Perfection Can KILL You

I used to want to be perfect. I would literally FREAK out when I got anything wrong. If I wasn’t chosen to be on a sports team or didn’t place first in a spelling bee I would literally come undone. I worked so hard on everything not understanding that when you work so hard on everything some things will not get the same attention as others. It’s statistically impossible to be perfect at everything.

When I began working in Nursing I worked so hard at being the best which honestly wasn’t really too hard. I took different jobs in different aspects of nursing giving me a wide breadth of knowledge to use in the other nursing jobs I was doing. Working in pediatrics helped me with geriatrics. My weekday wound care helped me with my with my weekend job. Everyone loved me or I should say everyone who really mattered really loved me because I was smart, hard working, and funny. I was reliable, dependable, and a team player. I was thee nurse who would jump in and help others finish up their work so that we could all go home on time. The nurse my supervisors used in leadership roles practically freshly out of school because I would get the job done and get it done the correct way.

I realize now that all of the knowledge that I had made me confident and for me confidence helps me accomplish great things.

Fast forward to me taking a management position in nursing and of course I excelled but in the beginning it was really hard and required a lot of focus. At the same time of my promotion my marriage was ending, we were up to our ears in debt, and I began having issues with people who thought that I had “made it” and should be able to help them financially. Of course I tried. I was trying so hard to be everything to everyone and failing miserably at being anything to myself. On a trip with one of my bosses somehow we got on a conversation about perfection during which she remarked “Adrien I bet you were a straight A student in school.” I smiled shyly and said “Yes, why do you say that?” To which she replied “It shows. I can see how upset you get when you send a report late, or you get something wrong on an assessment. No matter what obstacles you face that prevent you from getting to the desired outcome you still blame yourself. The sooner you learn that you can be practically perfect the longer your life will be.” Many times since that day those words have crept up on me and reminded me that I can only be practically perfect and if I want to save the world I need to start with me.

As a nurse I have taken care of so many people who suffered from anxiety, depression, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, and more. While talking to them or their family members they share that the person was trying to do too much, trying to be too much, and trying to be perfect. It’s not worth it. What you can’t get done today will still be there tomorrow but you may not be if you don’t let this whole perfection thing that we’re all infatuated with die.

Salvador Dali said-“Have no fear of perfection you’ll never reach it” I wonder if he meant that there is a possibility that you could die before you got there.IMG_1253

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