Appropriate Perfectionism

Monday 10 September, 2001

07.00 E&M 25 mins. My back and sciatica are causing me pain. It’s the same problem as before: left piriformis and nerve pain in the left leg along with stiffness around the base of the spine. I arrived at the house feeling subdued about all the work I had to do. On top of that I have my usual issue with my appraisal – I’ve got to get it all down on paper and I still doubt my ability to do so to my own satisfaction.

[Karaj: We need to sort this out. Why are you punishing yourself?]

Karaj and I had a chat and he stressed once again how important it is that I relax and stop worrying. He said that whatever I do doesn’t matter just so long as I do not stop searching for the truth. If I do that I am dead.

I spent the rest of the morning bringing my appraisals up to date. Karaj had said to me yesterday that it doesn’t matter if I don’t get everything done – just a few lines will do – because things are moving so fast at the moment that there will always be plenty to learn and write down. Anyway the same things keep cropping up so there will be plenty of opportunities to record my lessons. Relax and learn to recognise when it is appropriate to be a perfectionist.

[Karaj: The issue is not about the quality of your appraisals, rather: Are you willing to live them?]

After lunch I lacked any motivation to continue with my work, so I lay down and took life easy for a while. Later in the afternoon I made a start on the accounts and made excellent progress. Clients came and went. I was much more relaxed than this morning. The lesson here for me is that whatever happens, the work gets done. Unfortunately, I cannot get away from the feeling that the work got done because I was concerned about it and that if I relaxed too much nothing would ever happen. (Mind fucking).

[Karaj: Work out why you are doing this. Whether you are concerned or not does not matter.]

Back at home there was a letter from Francis waiting for me:

Many thanks for your letter. You made some pertinent points that were a great help to me in helping me get myself together… I hope you are well and still full of the energy that your last letter carried. It’s a pleasure to know you.’


One Response to “Appropriate Perfectionism”

  1. George Says:

    Very apt for me today both from the point of catching up on missed appraisals and also getting work done around the house. At times there seems to be too much to do. As you say, whatever happens, the work gets done.
    Thanks.

Leave a Reply