Thursday, March 5, 2009

This should be my new mantra...

I am loving this quote mentioned here, found here.

"I must learn to love the fool in me -- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.

It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant who I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool." -- Theodore I. Rubin, MD

Isn't that beautiful?

I am such a type-A, perfectionist. I am always trying to live a life that mirrors the 2nd paragraph of that quote: the self-controlled, masterful tyrant. The person who never fails at anything and does nothing in excess.

But it's sort of exhausting to be the perfectionist. But it's all I've ever known - I have been like this since I was a small child. A few years ago, my mom put together all of my scorecards from K-12 and gave them to me to read. It was interesting to read them - as early as first grade, my teacher was commenting, "Lisa is too hard on herself." And that comment was a central theme through my years in school.

And it's still a theme in my life. I am going through a 'character building experience' right now in Grad School. I am really struggling with my Strategy class. My professor and I are just clearly not on the same page and as a result, I have done so so so poorly on my papers. So poorly that I am meeting w/ her next Monday to talk about them so I can re-write them to improve my grade.

I talked to her this morning & tried to explain that this is just not me. I am not the student that struggles academically. I'm the annoying person who gets frustrated with an A- or got mad when she got a 94% on a Differential Equations test due to a silly mistake on one of the problems.

And I am so frustrated because I thought I was done with the paper writing & could just focus on the Derivatives Homework; which is also challenging, but in a completely different way. And is something that I sort of excel at since I am a numbers person.

So it was very timely for me to read this quote today. Because it reminds me that I still haven't really truly learned how to deal with set backs. And these set backs will help develop my humility.

And maybe someday, 10 years down the road, I'll be managing an employee who just isn't on the same page. And I will think back on how I felt being on the other side. And I will be more understanding and compassionate.

At least that is what I am telling myself now to keep that voice inside my head from saying, "You are such a failure right now."


Amber said...

I know what you mean, I'm very much a perfectionist too. I usually don't beat myself up too hard if I don't do perfect, but that's been a long learning experience for me!

You should post that quote up somewhere you can see it all the time, especially when you're doing homework!

qwerkyqook said...

We are SO related!

Marlys said...

Oh, Lisa! After we chatted the other night, I was going to email you and tell you that this experience, like most in life, will help you grow and make you more humble! I was even going to tell you to offer up this experience as a Lenten offering! I see that you found the advice on your own and am so proud of you! You always were too hard on yourself but try as we did, we couldn't change it! Love you!