I am a person that performs an annual self-evaluation usually around my birthday. Normally, I review my “things-to-improve” list from the year before and attempt to give myself an objective status. I must admit that there are some items that have remained on that list. When I consider why these items remain I can relate them to one personality trait that is persistent in my life and the root cause. The one thing I wish I could change. I am a perfectionist.
This trait has positive and negative aspects. The positive aspects of a high level of persistence and meticulous attention to detail have allowed me to overcome insurmountable obstacles in my life and obtain skills that make it possible to enjoy the life that I have now. However, the negative aspects of procrastination, self-deprecation, and the “all-or-nothing” attitude are also a part of my life when I cannot reach one of my goals. This behavior manifest into the symptoms of writer’s block, unhealthy eating habits, and sedentary lifestyle which causes a vicious cycle that is hard to stop.
At the worst case, perfectionism can cause anxiety, eating disorders, depression, and low self-esteem.
It has taken me years to understand the personality trait within me and accept that I cannot change it. However, since I am cognizant, I am proactive about self-monitoring and avoiding negative thinking. I am improving on my eating habits, increasing my physical activity, and using transcendental meditation techniques to maintain a balanced productive lifestyle.