Curse of A Perfectionist

“Good quality work is rare, but demand for it is abundant.” – Prof. Bitange Ndemo

I presume my choice of title for this piece may not align with my context based on common notions but bear with me. I love disclaimers and I just gave one there. Hope you noticed. I am the kind of person who believes in doing my best in whichever circumstance I am to attend to something. It obviously translates to my love for fine things in life and to have these I have to work for them. Some days I win, others I lose terribly but on all occasions I have a chance to improve and get better. That’s the beauty of life.


When I started doing this blog, 50 days ago I hoped to keep the content flowing. Especially having been living in my head for so long I felt the nudge to bring it all out and hoped to never stop. I pray that I keep to it. It’s both a challenge and a positive reinforcement. It’s a challenge in the sense that at times you don’t feel like getting to write but not to break my promise to myself I get to it and in the process I get my therapeutic dose of reflection time. Other than being therapeutic to me, it keeps me on alert because for everything that crosses my path in a day can become the subject of my next piece. In other terms it keeps me conscious of my surrounding and to be present at every moment. It’s a win. Back to the topic of the day.


A couple of weeks back I was reflecting on my habits as a perfectionist. My love for fine things makes me not take anything less and in aiming for the best I have at times fell short of that goal even though to others it may seem spectacular. This gives me room for improvement at any one moment. In short, settling isn’t the easiest of things. So yesterday when I started reading the compilation of stories and reflections by different people in the book #YouthCan I got to read a piece by Prof. Bitange Ndemo and his life. At one juncture I got a way to put to perspective my approach of wanting to make the best of every opportunity. It’s evident and commonplace that we all wish for the best that life has to offer. In our places of work we want to get the best of perks but when it gets to our responsibilities, we are okay to compromise. That’s double standards and doublespeak at best. I believe it’s important that we hold ourselves to higher standards and expect nothing less of that because when we do, we stand a chance to realize our aspirations and enjoy the niceties that life has to offer. It’s by your dedication and quality output that you stand a chance to advance in any facet of your life. Unless you put in the work, you may just wade through life to the ultimate end. I doubt you want that.


I am urging you to be a perfectionist in some way especially on delivering on your obligations and commitments. If you love someone, love them so hard it feels out of this world because that’s what you know. Have the goal of making the best of everything you do but don’t let it stop you from acting at all. When you act to your level best, later on you’ll still get a chance to review and in the final outcome see areas of improvement. Ultimately, there is progress made and you’ve made yourself proud for doing something marvelous in life. I’m not going to say it’s easy living as a perfectionist. This is why I feel there is syndrome known as, “Curse of the Perfectionist.” As a perfectionist you get satisfaction in achieving your ultimate desired outcome but while at it, you are bothered, drained and confused at times. The best thing about it is that on the other side, you open doors of possibilities, inspire a couple of other people and get your dopamine “feel good hormone” fix.


“Strive to create value, to do your best and ultimately that’ll be good enough. Few people are willing to go the extra mile but you can. Challenge yourself.”


Ps. Perfectionism in this context is about gauging yourself on your own standards and not through the lenses of others. Social media clout and publicity stunts doesn’t do you any good.

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