Life is a constant battle between the negative forces that hold us back and the positive energy that provides us with fulfilment and peace of mind.The negative forces tend to become a burden in our lives and hinders us from becoming the best of who we can be.
Perfectionism is one negative burden that has(in many cases) ruined beautiful relationships.
There are five obvious shades of perfectionism that you need to get rid of
Perfectionism can be both constructive and destructive. It’s a double-edged sword. Constructive perfectionism is practiced by the man or woman who sets healthy goals and focuses his or her efforts on achieving them. He or she has high work ethic and strong reasons for meeting his or her objectives. He or she wants to do well in his or her field and is prepared to give his or her best effort. In the proces,he or she learns about his strengths or weaknesses,and where he or she needs to make adjustments. Self-discipline is his or her friend. If everything goes according to plan,he or she may even create a perfect result. When he or she eventually succeeds,he or she takes time to celebrate and includes the people who helped him or her on the road to victory.
If you want to be a top achiever,going the extra mile is both necessary and smart. In today’s competitive world,you cannot drift to the top. Many benefits come from creating habits that improve your focus,concentration and self-awareness. You will experience a surge in confidence,be able to easily sidestep distractions and often achieve a substantial financial reward. All this is good.
The other side of it is destructive perfectionism- a compulsive striving towards unreasonable standards and an inability to feel satisfied. Rhe result never feels good enough. You feel like you ‘re always falling short. Even when the destructive perfectionist is certain to hit his or her target,instead of celebrating,he or she makes the target bigger and extends the timeline. He or she never feels satisfied.
Are you excessive in your preparation? Do you feel that your accomplishments are never good enough? Do you find that with your high standards,you are hard to live with?
The perfectionist measures his or her worth in terms of productivity and accomplishments. Despite exerting tremendous effort,in his or her mind,he or she never measures up. The emotional cost is high. It comes in the form of self-doubt,stress from the self-imposed pressure to outperform,disappointment,frustration,fear of making mistakes and a fear of being humiliated. Eating disorders such a bulimia and anorexia are linked to perfectionism. So are depression and suicide. Perfectionism is a painful burden.
How do people become perfectionist? Some children are born with a predisposition to perfection. It’s an inherited genetic trait. More common,however,is parental influence. Children quickly learn, directly or indirectly,that they aren’t good enough.
- Your B grade on the exam was good,but an A would have been better.
- You did a pretty good job cleaning up your room,but next time put things away properly.
Children interpret these messages to mean that their value is based on their achievements, and the approval of others. Children of hypercritical parents feel that only when they are perfect are they valued and loved.
Over time,these children may create the belief that being perfect is the only way to live. As adults,they no longer need to please Mom or Dad in a direct way,but they still demand perfection in themselves. And indirectly,of course,they may still want to prove something to their parents.
Another factor is a chaotic upbringing. Alcholism,divorce,abuse,constant relocation,or chronic illness often cause children to seek order and control. They do this by being good,by being neat and tidy,or by becoming high achievers,all in an effort to cope with the chaos. Again,this often carries into adulthood even though they no longer live in a state of flux.
Two Perfect Traps
Perfectionism is either directed at yourself,directed at others,or both. The former- inwardly focused perfectionism-occurs when a man or woman is to hard on himself or herself,pushing relentlessly to achieve unrealistic goals. They don’t dare make mistakes. Failure is a reflection of their worth. They see failure as proof of incompetence. Letting go and being easier onnthemselves is difficult because they internalize failure. Self-oriented perfectionism is a form of self-rejection.
Perfectionist can also impose ultra-high standards on others. When this happens, relationships often suffer because it seems like other people are always letting them down. They become frustrated because other people fail to meet their demands. Wanting others to do their best is one thing,but expecting perfection is setting then up to fail.
When you look through binoculars,everything is magnified. Perfectionist magnify their imperfections and perceived flaws. They focus on one negative piece of feedback,ignoring thirty that are positive. When you minimize the positives,it’s like looking through binoculars the wrong way. The positives are so far away they appear insignificant.
Perfectionism is rampant today. No wonder so many career-driven women are unhappy. On the outside,they appear to have it all- success,great lifestyle,fabulous looks. However, on the inside,it’s a different story. In many cases,they feel desperate,frustrated and unhappy. Peace of mind and a sense of satisfaction elide them. Striving to be perfect all the time is exhausting.
Barbra Streisand,a well-known perfectionist,says, “Demanding perfection is a cold way to live. Imperfection has humanity in it.” If you have fallen prey to this trap,cut yourself-and those you love- some slack. Being perfect is an illusion.
Perfectionist frequently have difficulty making decisions. This is due to their tendency to evaluate using extremes. Everything is black or white. Shades of grey do not exist.
Start accepting shades of grey and give up rigid thinking. It can keep you trapped in indecision. Perfectionists miss out on good opportunities or choose to ignore them. Their indecisiveness is an avoidance tactic. They also penalize themselves by analyzing everything to death instead of taking calculated risks.
Learn to separate yourself from your perfection by giving it a name and identity. I call mine The Nag. She is a critical voice in my head driving me to distraction.
The Nag is perfect,always well put together,intelligent,witty, and never ever wrong. She is also a bitch,and nobody likes her. Every day,in some capacity she shows up in my life. When I’m aware she wants center satge,I challenge her. It drives her crazy when I ignore a crooked picture on the wall,or leave a damp towel on the bathroom floor,or deliberately do something that is less than perfect. I have also started saying yes to assignments for which I am unprepared. This really gets her goat! Each time I challenge her,she loses power over me. She is miserable- but I have never been happier. I’ve decided I’d rather be happy than perfect.
Brene Brown once said,”Those who have a strong sense of love and belonging have the courage to be imperfect.” Think about it.