1. I am extremely Type A, and there are times when it is very annoying. I combat perfectionism every day of my life, along with a compulsion to work or be productive every day of my life. No acts of courage to share here – I’m just trying to survive myself and my own crazy expectations!

  2. I am a perfectionist, and I’ve had to cope a lot recently with trying to be more productive – something that’s hard to do when you want to spend all of your time on one thing alone.

    To cope, I’ve had to decide what things are worth being perfect, and what things are OK being only partially done, or not at all. If I’m going to send a blog post I’ve written to a client, I will spend more time making sure that is perfect. I am one of those people that can get lost easily down Internet rabbit holes doing research – I’ll spend all day doing research for a $50 blog post. At some point though, it isn’t worth it, so I’ve just accepted that I can’t learn everything there is to know on one topic and still be profitable. I have to accept that maybe it’s OK that my one little blog post won’t shake the grounds of human knowledge, not for $50.

    I also have two research articles that I’ve been meaning to edit and publish from work I did on my master’s thesis…a year ago. I really should have gotten them out by now, but it’s a HUGE undertaking to do so, and for no financial benefit. So, for now, I’m not working on that. Same with doing household chores – I’ve got a messy house, because I don’t always have the time to clean it. And that’s OK – it lets me do other, more important things.

  3. I can relate to this so much, Penny! I have been afraid to try things because failure seemed so devastating. My recent act of courage has been more personal in nature, but I agree that the best things in life are worth risking failure for!

  4. I am not enough of a perfectionist, probably. Oh, I like to be “right,” and I don’t like to be called out on “wrong.” But I’m mostly okay with “good enough” and “got it done.” I don’t think I was always like that. I remember getting teased for crying if I didn’t get 100 on a spelling test. But life became easier when i learned to move on and accept that not everything will always be 100%.

  5. Much depends on your emotional consitution. Many of us, including me, are attracted to the familiar. I feel like I can relax when I know what to expect. When it comes to something new, I want to know how to do it before I actually do it. So yeah, I have the perfectionist thing going.

    I had a friend who wanted to be an art director at a major NYC ad agency. He was a good artist but knew nothing about advertising. He lied through his teeth to get in the door, learned on the job, and made quite a career out of it. I could never do that.

  6. I hate to say that I have no concept at all of this perfectionism thing. But I do see it in Mr. T and my oldest daughter, Penny. They are so precise, so careful, and so calculated, everything they produce is a masterpiece. This is not me and I struggle to have both the patience and the encouragement for caution when it comes to Penny. If you figure out a good balance, let me know how I can parent it. 🙂

  7. I so relate to this, especially your note about perfection costing a great deal. One of my major regrets is not taking more chances with the subjects I studied in college. Thinking (somewhat correctly) that my GPA would determine my career prospects, I was determined to have it as high as possible, which meant avoiding classes in which I didn’t think I could get an A. If I could do it over again, I would take more foreign languages, history, philosophy, art… not just more courses in my areas of strength.

  8. Yes to all of this! I’m definitely the perfectionist in our relationship, so I’m sure Mr. ONL would agree with very little of this. 🙂 But yeah, I was definitely the textbook overachiever in school, and that has done a lot of great things for me. But it means I’m in completely uncharted territory as we plan to leave our careers… what will my status be with no gold stars?! How will I define myself without a title and something to strive for? I think about this stuff a lot, though fortunately ER takes years to achieve, so I’ve had a lot of time to come to terms with the idea of living with no marks of achievement, and I think I can handle it. Oh, and definitely yes to missing out on investment gains by playing it too safe. I was the young 20s person who was investing… but in bonds. :::face palm::: 🙂

  9. I have always been one to take risks, and I have had good and bad results. Some of the risks I took placed me deeper in debt, but provided me with rich experiences. Other risks, like joining the Air Force, have given me huge benefits and allowed me to pay for the risks that didn’t turn out so well. I think, in the end, it all evens itself out. More often than not, I’m glad I took the risk. Life is too short to play it safe. 🙂

    On that note, I just love your blog.

  10. Allie

    I love this message. I too struggled with the concept of always being perfect. It has held me back in so many aspects of life and I have finally realized through personal development mostly, that I need to let the perfection mentality go. Thanks for this great read.

  11. I remember realizing that life would never be ‘perfect.’ What an epiphany! There would always be something–car trouble, sickness, a bad roommate, something broken. I thought that if I could tackle my to-do list aggressively enough, life would be perfect and would stay that way if I worked really hard and worried enough. Ha! Realizing that some things are just part of life was sad yet liberating all at once.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks this is bittersweet. But as long as we keep aspiring, working, trying, and experiencing, I think we’re all on the right paths.

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