As I listened from a beach-chair in the shade
To all the noises that my garden made,
It seemed to me only proper that words
Should be withheld from vegetables and birds
A robin with no Christian name ran through
The Robin-Anthem which was all it knew,
And rustling flowers for some third party waited
To say which pairs, if any, should get mated.
Not one of them was capable of lying,
There was not one which knew that it was dying
Or could have with a rhythm or a rhyme
Assumed responsibility for time.
Let them leave language to their lonely betters
Who count some days and long for certain letters;
We, too, make noises when we laugh or weep:
Words are for those with promises to keep.
If people reach perfection they vanish, you know-
Many folks who wander around these parts consider themselves perfectionist and they also consider perfectionism to be one of their most valuable attribute (a close runner-up is their charming smile). As a perfectionist you are likely to obsess over bringing attention to detail: Your yoga mat and running shoes have to match your outfit. A keen eye on organization and following a well intended plan, as well as a clear sense of how all of the pieces of the “big picture” relate to each other.
It seems that having good intentions (wanting to excel no matter the discipline) and working hard would result in our meeting a desired outcome(s). However, as we well know, this doesn’t happen as often as we think it should. In fact, you might be frustrated by the fact that your perfectionism pays off in keeping your socks organized and your Prius meticulously clean but backfires horrendously during your adho mukha svanasana.
Why is this so?
Even more confusing and frustrating is when we use our perfectionism in one instance and it works great, but then we use the exact same strategy in another situation? It doesn’t work in the least. Quick example: Obsessing about making mistakes can make you detail-oriented and a key asset in your work place. Or obsessing about making mistakes can make you fail miserably during yoga class and during your next “big” event.
I decided not too long ago that I wanted to better understand when and under what circumstances perfectionism worked and when it backfired. Race preparation and event planning – A touch of perfectionism helps, a lot! Enjoying yoga class and a nice flowing trail run? Not so much. I’ve also seen people (myself included) literally kill themselves in the pursuit of the perfect mile, split time and perfect rep … Totally not worth it!