I am a Perfectionist - and lately I've come to realize this is not a positive trait - in fact I am a prime candidate for PA (Perfectionists Anonymous). The trouble with perfectionism is that I am always trying to control my world, never making mistakes, never being overwhelmed and never having anything go wrong - chaos is not an option. I'm slowly learning that it is time to embrace some chaos and stop trying to make everything perfect.
There is a wonderful quote from JK Rowling that says "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” Basically, to truly live, we must be prepared to fail at something. We cannot possibly maintain a life of perfectionism, because life doesn't always fit into neat little boxes that can be labelled and filed - it can be messy and unruly and full of new experiences that aren't always what we expect.
I'm in a new job (another new job - long story told briefly HERE) and there are aspects of it the same as my old job, but also lots of new stuff that I am learning on the fly. I'm good at what I do - in fact I'm darn good at what I do, BUT I need to stop expecting to know it all and do it all without giving myself a break. The trouble with being good at something is that you tend to have more and more given to you - which is all good until you implode in a meltdown of your own making.
Sometimes we perfectionists need to cut ourselves a little bit of slack. We need to accept that we will make mistakes, that our ducks won't be in a row (if we're lucky they'll at least be waddling in the same general direction), we need to know it is okay to fail now and then - the world will not grind to a halt because we messed something up.
Perfectionism is tiring - it makes the hamster on the wheel of my brain run too hard and too fast. A little bit of chaos is not a bad thing in the grand scheme of life. Sometimes it can even make for a good story and a laugh afterwards. Working for a surgeon means that I really want to avoid chaos when it comes to people going under the knife, but leaving something for an hour until it's a bit quieter, or stopping and drinking a cup of coffee before it goes cold (again) is not a bad thing. Earning your pay is noble, killing yourself in the process isn't!
So, Perfectionists of the World Unite! It's time to ease off on ourselves a little and stop and smell a rose here and there (even if we get pricked on a thorn in the process!) Having a dollop of chaos in our lives might be a good thing for us for us to embrace and see if we can live life without holding on to it with such a tight fist.