I’m a recovering perfectionist. It’s unknown why, but a lot of people hear that word and think, “Oh she think she’s perfect or she thinks she is all that.” That’s not the case at all. It’s actually ass backwards. Perfectionism has got to be the most paralyzing form of self-abuse and I don’t wish it on anyone because it’s stressful. Luckily, during my recovery I came across a few things to overcome perfectionism.
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Studies in psychology have shown that perfectionism, is indeed a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high-performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations. Did that throw you for a loop there? It’s okay, continue reading – Perfectionism makes a person feel inadequate; it makes them feel like they’re not good enough. A perfectionist is someone who is goal-driven who also has all or nothing thinking.
A perfectionist will in no way feel good enough, no matter how much they try. They base their self-confidence on external factors, such as what they can gain or what they can do for others. Chasing perfection can definitely lead to or worsen a person’s anxiety and depression, and could possibly have a negative impact on their relationships. It could have a negative impact on your mental health and well-being in general.
I was an overachiever since I was in elementary school. I made great grades all the way through high school. Being an overachiever is okay but not when it leads to perfectionism. I became a perfectionist in high school. That is definitely when perfectionism skyrocketed for me. I had really high standards for myself and sometimes for the ones around me. I beat myself up when I’d get one B on my report card while the rest were all A’s. During that time, that was really unacceptable for me. But perfectionism will only make you see success or failure. There is no in-between.
Are you a perfectionist? Here are 6 signs you may be a perfectionist:
- You second guess yourself ALL THE TIME.
- You have a hard time recovering from making a mistake. Big or small.
- You are constantly looking to improve something.
- Success is never enough.
- You have really high expectations for yourself and beat yourself up when you fall short.
- You see success and failure as the only 2 options.
Perfectionism and Mental Health
Perfectionism can give rise to an intense sense of pressure that could affect our psychological well-being. It can increase anxiety and depression in people which leads to a negative impact on their mental health. Perfectionism is highly associated with anxiety and depression because you are consistently striving to be something that you can’t be. Those high expectations you set for yourself — After realizing you cannot reach them, you become depressed, feeling like a failure. And your anxiety won’t let you rest because you’re too busy trying to figure out where you went wrong.
How To Overcome Perfectionism
LEARN TO ACCEPT MISTAKES
Making a mistake is okay. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s not one person I’ve come across who has told me that they’ve never made a mistake in their life. Honestly, as long as you learn from your mistakes, then that’s all that matters. But just get up and try again.
Dwelling on a mistake that has been made is where you mess up. Doing so increases major symptoms of depression and we don’t want that right? If you have to, mess up on something on purpose. Teach yourself that making a mistake is okay.
AIM FOR EXCELLENCE, NOT PERFECTION
Nothing is wrong with having the desire to achieve greatness, but at the end of the day, you are a human being. And there is not one human who is perfect. Aiming for perfection will only overwhelm you and stress you out.
Just work hard and try your best at things. Don’t strive for perfection because perfection isn’t a thing remember? You’d only be setting yourself up for disappointment and that isn’t good. Do your best and I promise your best is good enough.
STRIVE TO BE MORE OPEN-MINDED
Perfectionists tend to believe that their way of doing things is the best way of doing things but that is not always the case. Try to be more open-minded with other points of view or perspectives. Be open to new ideas, fight the urge to react in anger when you hear different opinions, and avoid speculation.
Being open-minded will help you accept others and their opinions without it being a problem.
LET LIFE HAPPEN & RELAX
Words of wisdom. LET THAT SHIT GO!
Why do you need to let that shit go? Because you’ll never be fully happy if you continue to be a perfectionist or strive for perfection. I want you to be the best version of yourself possible and perfectionism will only hold you back from doing so.