When to Overcome the Perfectionism

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

A lot of times, I read such motivational quotes and sayings for a little inspiration required to complete each chapter of my thesis. I have always been very enthusiastic about taking up the new challenges to explore my own limitations. And that is one of the reasons, why I chose to do Ph.D.! I knew it that Ph.D. thing could change my entire life, but still, I decided to go for it.

Why Did I?

Not because I lacked opportunities or I had nothing else to do but because I wanted to find where my threshold lies. So, I dived into Ph.D. and plunged into the research and everything, and there is where the real trouble began. Initially, I could not study a wide literature available on my area of specialization which means I wasn’t able to select a particular topic. I wasn’t bad at writing, but academic writing became Greek to me!

I remained a little (to say, actually a lot) upset with my writing skills and thence kept the deadlines on arm’s length. I could not complete anything on time. I would delay the assignment submissions, proposal writing, drafting thesis, and even the meetings with the advisor. Why?

To be honest, I always take a lot of time to complete each task with an aim to attain perfection. If I’m writing a story, I will spend more than fifteen sleepless nights eating up every word, reshaping the entire plot, or revising it. Remember “chase perfection”? All my life I have been chasing perfection which often resulted in long-delayed projects or even unpublished.

I’m pretty sure many other folks like me are suffering from the obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. A syndrome which is most often found in the writers (I believe) which hinders the rapid progress of the greatest works ever. So, the Wikipedia defines it as “a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called “rituals”), or have certain thoughts repeatedly.”

And in my case, I would rework on the same research proposal every other day thinking it to be imperfect. I felt horrified as if each word or punctuation used in the inappropriate context will lead to a complete distortion of the supreme quality of my work (okay. Not so supreme perhaps). This feeling wouldn’t let me pin down a single word of my research proposal.



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