectionism are really are. Needless to say, I now vow to myself to address them and be wary of them.

Life can be difficult and challenging even without you trying to make it so. Why foolishly contribute to your own unhappiness and dissatisfaction?? 😀

And now if someone calls me a “perfectionist”, I take it for what it actually means – that I need to fix myself by getting rid of the vice.

One other important thing I realized is that “happiness” is a self-reporting measure. No one else can truly determine how happy you are except you. So, the yardstick is in your own hands. Don’t let others guide your actions in the pursuit of your happiness. If they say – owning this product or having some experience makes you happy, you need not believe them. If they say, being someone makes you happy, you need not trust them.

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2 responses

9 12 2014
Mae-Ann

I have learned that to truly be happy, all I need to do is count the blessings I DO have in my life, rather than whine over the things I want (but know I do NOT need). When I shake off all the world’s trivialities and embrace the things that truly matter with genuine gratitude , I find that I am richer than I perceive myself to be. And that’s when I find happiness.

9 12 2014
sireeshaavvari

True Mae-Ann! Gratitude is a key component of happiness.

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