Confessions of a Perfectionist

Collaboration with others always reminds me that…


I am stubborn when I care about the end result of something. I refuse to go along with the ideas of others if I think they are inadequate.


I am prideful, and sometimes arrogant about my abilities and beliefs. In the arena of my skill set and education, I sometimes (often… okay, okay…most of the time) think I can do it better than anyone else.


I over think everything.


I spend way too much time planning things out meticulously. My standards for my work are extremely high.



But at the end of the day, I do an excellent job at what I do — and surprisingly to some, I am modest about my successes.


At the end of each success, I immediately ask myself what I could have done better and begin planning accordingly. I don’t let praise go to my head (because in the back of my head is my mother asking me, “Okay, fine, you did that. What’s next?”) I also don’t let my pride keep me from discovering my weaknesses and taking steps to strengthen them.


And when I feel myself getting worked up, when I feel myself striving for more than others care to strive for, when I just know deep in my gut that my ideas are better, and when I feel myself starting to create this social tension with others, I wonder…


… is it worth it? Is it worth consistently shutting others down even when they are passionate about poorly thought-out and ineffective ideas, projects, and plans? Which is better — social peace in the collaboration process or creating something of quality that will provide a lasting benefit to others?




Disclaimer: I am not this way all the time. There are times in my life when I am the most relaxed, flexible person you know. The individuals with whom I must collaborate and the purpose for collaboration affect my stubbornness. Like I said, if the ideas are inadequate, I cannot accept them. In some contexts of my life I have the pleasure of working with awesome people. When I get to collaborate with competent perfectionists like myself, we take projects to a whole other level together. It’s amazing. Yet in one specific context of my life I am find I am consistently turning into the arrogant, stubborn participant. I don’t like it, yet I think it may be necessary. If I didn’t care about the end result, I wouldn’t be doing this, right?



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