Reader QUIT: Perfectionism (by Amanda Abella)

I’m your average multitasking, career building, caffeine addicted 20-something woman. In other words, I have a tendency of putting way too much pressure on myself…for everything.

Pressure to find the perfect job. Pressure to make a living from my passions. Pressure to stay healthy. Pressure to support myself entirely, both financially and emotionally, without the help of anyone. Pressure to find the perfect man, have the perfect children, live in a perfect house, and have the rest of my life totally figured out, stock portfolio and retirement account included.

Pressure to go the gym, go to yoga, and compartmentalize every aspect of my life into a schedule. Pressure to live in the perfect city, have the perfect dog, and even write the perfect blog post.

Pressure to become as close to the perfect person I can be, with minimal emotional scrapes and bruises.

Guess what? Perfection is bullshit.


What Life Is Really About

I recently took a trip out to California to see some college friends and partake in a very good friend’s wedding. For five days I let the pressures of my life melt away and made it a point to just enjoy the company of my friends and the beautiful Pacific coast. I didn’t bring my laptop (sorry clients), I didn’t worry about how much my ass would be dragging at my 9 to 5 the following week, I didn’t stress about serving jury duty when I got back (talk about adult), and I didn’t care too much about all the money I was spending.

I drank, I laughed, I danced, and I remembered that life is more than just about achieving these perfect milestones you set for yourself. Life is more than just schedules, appointments, and racking up as many clients as you can. Life isn’t about being the perfect person, it’s about accepting yourself and rolling with the punches.


I Quit!

And so I quit. I quit putting so much pressure on myself. I quit stressing out over where I live, where I’ve been, and how I’ve been hurt. I quit trying to be the perfect person with the perfect life, because if anyone did ever reach perfection, I’m now certain their lives would be utterly boring.



Amanda is a Personnel Administrator for a Miami-based employment agency and a freelance writer. When she is not helping recruiters or writing for clients, she runs Grad Meets World, a popular Gen Y blog where she discusses health, career, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and more. For more on Amanda, feel free to visit her website.





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  • I love this post!  I am exactly the same way, and I definitely need a perfectionism quit, stat.

  • I can completely relate to this Quit.  I’m such a perfectionist that even when I’m trying to “take it easy on myself” or have some down time, I find myself wondering if I’m relaxing to the fullest of my ability.  It’s a ridiculous, exhausting obsession, and I definitely need to quit this one myself.

    • Haha I have found myself scheduling in relaxation time. I’m not even joking. Thank you for letting me share 🙂

  • Excellent post! I think way too often we tend to put too much pressure on ourselves. I know I’m no different. I’m currently running on about 2 hours of sleep a night for a week now because I took on too many freelance projects this month, and I can’t keep up. Why did I say yes in the first place? Oh right, to make money, and get my name out there, and…yeah. I should have said no. 

    • I had that problem when I started freelancing. Then I started working at a small business where the president of the company has instilled in me that the customer is not always right lol…and you know what? It’s true. If you’re too busy saying yes and pleasing people (especially the jerks) you just waste valuable time when you could be landing another client that will pay more. I quickly proceeded to drop low paying clients like a sack of potatoes (politely and professionally of course) and started making more money without running myself ragged.

  • Love this Amanda! I am SO with you — perfectionism is the sure route to boredom. Mistakes, faults and imperfections are what make life beautiful. Kudos on taking a stand for yourself to just be who you are 🙂 xoxo!

    • Thanks Jenny! I’ve been meaning to quit perfectionism for a long time 🙂

  • I always find posts about perfectionism to be really interesting because I’m not like this. So it makes it easier for me to believe in a sort of personal, more subjective perfectionism than what other people are probably used to. Even though I have high standards for myself, I’m more “Type B” than “Type A”. I won’t run myself ragged to get straight A’s or bust my ass to get to some other goal. Maybe that’s a fault. I’m not sure – but I’m way too laid back to care. 

    But I believe in perfectionism – I can be the perfect version of ME, versus the perfect PERSON. Because there are wayyy too many variables to say that what constitutes a perfect person. And even if we could come to an agreement about this ideal, how many people would (or could?) live up to it. 

    • I used to be more of a Type B – and then I graduated lol. I think I just realized that I had to start taking matters into my own hands instead of relying on others. And then I took that to an extreme…

  • Anonymous

    I could use a good quitting every now and then. Great post.

  • Hey Amanda, great post! I struggle with the same thing every day, and never realized it had a name (perfectionism) until someone told me that’s what I was. I don’t like being put in a box like that, and I’m happy for you that you re-evaluated and found what was more important to you! Someday I’ll be there with you.. your courage is an inspiration for me today 🙂

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