PerfectionistHere’s a little known fact about me: you know if you work in an office (and not a “green” office where people start having panic attacks if you try to print something out at all, let alone on your wafer thin, completely biodegradable, you can eat it if you want and it’ll taste like strawberries recycled paper) and have a stack of papers to staple, I get a little bit crazy for the exact position of the staple, and the neatness of the paper.

See, for me, the staple needs to be in the top left corner, on a diagonal, not too close to the edges so it doesn’t rip. Oh, and the papers themselves have to be in line.

If this doesn’t happen, I will actually use that cleverly invented staple un-picker (seriously, whoever came up with that gem was a genius), pull the offending staple out, square up the pages and re-staple.

Now, aside from that probably not being a good use of my time, it’s also a little la-la. I know this. Yet it doesn’t stop me doing it.

According to some psychologists far more intelligent than I, there are three main groups that our crazy person thoughts fall in to:

1. All other people must love us aka The People Pleaser

2. We must be perfect at everything aka The Perfectionist

3. Everything around us must be perfect aka The Control Freak

I thought I’d write this post today because I know that everyone I work with, and myself, have tendencies that lean towards one, two or all of these three crazy person thoughts at one time or another.

Now, obviously, knowing you’re a perfectionist doesn’t necessarily help with the staple fixation, but becoming more aware of your thoughts can.

There’s a great little app I’ve been recommending to clients and have used myself which helps with this called MoodKit – it really helps make sense of your crazy person thoughts and figure out what might be going on. It also prompts you to look at things in a different way.

When you really look at what troubles you in life, whether that be straight paper, your partner getting in late, burning the dinner or feeling too tired to get your freaking ass to the gym even though you know full well from reading all those stupid self-help books that exercise actually gives you more energy and makes you feel better, they do tend to fall in to a majority category. Once you know what that is, you can really start looking at the why….

Why does it matter to you that everyone likes you? Do you like everyone you meet?

Would it be so bad if you messed up once in a while? How do you learn and grow if you don’t make mistakes?

Life is way waaaayyy bigger than you or I, and we’re never going to be able to control it. What would happen if we learned to go with the flow once in a while?

Next time you feel yourself getting worked up over something, ask yourself, what’s really going on here? Then make a note of it in your super cool MoodKit app!