Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letting Go of the Small Stuff

I call myself a recovering perfectionist. I have an immense capacity to tend to detail. Sometimes that tendency is problematic.

When I balance my checkbook, it needs to be accurate down to the penny! I spend a lot of time sometimes on things that have very little return for me. I like for everything to be 'just so.'

As I worked my way through the insurance claim resulting from my burglary, I found myself with the opportunity to face this 'need' for accuracy in a very magnified way.

Often, the insurance company did strange little things that made their numbers come out a few dollars less than mine. In a few instances, it was a few dollars more. Their numbers often did not match my numbers. That bugged me. I like precision.

In the end, there was one thing I discovered about their 'process' that had not been disclosed to me - and if I wanted to, I could have amended my claim to get another $100. It would have been a lot of work for me to do this, and I decided to let it go. Even though I was entitled to the money, the hassle at that point, was just not going to be worth it to me.

Their little rounding errors and number discrepancies cost me about another $75 beyond that $100. I decided to let that go as well, because the effort to figure out exactly how all their little errors added up to that $75 would have taken me hours of time.

I'm satisfied with the settlement. I worked hard to make sure that I was fair to them and that they were fair to me.

The $100 error was as a result of the company not fully explaining how limited categories affect/relate to my deductible. They didn't explain that to me, and that was to their advantage. I don't appreciate that, but I had worked so hard on everything else to make sure I was treated fairly, that it wasn't worth my time to fight that battle.

The other $75 were truly little mathematical errors or discrepancies. I found that a little easier to let go of.

Sometimes, we need to just weigh the cost against the benefit that we will gain from any action and make a decision based on that analysis. I generally will pay any cost for accuracy. This time, I used this experience as an opportunity to practice letting go of that sometimes obsessive need! It felt GOOD!

It's important to observe ourselves for those traits and tendencies that hold us back from achieving our true potential. I know that my perfectionism and 'addiction to precision' has caused me problems in my past. It has sapped my energy and time and prevented me from doing things that would have been more beneficial to me.

This insurance claim situation provided me with an opportunity to face and practice a new, more healthy behavior. We can all find opportunities, all around us, to challenge those things in ourselves that we want to address and heal.

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