Monday, February 25, 2008

Why failing can sometimes be a good thing

I'm a perfectionist.

No, I won't lie about it. I'll admit it fully, with no reservations. I have this achingly annoying desire to be flawless in pretty much every facet of my existence. It's been this way ever since I was a child, when I insisted that my mom pull my hair straight back and flat so that there would be no bumps or inconsistencies in my taut coif. (In retrospect, this was a heinous fashion faux pas, but in my defense, I was quite young and had bad eye sight.) It was this way when my seventh grade English teacher told me I'd have multiple ulcers by the age of 14. (Still ulcer free, btw.) Or when I got so stressed in high school about some mundane assignment I literally made myself sick. (I handle my stress much better now... I think.)

Fortunately, this at times unhealthy propensity has diminished a bit in some ways. Hopefully I have matured enough to get past my AP Calc class in high school and by Econ class in college. Though I cringe at what Econ did to my cumulative GPA... grrr. That class aside, I think it was college that helped me understand that it was physically and mentally impossible to be perfect at everything, that sometimes things don't go well, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes I fail at things and I'm getting better at dealing with it, but that doesn't mean that this tendency still doesn't plague me at times.

I'll be honest; I'm still not used to failing. Probably because I am in my own comfortable world where I know my limitations and my strengths and so I can deal with what's thrown my way. I just failed at something, and I'm realizing it's ok. I am a firm believer that if you go into something with your whole heart and do the best you're capable of, that you should be proud of yourself regardless of the outcome.

That's why it's ok to fail sometimes. If we never did, how would we learn? How else could we appreciate our successes? It's that whole, "there must needs be opposition in all things" idea. Which can be difficult to accept sometimes, but is really comforting when you come out of the other end of a trying situation and appreciate what that struggle did for you.

P.S. Greg's back!!!! :D

2 comments:

Josh & Kenna said...

I'll be honest, I'm quite surprised that you haven't had an ulcer yet. I tend to be the same way, and college was hard for me in the same way. I'm glad you made it out of there ulcer free. I've had a couple. The stress and perfection isn't worth it.

Britt said...

Lauren!!!!
Ok, so I found you like most people find people in the blogging world, by being very bored with their nights and getting so excited to find someone they know! Anyway, I just thought I'd say hi! It's so fun to see how you are doing, and your blog is so so fun to read!! I hope you don't mind if I'm a frequent snooper! (this is brittney (derricott)bennett by the way)