First and foremost, I wanted to say that I’m sorry for being MIA (Missing in action) for more than 2 months!!! The easy thing for me to say is that life just got busy. However, that was not the case for my long absence of blogging. There was something else that hindered me from blogging.
Say hello to my nemesis
Believe it or not, this issue of perfectionism started when I went to university at La Trobe hoping to transfer to Monash University to apply for Nutrition and dietetics. I always thought that I should always strive to achieve the best that I can do. Nevertheless, the dreadful thing about perfectionism is that sometimes it can be deceptive, meaning that I raised incredibly high standards that are either not idealistic or way beyond my skills (probably by watching others), yet I still think! I can achieve it, not realizing after I fail miserably and become deflated.
For example, when I am plating food for a photo shoot, each component of food MUST be at a precise point. (This is bad, but I remember when I took a shot of a salad that I a made, I moved the walnut 2 cm apart from the rocket and I was not impressed with the overall picture (which in fact NOTHING WAS WRONG WITH THE photo. It was just my perception.
- Or when I’m learning a new piece for piano, I expect to learn for my mistakes just like snapping my fingers. One note must not be wrong, otherwise, I just think that the whole piece sounds wrong, even if the notes that I played after the wrong note was played with accuracy and eloquence.
- Or the worst, when I was writing my literature review, I wouldn’t write until I had the exact words to convey certain points from other scientific journals.
Believe it or not, there’s more, but I’ll spare the details otherwise, you’ll still be reading this post until Christmas with my dilemma of perfectionism.
Therefore, I realized that this often leads me to focus way too much on the task and my time is also wasted which could be used more productively. Also I start to lose the enjoyment of learning techniques such photography, piano and even evaluations at Deakin Toastmasters when I focus of on getting things 100% right or having things and learning is a wonderful experience. What’s even worse is that I start to lose my passion for these things and questions why I go even blog, desire to combine food styling, culinary skills in promoting a healthy lifestyle. It’s OK to dream big, however, I like to think of a dream is like it’s a life long journey where small steps represents tasks that I have achieved moving me closer to my journey. When I want everything right, its like every step becomes harder and feels exhausting. As much I hate to admit, when a child who first rides their bike will fall and cry because it hurts. In my short comings, I am learning not to overstate the negatives and the skills that I still haven’t learnt yet. Rather sometimes unexpected mistakes may even lead us to our goals and dreams. So when I do fall or things just don’t go the way as I planned them out to be, I will remind myself to not just stop, because the beauty of life can also be from learning from our mistakes which makes us wiser than we were yesterday, (that if we choose to acknowledge that we have a problem of course). So many great people like Thomas Edison who had to go through more than 1000 attempts in creating the light bulb that we have today. While from his story we can learn the power of persistence, he also chose not to focus on the invention being so perfect and if it was not successful, he tried again until the bulb stared to shine.
But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.”
― Emily Giffin
Some ways how I am learning to tackle perfectionism is:
Learn to react to positive constructive feedback especially as I am writing a paper from my previous Honours study hopefully trying to get it published with the help of my supervisor.
To implement healthy goal striving in the form of short and long-term goals that are reasonable and achieve able and to reward myself when I have achieved those goals.
To take pleasure of the process of learning because we can always learn something in this life. Everyone is unique in their own way and to not be too hard on myself (Just start blogging again lol).
I’m ready to experience the next chapter of my life as I feel that are I wonderfully things waiting ahead. Knowing that I have perfectionism is vital, but talking steps to change these behaviours will be a beneficial change for the future ahead 🙂
Kay’s Questions: Are you a perfectionist like myself??