Written by Dr. Richard O. Williams‘ daughter Noi Williams
I have always wanted to do everything correctly almost to the point of OCD where I worry if anything goes wrong. For me with heightened sensory issues, this drive has been and still is exaggerated. A good example when I was at school, I focused on doing each of my assignments, tests, and projects the best I could without one error. I think I had too high expectations of myself because I always wanted to be perfect in every way. Almost each time I failed or performed less than average, I felt like a total failure. The great side is that I also learned by my mistakes. I have felt like a failure in after school sports such as basketball or soccer because I was one of the team players who got the lowest scores. On the other hand, I didn’t feel so terrible because I felt these games were just fun social activities where there wasn’t too much competition.
During my work years, I feel perfectionism has been a great benefit for me because coworkers have really appreciated my work. Sometimes I have worried about things not getting accomplished or done correctly. In the past, when my supervisor told me that something I did wasn’t done the way he or she said it was supposed to be, I almost felt panicked but I always asked how the task should be done or how I should do it differently. I still do this at work and works very well for me.
Perfectionism is also a big issue for me when I’m doing art such as painting with watercolors or oils of animals, plants, and landscapes. It takes me several hours to do one small painting because I want to get every detail perfect the way I see it. When I complete a painting and there’s a few parts I didn’t do well on, I don’t ever keep the painting. I start all over or start a brand new painting but a different theme or of a different scenery.
Noi’s Story – Perfectionism