Blogging and Perfectionism

I’m a perfectionist. Some people say this with pride “hey, I really care about what I do”. I’m not one of those people.

For me, perfectionism has gotten in the way of what I’ve wanted to do in life more than I believe it’s helped me. Maybe I’m being too harsh on myself. My perfectionism usually stops me from starting tasks or projects, I over think what I need to do and get caught up in a state of fear that I won’t be able to complete it to the level that I think I should be able to. I have very high expectations of myself.

My mum always taught me to aim high, I don’t think she was ever pushy when I was a kid, but she certainly had me doing lots of activities and she was very encouraging, giving me a lot of freedom.

At 15, bored at my dads one day,  I did one of those Mensa tests in the newspaper. I got it right and sent it off to them. They sent me a much longer test (logic, patterns etc.) to do at home and curiosity got the better of me “how clever am I?”. I completed it and sent it back to them. They wrote to me saying they thought I should do the full supervised test. So, off I went to a place in Doncaster where I sat a 4hr test amongst many men in business suits. I sat there with my little silver rucksack, nervously out of place in the grand room…just a little teenager playing at being clever with the adults.

I did well though, Mensa told me my IQ was 168 (Carol Voderman’s is 157) and I was in the top stupidly little percentage.

My IQ score has had a positive effect in some ways, it got me into a prestigious school without having to take the entrance exam. It’s also made me feel like a fraud a lot of the time…”what if I can’t live up to that score?”. Now, I hear all the arguments that an IQ score doesn’t mean a great deal and I do agee with some of them. However, at such a young age to be told you’re very clever moulds how you think of yourself. At that age,  you’re forming opinions of your identity and your personality. It’s only really in the past few years that I’ve come to realise that I’m am perfectionist and that it can really hold me back if I don’t watch it.

Why am I telling get you all this? I think blogging has helped me. I have to (I’m not forced, I want to) write posts and put myself out there on a weekly (most of the time) basis. I used to read other blogs and think “wow, that’s a good post” and wonder how I could reach that same standard…I don’t think of myself as a natural writer. I started off small though…infrequent posts, mostly with photos…and I’m now moving towards writing more…baring my soul a little more…opening up a little more. I’m inspired by other bloggers writing honestly like Ally in Blunderland…and even if no-one reads this, it still feels good. I started a post just wanting to write, to express my thoughts at the time…without worrying if the post would be ‘good enough’.

My husband is also a great help with my perfectionism. He’s the exact opposite of me, he dives in head first…He never overthinks anything, he gets things done. We balance each other. I help him to plan more (trust me, he does need that sometimes!) and he helps me to stop overthinking and just get whatever it is started.

Little steps.

Are you a perfectionist? Do you over think? Let me know your stories too.

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5 Comments

  1. January 31, 2015 / 5:52 pm

    I am definitely a perfectionist, although my tendencies have definitely died down a bit now that I’m a bit older and life sort of forces me to get stuff done. It can be a blessing and a curse – as you say. On the one hand it means that I like to get things right and will do my best with them; on the other, I take criticism – even small criticism – very badly and won’t try my hand at things that I don’t think I can master.

    It’s interesting that you say that blogging helps you – I think it can be a bit of a double edged sword; watching everyone else do so well can be hard when you can’t live up to this perceived standard – but then I think we can all look back on our blogs and see progress which is encouraging. It’s definitely a lesson in the 1000 hours theory – you have to put in the time to be the best!

    Great post 🙂

    • Digital Diva
      Author
      February 4, 2015 / 6:55 am

      Thanks AmyLiz, I also don’t start things I don’t think I can master! How silly… but so true.

      I spotted an article saying to follow advice from ‘Feeling Good’ by David Burns… Have a deliberately mediocre day. Sounds refreshing rather than trying to fit everything in.

  2. February 1, 2015 / 9:38 am

    I deffo think we are kindred sprits after reading this post. I’m a perfectionist too and it is annoying. It has delayed me doing things which has slightly hindered me in aspects of my life.

    Although my perfectionism will always be there it has kind 9f reduced in the past few years, as I realised that in some cases it was holding me back. I ak trying to take more of a meh attitude to things and not put preasure on myself. It is a daily struggle as the perfectionism slips in…but it is a working progress.

    http://www.lookwhatigot.co.uk

    • Digital Diva
      Author
      February 4, 2015 / 6:57 am

      Hey Jess…I think there are many of us that feel the same it seems. Little steps 😀 Ally x

  3. March 15, 2015 / 12:40 am

    Mate, I’ve just seen this!
    I totally get where you’re coming from, and I think it’s so great to get those feelings out and make them form sentences.. clears the brain a bit..
    And thanks so much for the mention!!
    xx

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