“Anxiety keeps me humble.”
AIDS researcher Anthony Fauci, MD notes that pursuing excellence in your life and work is not without emotional challenges:
“One of the by-products of being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve myself are sobering feelings of low-grade anxiety and a nagging sense of inadequacy… This anxiety keeps me humble.”
Perfectionism is a catalyst
In his essay A Goal of Service to Humankind, Dr. Fauci continues: “I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.. I consider myself a perpetual student. … I believe in striving for excellence. I sweat the big and the small stuff!
“I do not apologize for this. One of the by-products of being a perfectionist and constantly trying to improve myself are sobering feelings of low-grade anxiety and a nagging sense of inadequacy. But this is not anxiety without a purpose. No, this anxiety keeps me humble. It creates a healthy tension that serves as the catalyst that drives me to fulfill my limited potential.
“This has made me a better physician and scientist. Without this tension, I wouldn’t be as focused.”
Dr. Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. His research focuses on HIV/AIDS, asthma, allergies and other ailments. He advises the government on the global AIDS crisis and threats related to bio-terrorism.
His essay is in the NPR book (and audio CD) This I Believe: Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women
Anxiety Relief Solutions site – multiple programs, products, books to relieve anxiety and stress.