I spent my life being a perfectionist. It made me very unhappy on many occasions. Although not always a bad thing, it also isn’t always a good thing…
Perfectionism is a personality trait which makes you strive for things to be absolutely flawless. It means that you also set very high standards not just for yourself, but also for other’s, often times without realising.
Perfectionists are usually very organised and self motivated individuals that pays attention to detail (which are positive traits), however they are also very self-critical and concerned about other’s opinions about them and if they do not achieve the goals they set for themselves, they can fall into depression. Equally it means that you put as much pressure on the people around you as you do on yourself. Here I found a very spot on definition:
“Perfectionists strain compulsively and unceasingly toward unobtainable goals, and measure their self-worth by productivity and accomplishment. Pressuring oneself to achieve unrealistic goals inevitably sets the person up for disappointment. Perfectionists tend to be harsh critics of themselves when they fail to meet their standards.”
Like in many situations that I have found myself in, I came to realise the hard way just how self destructive my perfectionism had been to myself as a human being. In my work it was a good thing in many ways as it always drove me to work hard to achieve my goals and stay motivated. Unfortunately I pressured myself so much that I started developing anxiety. I always used to think that anxiety is all in the head, but I know now, after having had an anxiety attack a few months ago, just how shit it is. That out of control feeling does nothing for your self worth and you begin to doubt the person that you are.
Perfectionism can affect people on so many levels. I didn’t realise just how much it affected my overall happiness until I really started digging deep into my own issues in the past 12 months. My perfectionism stretched as far as wanting to be perfect on the outside, but also to be the perfect person on the inside. I have always been someone that speaks my mind when I don’t like something, but then, for the past 3-4 years I forced myself to always be “nice”, always accept everything and to be “happy” with everything when I know that I am not. And when things finally boiled over in the last 6 months, people started to discover who I really am and the true friends were the ones that stayed by my side.
Matter of fact is that PERFECT doesn’t exist. And striving for achieving it will never happen. So maybe we all, including myself, should really start reflecting on just how difficult we can make it for ourselves. Instead, work on having order in your life, make the effort in looking nice, but be comfortable with the person that you are. Be organised and keep your living space clean and tidy, but if there are things looking out of place, maybe don’t realign it all to look perfect. The little imperfections in life sometimes makes us happier and it allows us to live without fear of rejection in our work and personal life. Relax and you will see how things, and people, change their behaviour around and toward you. Be happy with your flaws and imperfections. And accept that nobody is perfect, not them, not you, not me.
Elize Endhart ~ Founder of Elize About Beauty
Have any questions about how you can deal with areas of perfectionism? Comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
13 June 2016