A New Perspective for Perfectionist

Chelsey is working for mindyourmind as a Communications Associate. She studies Speech Communication and Business at the University of Waterloo and is a passionate mental health advocate, focused on making resources known and available to everyone. Outside of work she loves reading, watching Netflix, and exploring new places.

Recently I went to a music festival which was lined up with many amazing artist, and about half way through there was a technical difficulty. In this moment I grew more than one would anticipate when planning a fun night out with friends heading to a concert series! However, mini-epiphanies and moments that cause you to pause and think/reflect seem to happen at the most random or even inopportune times. So, here I am sitting and reflecting on this technical difficulty where the microphone stopped working half-way through a set and how the artist handled it.

I am a self-proclaimed perfectionist which is often a struggle as a person who has ADHD and it can lead to a bunch of stress and slight anxiety if a deadline has approached and I am not satisfied with the work. This happens regardless if it’s a deadline for work, school or a volunteer position, see I know that oftentimes I have met what was required of me however because of my ADHD I have a great imagination which can cause some troubles. Don’t get me wrong having a great imagination is one of my favourite parts of having ADHD, however it can be troublesome if you are a perfectionist because if I get invested in a topic or a project I oftentimes think up crazy plans and visions for the project. These project visions go way above and beyond what may be reasonably expected of a person in the time frame given. A not so great aspect of ADHD for me, is dealing with time management and understanding how long it will take me to enact these amazingly creative plans. Due to this poor time management, I oftentimes do not get to complete a task to the amazing and unrealistic vision that I had for it or I do not complete the task to what was originally expected of me because I was dreaming up these project visions and possibly attempting a few that resulted in failure. As you can probably imagine this drives the perfectionist side of my brain crazy, because I want everything to be perfect and if it’s not it causes me to experience feelings of sadness for what the project could have been and guilt for not having better time management.

Getting back to the technical difficulties that were experienced, and how it impacted the way that I view my need to be perfect in almost everything that I do. Seeing the way that this artist handled the microphone going out in front of a crowd of 10,000 people was unique. He kind of just shrugged and sat down on stage as he waited for the tech people to fix the problem. This gave me, a perspective of, if he cannot freak out and sit on the stage with 10,000 people staring at him waiting for what his next sentence was. With this new perspective I can challenge myself to accept that what happens outside of my control, shouldn’t be something that I stress too much about because even if it prevents something from being 100% perfect, I still put my best foot forward to do the best job that I could!

If you too are a perfectionist with or without ADHD, remember to take time to reflect on things that you have done in the past, such as a school project and think about the feedback you got. More than less likely it was positive and if it wasn’t reflect on where you could improve next time. If you are in the middle of a large project and you feel like you have done something wrong or you missed something, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and co-workers who you know have a stronger skill set in one area than you. Please try to understand that mistakes happen and that sometimes they are a great thing, because they help shape you into the person you are today.

To wrap up this blog I want to leave you with a quote from my favourite childhood author Dr. Seuss

Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

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