Married to a first-born, teacher who's a German Leo.
In other words, when you look up TYPE-A personality in the dictionary, there's me -- in front of my computer screen.
Wikipedia defines "Type A" individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, [who] take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.
How shocking that I am working to overcome perfectionism.
Part of my quest around this goal involves reading and conversation. I stumbled across an article on Twitter last week called "5 Secrets of a Go Getter Girl" by Shinjini Das. I almost didn't open it because I'm trying to keep my "go-getter" ways in check. Most of it was what I expected, "inspiring the world," "writing an impressive life story," "overcoming adversity and achieving dreams," but I didn't expect number 2.
2. She puts herself first in order to be of service and value to those around her.
Let's be honest: Putting ourselves first is looked down upon. It makes us appear selfish. But, the alternative to this is the idea that if we really take the time to invest in ourselves, our work ethic, abilities, strengths, and areas of improvement, we actually create much greater value for those around us. Once we're in a position to enable success for ourselves, we also in turn enable greater success for others. It's a common misconception that putting ourselves first is selfish and negative, whereas actually investing in ourselves is probably the best gift we could give to our near and dear ones.
Putting ourselves first. We've all been told to do this. Many of us, and I'll speak for myself here, have also felt pangs of guilt for doing so. This advice, however, was exactly what I needed to hear. It's a shift in paradigm for me, but it makes sense. I know I am a better mother, wife, teacher and friend when my needs are met. Go-getters can't get further if they feel healthy and balanced.
I'm going to work on shifting my paradigm around this idea more. Easier said than done, but that's where putting it in writing helps. I have declared this outwardly. In fact, my husband just reminded me yesterday, "aren't you trying to do less of that [insert perfectionist overachiever behavior here] ?" Why, yes, actually, thank you for remembering and for helping keep me in check.
Give it a try, moms, teachers, wives, other Type-A friends out there. Do something to nurture yourselves in order to better nurture others. Your overachiever self will thank you for it.