In homeschooling my children for nearly six months now, I’ve been able to see more and more of their personality traits and how they handle certain situations.
Big brother is more relaxed. He enjoys to learn and do his best. If things don’t turn out exactly how he’s envisioned, he’s pleased to just finish.
Little brother on the other hand is hard on himself. When we first started school, he didn’t like me to call him smart. “No I’m not,” he’d say.
The more and more I started to work with him I started to notice that he has perfectionist tendencies. When he used to color if he felt that he went out of the lines too often, he’d quit. When I’d give him cutting projects, if they weren’t good enough cuts, he’d quit. These were his own expectations, not mine.
I was pleased with how much he was learning. Matching his colors, recognizing his alphabets and their sounds. He is so smart so where on Earth did he pick up this trait of perfectionism?
From his mami… me.
This trait of perfectionism was passed down, I believe, through both of my parent to me. It seems to have fallen upon me more so than my sisters.
I’ve always been called a perfectionist in my creative side. I have been drawing since I was the age of 7 or 8. My father, also an artist and creative, would find me illustrations to copy by sight. He taught me proportion and measurements and would critique my work. If it was off, he’d let me know it.
“The hands are a bit off.” He’d show me where I went wrong and I’d rework my piece until it was perfect. Literally, perfect.
This trait was instilled in me and I continued in this state through junior high, high school, and college art classes. I was very hard on myself and wanted to make sure that when I had a medium in hand it led to something that looked professional. Abstraction was not my game.
In College, I took one painting class which led to my first oil painting.
A replica of David’s, The Death of Marat.
I can tell you every single piece of my replica that is not perfect. So, that was my first and last painting.
In fear of failure and not being able to paint as well as I think I should be able to, I stopped.
This same mentality has carried through to graphic design, however, I feel much safer in this area. It’s easier to mess up and fix things on the computer versus fine art.
The same with my blog, it’s photography, and any creative endeavors I’ve tried to pursue. If they don’t meet my expectations, I quit.
Perfectionist personality traits
Being a perfectionist is more hindering than anything else. I’ve learned that unlike an over achiever, many of our goals are not met because they are not good enough within our own eyes. Below are some personality traits of a perfectionist that I’ve realized I carry.
- All or nothing mentality – If it’s not good enough, we quit.
- Critical eye – We are critical of our own work and of others.
- Unrealistic standards
- Focus on results – Only the end result is seen and the process of getting there is avoided in fear of failure.
- Depressed by unmet goals
- Fear of failure
- Procrastination - perfectionists will sometimes worry so much about doing something imperfectly that they become immobilized and fail to do anything at all!
Over this past year I have had one major goal in mind. To finish a book proposal.
It’s been the most difficult endeavor I have done in such a long time. In speaking to my sister, she asked me, “Why is it taking you so long?” I looked at her and told her, “Because I’m scared to fail.”
“What if I don’t find an agent… a publisher?”
My sister responded with, “Well, you’ll never know unless you try.”
Less than perfect is okay
Little brother is getting better day by day. I can call him smart now and he smiles and nods his head. He colors out of the lines and doesn’t give up. Each day we remind each other that Bauman’s don’t give up! We do the best that we can, nothing more.
I’m slowly getting there. Learning to be okay with less than perfect and continuing in my own goals.
My sisters and family help me along the way and I’m very blessed to have them in my life.
I’ve been praying that God can help me get over this. That he can show me that there is no such thing as perfect. Only one person has ever had perfection and that through Him I can do anything.
Praise God for his mercy and love.
Do you battle with perfectionism or have encouraging words to share? I’d love to hear them