When I was a little girl I used to always chew on my nails or have these bouts of chest tightness and shortness of breath. I could never figure out why, I just thought that it happens to everyone and that is why I never really talked about it with my parents. I had to be a good child, student, and friend; I always had to make everyone happy, I always had to do everything perfect. I could never just not do something, I could never just leave something be, I could never just shrug something off. I truly thought this is how everyone was. No everyone is not like this! I was always searching for acknowledgement and appreciation from my parents, family, friends, and teachers; so I always made sure everything was done and done perfectly. I would literally stress my self out beyond belief causing myself health and mental issues so that others would be happy. I just thought this was normal. Those around me accepted it and continued to expect more of me, which in turn just added to the stress. Into my teenage years and the beginning of my work life I had to have everything perfect and when someone didn’t do it the way I wanted I would become stressed and hostile. In the end I usually ended up doing everything myself becoming resentful of those around me and when I did not receive the praise or acknowledgement I thought I should receive I blamed myself and labeled myself a failure. The next time I would have to do better, I would have to do it all myself. Little did I know that I had a perfectionist tendency, I learned this while I was in University in my Organizational Behavior Management class. I was the only one in the class that had this tendency; my professor went on to say this was not a good characteristic to have it only leads to major health and mental issues. My professor said, "You can never be perfect nobody is perfect and to strive to be perfect is unhealthy.” It took me a couple of years to begin the process of calming down my perfectionist tendency. I still was organized and did my job and school work to the best of my ability focusing on all the details I just didn't put that expectation onto others. I no longer expected those around me to be perfect and for my hard work to be acknowledged. This first step helped, it began to calm me down and I lost some of those nervous ticks and panic attacks I used to have frequently.
As I get older and gain more work experience I find that I am becoming more patient and I am letting more things go. I still am very organized and when I do not organize or have a plan I begin to freak out, but since I have moved to a foreign country that uncertainty fear has begun to go away. Maybe it is because I am no longer in the United States where there are high expectations especially in a corporation. I still do all my work with some strange detailed oriented procedure but when those around me don't do it I do not become stressed or hostile I just let them be. This road has been a hard one, I still think of myself as a failure because I expect so much of myself, as a little girl I saw myself with a completely different life, but when those times of self doubt and negative talk arise I need to clear my head, meditate, and evaluate my life. The only way to get over this problem is by self-analysis and self-talk, what goes on in my head is a constant battle which I battle everyday. I am grateful for the days when my inner voice is quiet and hate the days when it decides to rear its ugly head. Life is a journey and why should it be perfect that would just make it boring so I continue to grow and try to face new and interesting challenges daily.
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