I started in high school. I was tired of name calling, stupid, ding-a-ling, lights are on but nobody is home. I wanted to ‘prove’ I was smart. I studied like crazy and got straight A’s. I was thrilled and so excited…the name calling persisted. I maintained a 3.79 grad point average without weighted grades. I graduated in the top 5% of my class. I was still called names. I was told that the only reason I got good grades was because I worked to earn them, like work was some sort of dirty word. I gave up trying to ‘prove’ anything but I am hooked on overachieving. I go above and beyond on everything. I will work myself to exhaustion trying to be the very best. I keep getting rewarded for doing well. So it is hard to stop. The rest of the world outside of my abusers feed my ego when I overachieve.
“I’m an overachiever. At everything and anything. I still feel the need to prove I’m good enough. I obsess about doing a job/task to perfection. And then I obsess about how I could do it better. [I worry] about others’ opinions way too much.”
It took Flylady.net pointing out the hazards of perfectionism and overachieving. I read with fascination the twisted thinking I used to procrastinate until I could do something perfectly. I learned from her that swish and swipe was good enough. Progress and not perfection were my new goal. Somethings are not worth doing well. Sometimes good enough is good enough. I still struggle but I am getting better. I discovered a new dimension when I was in counseling. I discovered I freaked out when I made the most minor mistakes. I actually do Sodukus to teach myself not to stress when I make a mistake. If I make a mistake in the puzzle, I put a big X across it, turn the page and move on. I don’t try to fix it. I don’t look at the answer for where I went wrong. I X it out and let it go. I am finding myself more and more relaxed when I do something. I don’t have to be the best and I am not the only one that can do something. It is a work in progress but I am learning to enjoy more and overachieve less.
Beauty of imperfection
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