I’ve observed people who who can surmount any obstacle, fix any problem, or win any prize.
My last 2 posts were about my continuing battle against perfectionism. A big effect of my perfectionism is procrastination. My subconscious mind uses procrastination to prevent me from doing mediocre work. My mind has tricked me into thinking that anything less than perfect would be mediocre, and that mediocre would be unacceptable. It’s an ironic predicament because doing nothing is even worse than doing mediocre work. Furthermore, perfect is unattainable.
I had thought that my last post would be a one-off. I had so much to say about my battle against perfectionism, that I had to split it into 2 posts. Writing is a great tool to help process thoughts. Now I realize that I’m not in a battle against perfectionism—THIS IS WAR! I think I’ll occasionally return to this title with future posts. This post explores ways that I am currently gaining some territory against the non-existent target of perfect.
Hi, my name is Nathan and I’m a perfectionist. I used to think that perfect was a worthy goal. I was raised with the belief that anything worth doing is worth doing right. Somehow along the way, I fell to the notion that anything less than perfect was unacceptable, wasn’t worth doing at all. Eventually, I started to see that I haven’t followed through on many of my dreams and ambitions. I have started way more plans than I have finished simply because they weren’t coming together as well as I had hope for. I still believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. But now I am learning to accept less than perfection from myself and others.
Last weekend I did Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco. I’m not a runner. I did cross country in junior high, and with the wrestling and track & field teams in high school we did 5-mile runs for conditioning. Still, Bay To Breakers is a 12k run, 7.45645 miles! (Yes, I Googled it.) I have never run this far in my life.
A few weeks ago I did an informal 5k (3.1 miles) as a mini-fundraiser for my friends, Dustin & Angie Crawford’s Relay For Life. My legs hurt for 3 days. Even my abs were sore. So when my friend Jon said that he would be doing Bay to Breakers, I answered very quickly and very certainly, “I’m not.”