Monday, November 26, 2012

Persistent Pathological Perfectionism

Today's blog is just a thought for pondering.

This is a phrase I have come up with to describe a state in which a person always waits for things to be "just right" before saying something to someone or taking an action.  For at least part of my life, I have suffered from this.  I have learned over the years that, in life, there is rarely a time that is just right for anything.  If a person waits for the perfect moment to ask another if they are interested--the opportunity is likely to pass.  If a couple waits for the time that is perfect to have kids--they may end up with none.  If a person waits for the perfect time to start a new project, the project not only will never be completed, it will not likely get started.  If a person waits for the perfect time for a new job, they may stay in an old one forever, even if it is no longer providing the fulfillment it once did.  And so on.

If you will excuse the double negative, that does not mean that there are not times that are definitely wrong.  There can be wrong times to ask of someone else's romantic interest. There can be wrong times to have kids.  There can be wrong times to start new projects.  There are wrong times to look for a new job.  These are just examples (the romantic interest and decisions about kids are both long done in my case) but hopefully they are clear.

Sometimes I have to realize that the time is right even if it is not perfect.  The conditions are right even if they are not ideal.  Perhaps that is a part of maturing as I am more adept at these now than I was years ago.

One other part of maturing, perhaps, is that I have to be vulnerable.  Vulnerable to failure.  Vulnerable to struggle.  Vulnerable to the fact that things may not work out.  (Which, in reality, if what I am looking at involves more than one person is always a possibility even if I think that the time is perfect.)

Initiating something means taking a chance.  Taking a chance will never happen if a person suffers from persistent pathological perfectionism.  Taking a chance can lead to wonderful, exciting, enriching, fulfilling outcomes when a person does.  

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