In many ways I am Type A to a T….
-I lose years off my life when I have to wait in a long line or traffic.
-I’m very conscientious.
-I have a very low tolerance for incompetent people
and dumb drivers.
But in many ways I am NOT Type A…
-I sleep really well (apparently many Type A’s have trouble sleeping?).
-I’m a slow walker (apparently Type A’s are also all fast walkers…).
-Relaxing is not hard for me.
-I don’t rely on a to-do list.
-My room/life is not super organized or tidy.
I think Type A’s get all the attention, for better or worse. Heck they make cell phone cases, which I may or may not own, that say “Type A.” Does that mean we/they are “right?” Does that mean we/they can’t have some characteristics on the other side of the spectrum?
While I don’t think we have to full identify with any type (see: Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?), I DO think it’s good to be aware of our individual habits, preferences and quirks.
I blame Amanda for encouraging my rambling today ;)
While my habits lean toward Type A, over the last year or so, I’ve noticed a change in some of my perfectionist and extremist tendencies. For example, just last week I texted my mom after one of my final exams and said how little I cared about my grade. I took the exam and went on with my day, something I never could have done in high school or during my freshman year of college. I honestly had a moment where I questioned if something was happening to me…was I now a Type B because I didn’t care about my test? Seriously, those are the random and irrational thoughts I sometimes have. Full disclosure: I ended up getting a solid B on the test…which is NOT bad in the least. Just “different” for me.
Lately, I no longer have a desire to make everything perfect. I’m learning when and where to invest my energy and, honestly, sometimes that means napping instead of a studying for an extra hour. Sometimes that means half-assing or skipping a workout. Sometimes that means working out hard. Sometimes that means turning in an assignment I’m not entirely proud of. I can more easily decipher when to relax on obligations and when to push through. It’s kind of freeing to learn that I can sometimes give 80% instead of 100% and survive (and thrive!).
But this new “philosophy” of mine contradicts all the Pinterest motivational quotes. You know, the ones that say “be all in or get out…there is no halfway.” I used to take those quotes personally…like everyone was directly telling me to work hard 24/7. Kind of overwhelming, right? I think that’s where I’ve loosened up on my Type A desire for perfection. By no means do I believe in not working hard, but I now fall in the camp of learning and managing priorities. Work hard when necessary but know when it’s OK to just get by. Do what you can when you can (#wycwyc!). That sounds too preachy and ideal for my liking but it’s the best happy medium I can come up with for the moment. (Side note: Being “preachy” is my pet peeve so please call me out on it).
My favorite yoga teacher sometimes says “give 80%,” particularly when we are doing locus or bow pose. She says to “try on easy for a change.” Easy doesn’t mean bad. Easy doesn’t mean lazy. It just means recognizing what I can give at that moment…whether it’s my workout, school work, work or personal life. Some days I can give 100%, some days it’s less. The lesser days don’t make me any less of a person, or so I’m learning.
So back to my original topic….No, I haven’t gone Type B. Not that it would be bad, but is it possible? I just seem to be acquiring some Type B qualities that I hope will make me a more relaxed and positive person.
Nevertheless, I’m really proud of some of my Type-A qualities. That drive and motivation? Yeah, I’ll keep that.
Ah, I struggle with always trying to give it my all. I need to try on that 80% goal once in a while!
Coco recently posted…Shop Stella And Dot And Support The American Heart Association
I’ve learned the hard way (read: sacrificing sleep or getting injured) that I’d rather give 80% in certain things.
Sam @ The Running Graduate says
I know exactly how you feel! I’m very Type A. I’ve had to let go of some of it this year, though.
Sam @ The Running Graduate recently posted…The Power of Running with Others
I don’t know what “clicked” this year but I think just growing up has helped me see the bigger picture.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I have traits of both too. At certain times in my life I have been more of one than the other. I think we all just flow in and out with them through our lives!
But “I lose years off my life when I have to wait in a long line or traffic.” <——— Hahahaha! YES! I have NO patience!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Rock Your Unique Talents
In times of stress my Type-A nature shines, which is not the best reaction.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I have many Type A tendencies, and they were very apparent when I first started college, but this past year I have really started to realize when to push myself and when not to. I used to stress out over the smallest of grades that end up having no impact on my overall grade, whereas now I am much more go with the flow. I got a grade lower than I thought I would have gotten this past semester in a class and I told myself that the world was still going to go round whether I got a 3.5 or a 4.0. Life would still be the same and it is not worth stressing over.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Thinking Out Loud on a Thursday
Yup, 3.5 or 4.0 is still pretty darn awesome and not worth the extra stress (at least for me). Tt’s crazy how much pressure we put on ourselves for a freaking grade!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
I’m slowly developing more “Type B” traits, and I know this is a good thing, because I’ve always been super Type A. Still, it feels like losing a part of me I’m really familiar with, so it’s a little disorienting even though it’s overall positive. Basically, I totally relate! :)
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…What a Weekend
You’re right, it is a little disorienting. I think/hope that as long as things don’t change in one minute that I’ll be OK. And I don’t want everything to change!
Sarah @pickyrunner says
This post is amazing. I’m Type-A to a T, but I’ve gotten so much better. I noticed the biggest change halfway through college when I realized no matter how hard I pushed myself, I wasn’t going to excel in organic chemistry. Accepting that sometimes I wouldn’t get an A on an exam (or even a B in some cases) made the world of difference. I’m still pretty uptight, but I’m nowhere near as bad as I used to be. I don’t think we have to be “Type A” or “Type B.” We can slowly become a combination of the two which makes us the best person we can be :)
Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…TOL: All the Running
I’ve heard horror stories about organic chemistry. I would have most likely had that realization too. I think our generation (or most of the people I know) is so wrapped up in the idea of perfection/success that we place so much pressure on a letter grade or receiving praise.
It sounds completely crazy I can’t stand quotes either. Until I fall in love with them :-)
I am too type B – – to a tremendous fault – – unless it’s someplace where I’m type a :-)
(with my fiction)
I’m an enigma wrapped in a riddle and for me the only way out was doing when I can when I can.
Carla recently posted…Lets get HORIZONTAL!
There are certain situations where I forget my Type A tendencies exist…just until that situation is over and I’m back to my Type A nature. My favorite quotes are short and just enough inspiration to make me think and evaluate where I am.
Isn’t it crazy when you have those moments of acceptance that you know you wouldn’t have had before? I think it’s natural as you get older (especially if your a thoughtful reflective person) that you start seeing things in perspective. Like the fact acing one college test isn’t worth losing a night’s sleep/sanity over.
I love certain quotes, but hate the ridiculous ones that make you feel like shit rather than actually inspiring you.
One of my favorite sayings is “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” It helps me with my overloading plate tendencies.
Georgie recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday: Why Does the Office Make Me Hungry?
It’s crazy to see how my perspective has changed since freshman year. I’m proud of it too! That is an awesome quote because it’s realistic and not overly motivational that it makes you feel like a failure.
She Rocks Fitness says
I despise those fitspo quotes…They are horrible and drive me NUTS! I do love quotes, but I love the ones that are inspiring, nourishing, loving, grateful…ones that make me feel good and are almost calming! :)
She Rocks Fitness recently posted…bACK On Track WIAW + Guest Post
Those fitspo quotes annoy me too. Especially the ones with images of people with unattainable (read: photoshopped) bodies.
Rachel (LittleChefBigAppetite) says
Love this! I am DEFINITELY Type A – I reallllly wish I could force myself to relax once in awhile :)
Rachel (LittleChefBigAppetite) recently posted…Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken
The weekends are when I relax the most (shocking, I know!).
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
In some aspects I’m very type-A. When I’m at work or getting ready for something, I need to be on top of everything and I’m super organized. With running I have to keep a strict schedule or I go crazy. I am kind of messy though, but it really bothers me (just too lazy to do anything about it!). I know that some of my quirks drive my fiance nuts, so I’ve tried to loosen up and not be quite as type-A, and be like frozen and “let it go”. It is tough though, and something I’ll constantly struggle with!
I’m too lazy to do anything about my messy room/life too :) Whenever I’m home with my family they remind me to loosen up. While it can be annoying, I need the reminder at times.
I am so Type-A it’s incredible. Which is funny, because my boyfriend is the absolute opposite. Which I assume is a good thing in the sense we balance each other out… While I think motivational quotes can be insightful, sometimes I just feel like they’re a little cheesey. But that’s just me! : )
Jamie recently posted…Running: When is Too Much, Too Much? Thinking Out Loud Thursday 3
My parents are like that! My dad is Type-A and my mom Type-B. I think that balance is good too :)
Christine@ Apple of My Eye says
Girl, I can relate to this SO much. I’m kinda that weird mix of type A and B like how you described yourself and I’m just starting to get out of the mindset that everything has to be perfect and done 100%. And by just starting, I mean in the last 3-4 months. It’s so liberating and yes, still so possible to thrive! :)
Christine@ Apple of My Eye recently posted…On the Future (My Big Life Update )
I still consider myself just starting to get out of that mindset too. I think the beginning of this past school year was when it started to “click.”
[email protected] says
I definitely identify identify as a Type A introvert. I am impressed that you have had so much success with letting go of the perfectionism. Good for you!! It gives me hope!
[email protected] recently posted…Thursday Rambles and Why I’m Always Late
Learning to let go of perfection is a constant work in progress. Not where I want to be but slowly getting there :)
Wow, I totally identify with so many of yours. I am semi type A and semi type B. :) I’m very goal oriented, but whenever there’s game, and we lose, it doesn’t bother me too much. When I run, I’m competitive, but if I lose a board game it’s not the end of the world. And if I got a ‘B’ on a paper, it wasn’t that big of deal to me. ;-) I guess I’m a mixed bag kind of like you :o)
Emily recently posted…Thursdays are for Thinking and MEETING!
I tend to be more competitive with myself than with others. I used to NEED to win Monopoly or Life when I played with friends, but I don’t think about that now.
I think the only way I’m not type a is the whole cleaning/organization thing. I get so overwhelmed by mess though! I just realized part of my tag line is “live messy” so I suppose I completely relate to what you’re saying! We can be all type a all the time or we’d drop dead in minutes :)
Michele recently posted…Easy Buttery Dill Mustard Baked Salmon
I’m not always unorganized but I have my moments of utter laziness that I don’t feel like cleaning at all. My family and friends are always surprised by how crazy my room can be at times.
Jessica @ kiwiyogirunner says
Such a great topic! I am very much type a in most ways but yoga has been huuuuge for me in letting go of the aspects of this that don’t make me happy. I think it is pretty normal to have qualities of both type a and b and everything in between, and knowing how to best balance yourself between all that is such a great skill! Seems like you are doing really well in learning how to balance everything in the best way for you! Such a process, especially at our age! I feel like I still have sooo much to learn. Ie. How to not wake up at 3am when I’m stressed about university! :)
Jessica @ kiwiyogirunner recently posted…The one with my first non-treadmill HIIT workout in a LONG time
Yoga has done the same thing for me! Even if it’s only for the length of the class I always leave feeling a little more “balanced.” Oh, I’m with you… I have SO much to learn too :)
I’m pretty type a as well other than I sleep well and am sorta messy to even though mess drives me a bit nuts. I love lists and goals etc
I like what you are saying. It reminds me of something from the lean in book that has stuck w me. She said that perfect is great but perfect means you will never be done. She says good enough and done is better than perfect and that stuck with me especially at work. Today I ran and decided just to get my miles in and not worry much about my time. So very type b of me ;)
I haven’t read that book but I can imagine it has some great quotes and advice for managing life/busyness/perfection. Awesome job just running and not caring about time. Those tend to be the best runs!