I’m a Perfectionist

July 11, 2023 Aphsie 6 comments
Refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.
Perfectionism (n)

It was a fairly normal, sunny day in Durban when I decided to buy some juice from my local tuck shop. After the purchase I received my change, and of course, I spent a good few minutes arranging my money ‘properly’ 👌🏾 

As many would know, all South African notes now have Nelson Mandela’s head printed on them. So my intention was to have all of Mandela’s heads facing the same way in my purse… 

I honestly did not see anything wrong with this, even after I received a few ‘weird girl’ looks from some spectators. As a matter of fact over the years I have grown used to being seen as the ‘weird girl’ because of my fairly unusual customs. Once a very close friend of mine made me realise just how this aspect of me has had a negative impact on my expectations from individuals I regularly encounter 🙃 

Some have referred to perfectionism as a disease and I agree with this statement, because perfectionism has successfully stripped the happiness I could have experienced in life a couple of times… I can’t deny that it has made me a very productive and efficient worker, yet throughout this year I have had to teach myself to, one step at a time, drop these perfectionist tendencies and let things be as they are 🙌🏾

Below are some cons of perfectionism that I’m glad to be aware of now, I got them from the Greater Good online magazine:

  1. Perfectionism creates a steady state of discontent fuelled by a stream of negative emotions like fear, frustration, and disappointment;

  2. When you are a perfectionist, you can’t enjoy even your successes – there is always something you could have done better;

  3. Because failure is not an option for perfectionists, fear of failure becomes a driving force. All that fear diverts energy from more constructive things, making perfectionists less able to learn and be creative. Perfectionists expend a lot of energy on the things they are desperately trying to avoid: failure and the criticism they imagine it will create. Ironically, this preoccupation has been shown to undermine performance in sports, in academics, and in social situations;

  4. Perfectionism keeps people from taking risks and embracing challenge. Rising to a challenge is one of the best ways to go from being good at something to being great;

  5. Perfectionism leads people to conceal their mistakes and avoid getting constructive feedback. In nearly every field group critique is a rapid way to get better at something.

When I first read these I was mind-blown, because I believed this was everyone’s life experience. The reason I’m so grateful to be aware that perfectionism is actually a disorder is that I can now navigate my life in full cognisance of this and continue to tread with care 🥰

Hi, my name is Aphelele Chonco and I’m a recovering perfectionist…

Yours – but mine first,

P.S.  Thanks for having a read & I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic below…

6 Comments on “I’m a Perfectionist

  1. Agree fully my child but also to add that “perfectionism” must not be thought of as being on point and being spectacular only in what people expect or being flawless onlly at high level assignments or initiatives. Perfection can be experienced at all levels. Be it sweeping the floor, running the country or at being rocket scientist. When you decide to sweep the floor do it to your level best and be happy of the outcome. There might be mistakes and shortfalls somewhere and be expected to do it all over again but that does not make you a failure. The gist of the matter is that the perfectionist will not mind to do it all over again until one is at peace with the output. Mistakes do not depict you less of a perfectionist but the desired end result in whatever that you do does.

  2. From freaking out and feeling 100% uneasy when my bedroom cupboard are left opened ajar. To me having serious anxiety when handing over a cake or cupcakes to a client and I just feel like no no no I should have done this or that. Meanwhile, the client is over the moon with the product. To me working like a dog because I suck at delegating, thinking the next persorn won’t do something the way I want.

    That last post is a serious area I have to work on. Perfecting everything at all time is a trap for me and my business is suffering from it! Because my catering operation is not a one man show. I have to loosen the rains, trust my team to learn from me and produce as I do. So I may be able to put my focus elsewhere and perfect the other parts of the business.

    So yea nami my sister I need to work at this being a perfectionist thing. Know when it works well for me and when it does. And proceed to make the nessary changes.

    This was a lovely and helpful read. Thanks Aphelele😘

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