Changing My Ways

….or trying to anyways.

I’m starting my new position at the end of next week so I’m trying to write all the reports I’ve already been assigned so I don’t have to pass off my work to anyone else.  I’m very eager to start this new job.  I love the job I’m doing now, love the people I’m working with, and I haven’t really been in the position long enough to feel bored but this change is exciting.

Starting a new job gives you an opportunity to evaluate yourself.

New challenges are refreshing and invigorating. Working with new people in a new environment doing a job that’s so vastly different from what you’ve done all your life makes you recognize both your strengths and weaknesses.  I realize one of my struggles is a fear of failure and fear of making mistakes.  The perfectionist in me is terrified of saying the wrong thing, writing the wrong thing in an email or report, missing a deadline, missing a step in some process, asking a silly question, etc…

Recognizing this in myself reminds me why being a perfectionist is both a strength and a weakness.  It sometimes causes me to hesitate, to question myself, to dwell and to worry.  I try to plan for everything in a job where the next step often depends on the behavior of other people, which is not always predictable.  I often talk about my rational and irrational mind. Rationally, I know mistakes happen, everyone makes mistakes sometimes but in my irrational mind mistakes are unacceptable.  I used to think it was just a fear of getting in trouble but I realize it’s much deeper than that, it’s a fear of disappointing other people, fear of disappointing myself.

On performance reviews at my previous jobs the areas I always needed to work on were delegation (How can a perfectionist trust someone else to do something?) and decision-making (I was told to trust myself and my decision making process).  Sadly these things are still an issue for me but I feel like I’m finally at the place in my life where I can make progress on changing these things about myself.

Will I ever completely give up my perfectionist, control freak ways?  No, but I can allow myself to make mistakes sometimes just to show myself that I will survive.  I can try to worry less about making the wrong decision and learn to trust my instincts.  People put me in the job I’m in right now because they trust my abilities so I need to have faith in my own ability and be confident.

Feel free to share your thoughts.  Any fellow perfectionists out there who face the same struggles?  Or maybe some who have found a way to let go of some of the need for perfection?