Daily Journey Journal #344: over perfectionism

From May 6, 2015

Being a perfectionist is my nature. A thing cannot be declared finished until I’ve tweaked it for the umpteenth time. Such perfectionism can be a good thing, but as I’ve learned the hard way in the past, it can also cause an enormous amount of distress.

My fourth year at university, I was taking 21 credit hours of class and working part time. Stress haunted my every step and I was never far from a meltdown, the long list of things to-do so great some days that I could hardly eat. All of that stress added up and one day I woke up completely unable to eat any dairy without causing myself extreme, debilitating pain. Through trial and error with dairy alternatives, I realized I was allergic to a specific protein found in dairy which is also used in non-dairy cheese. Any consumption of the protein put knives in my stomach and made breathing excruciating. At that point, I was pretty sure my life was over- what was eating if I couldn’t have cheese?!

Since that semester, my stress levels have decrease significantly and after several months, the allergy went away. Today, I strive to maintain my stress in order to avoid re-starting the allergy. So, over the last few years, I’ve learned to let go of my perfectionism as much as possible.

Sometimes, letting go is a conscious choice, one that I spend time convincing myself to make. Other times, like today, it is a choice made simply by the lack of time. And so it is I find myself turning in a project that does not meet my standards. It is sub-par work in my mind. But, your know something?

That feels amazing.

The stress is gone, the pressure if off, and I’ve kept things in perspective. This is one project in the grand scheme of life. In the end, it isn’t worth losing sleep over. It is what it is and tonight, I can sleep peacefully, no worries left to prey on me.

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