Red X marks the spot where I had to fix mistakes...and this is just a small portion of what I had to redo (so far - the sweater isn't finished)
A mistake in my knitting bothers me. I know the error is there. I see it. The sweater that I'm currently knitting? If you added up all of the rows I've knitted, unknitted, and then reknitted, I probably could have made a baby sweater as well as this adult-sized one. Some of this was due to confusion from the way the pattern was written, some of it was due to me not counting my rows correctly, and some was me not noticing that I needed to switch to a smaller needle size. Long and short of it is, I have spent a lot of extra time on this sweater to make it perfect, because that's what I want. I am a perfectionist with my knitting, and I make no apologies about it; when I'm finished with a project, that's it - there's no going back to correct a mistake later on, so I need to get it right. This is permanent perfection.
In other things, though, I'm not so rigid when it comes to perfectionism, and the most obvious one is my eating. I wasn't always like this - I used to be an "all or nothing" person, which is why I was such a diet failure for so long...one mishap and I would throw in the towel, give up the diet, and stay overweight. However, the last time I started dieting, I was really good about tracking my food, and I made myself track everything, every day - good and bad. Doing that helped me to see that even when I thought I went off the rails, it really wasn't that awful, and certainly not worth giving up on my diet.
Keeping this in mind, I've adopted a temporary perfectionism ideal when it comes to dieting and/or maintenance. For example, last week I'd been on a roll with three on-point eating days, when I came home after having dinner out with a friend (we had salads). Jeff met me as I walked in the house and said "ice cream?" which I knew meant Dairy Queen. Now, a small cone wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, but I wanted to finish up that day without going off track, so I said I'd rather have it the next day, and that's what we did.
Finally realizing that there are two kinds of perfection, and that both are working for me, has brought me a sense of peace - being able to let go of permanent perfection with all things has meant that I could concentrate on the stuff that I have a better chance of succeeding with, while allowing myself the temporary perfection of not always getting it right with eating, and still being OK enough with it that I no longer give up.