Day 3 Writing challenge: Letting go of perfectionism

Today’s writing challenge is about writing freely without self-criticism, constant editing and just releasing a rough product out there. My whole life I have been a perfectionist. I didn’t realize I was like this until maybe I was in university. I fit the perfectionist traits such as being a procrastinator, not trying things because I think I’d fail and being slow at completing tasks. After I became self-aware about this “condition”, I have tried to minimize the amount of time it takes me to clean or write an email to a friend. I’m not sure how I developed my perfectionism. Probably from strict Chinese parents expecting me to have good grades or from my fear of making mistakes. Whatever the case, the source of it doesn’t matter.

I can use it to my advantage for creating good work or good performance. And try to accept it’s limitations. It’s about finding that fine balance without it getting out of hand. Sometimes it can paralyzingly. It can stop me from believing that I can do something because if I can’t do it well, then what’s the point in even trying. That’s probably the main reason why it took me a long time to do this writing challenge. I feel like I would have edited and re-edited my posts to the point where I wouldn’t have posted a single entry. This is a turning point for me. Especially since I’m not allowed to go back through this post and not edit anything! Not grammar, not punctuation or spelling. (Though I cheated a bit with the spelling because of autocorrect!)

The process of mutating/adapting/moulding/letting go of my perfectionism is also about letting go of control. It’s about letting other people take the reins or trusting that the universe will make things happen when they need to happen. I guess I feel the need to perfect things because that thing I’m perfecting was something that I controlled, that I made perfect. That I was responsible for it. It gives me a false sense of security. But sometimes it brings out the best creativity in me. I work best under pressure and at the last minute. Most perfectionists don’t realize that procrastination is one of many symptom of perfectionism. I’m a super procrastinator with perfectionst tendencies. I’m at point in life where I’m trying to find that sweet spot of not letting these things take control by trying to with use it to my advantage. Don’t ask me how I’m doing it. I have tried to embrace imperfection in my work, my cooking, lowered my expectations for others by trying to accept imperfect people as face value instead of what they could be (this is a really hard one!). And most importantly, accepting my flaws and limitations and acknowledging them instead of denying/hiding them.

Now nearing the end of this post. I’ll count it. I went back and edited about 3–4 times through this post — which is pretty good. It’s just the start of letting go…

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