Crossroads of Humanity

Sep 15, 2012

Failure is not an option, or is it?

Today, I re-realized something I've thought about on many occasions.  I am hard on myself, probably too hard.  The truth is, I'm a perfectionist but only when it comes to me, meaning I do not expect perfectionism in anyone else...just me.  If I set out to do something, failure is not an option.  This is not to say that I won't ask for help when I don't know how to do something or if I encounter something new.  On the contrary, I most definitely ask for help all the time.  But not when it's something I should be capable of doing myself.  So what happens when I overestimate my strengths?  I keep at it until I'm ready to scream.

There are support groups for people who suffer from everything under the sun, ranging from eating disorders to alcohol abuse.  Why are there no support groups for us perfectionists?  Hm...probably because we'd be too busy telling ourselves that we don't need support and that we should just keep at it (whatever IT is) until we knock ourselves unconscious.

I realize that this is a form of self abuse, so why do I continue to do it?  I will not tolerate failure in myself, even though I know without a doubt that I am as flawed as the next person.  I'm also well aware that we learn from our mistakes.  Oh yes, those are the lessons I remember best!

So what is it that makes asking for help so difficult?  Why do I feel like a failure when I finally admit that I do not know how to do something?

I have a message I'd like to pass along to myself today, and Sarah, I want you to listen and listen well.  Go easy on yourself.  Love yourself for who you are no matter the outcome of your actions.  You are talented and important, and it's okay to lean on others.


  1. There are no support groups because you can't perfect perfection. And perfection can never be less than perfect.
    So happy to meet you through ASMSGS.

  2. I think the answer to the lack of support groups is we perfectionists would have to admit failure to join such a group. Perfectionism is a viscious circle. At least I don't feel alone in my thoughts. Thanks for posting this.

  3. I don't remember leaving the other comment so today I'll leave another. A little piece of good advice I heard somewhere recently.
    Sarah, go easy on yourself. Love yourself for who you are no matter the outcome of your actions. You are talented and important, and it's OK to lean on others. Wise Words.

  4. Thank you, David, for your words of wisdom.