What are my standards of success?

How do I define success? By which standards do I judge my actions? I’m vexed.

Until recently, I wholeheartedly believed that I had overcome my perfectionistic tendencies. All too often, self-perception is self-deception.

For four long years I struggled valiantly to rid myself of perfectionism. Did I struggle in vain?

For four long years I struggled vainly to rid myself of perfectionism. Did my unskillful approach sabotage my valiant efforts?

My thought’s are a series of questions and question marks… Uncertainty abounds… Shards of glass encircle me.

Despite all of this, I feel at home. Peace. Serenity. Freedom. These three are my closest confidants.

Despite all of this, I don’t feel lost. Shock. Anxiety. Paralysis. These three know nothing of me.

Creative destruction. A certain self-perception has been destroyed. In its place, a blank piece of paper has appeared. Creativity can now blossom.

I thought I had overcome perfectionism. I had overcome perfectionism in the realm of thought alone, and my judgement was clouded.

My thinking was wishful, but clarity’s been restored.

While pondering a post that I’d written recently, I realized that my perfectionism had merely changed forms.

By objective standards, the lapse in adequate diabetes management that I wrote about in the aforementioned post was insignificant. The problem was subjective. It was due to my interpretation of events, and my projections of the future.

I interpreted this incident as being problematic because it disrupted the story I told myself about my recovery from diabetes burnout. It shattered the myth of a perfect recovery.

In my myth, I was perfectly strong and, therefore, able to effortlessly overcome any obstacle. I didn’t expect myself to stumble so early in the story. When I did stumble, frustration struck me.

I’m grateful for how things transpired…

Going forward, I need to be more realistic. I need to make a less inflated estimation of my own strength. I need to account for setbacks… I still need to reconcile with my fallibility.

Creative destruction. An old story has been destroyed. In its place, I can create a new, more realistic one.

5 thoughts on “What are my standards of success?”

  1. Hey!
    I really identify with this blog post. It’s a tough road that leads to realistic and realigned perceptions. Perfectionism has its advantages but much of the time, it can be a curse!
    Thanks for the read! Made me think!

  2. When I was first diagnosed with T1D at 21, I completely took the attitude of “I must control it 100%, I must be perfect in what I eat and how much insulin I take, and I must always have excellent blood sugars.” Anytime I didn’t fit that model, I felt I had failed and I was killing myself. The stress of THAT caused diabetes burnout, and pretty quickly. Fast forward a few years, getting a pump & CGM, recognizing that sometimes diabetes can just be “beyond my control” and it’s not my fault…my blood sugars and A1c are better than they have ever been, and I am also MUCH happier than I was in those first few control-freakish years. You have to find the happy medium place of caring for yourself the best you can, and not beating yourself up about any self-inflicted “failures.”

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