How Perfectionism Affects Your Life




EN: For many years I’ve considered perfectionism as a quality rather than a flaw. I’ve even used it proudly as an example in interviews when the employer asked me to describe myself in a few words. I’ve always set the highest standards for every area in my life, and nothing really satisfied me because I wanted the best or nothing. I was permanently thinking that I am not enough, that I can be better and I can do better, always thriving for perfection. I used to think in advance, not living the moment and that only made me anxious. Patience was not on my list. I used to freak out when something didn’t work according to my plan, and failure was my greatest fear. I felt like time was passing and I’m still in the same place. I was a time bomb for the past year, and we all know what the bomb’s purpose is after the time goes off. Now I’m a recovering perfectionist who tries to master patience and take things as they come, one by one and I must say that I’ve never felt better in my entire life. And the most important aspect is that it’s easier to achieve what you want when you’re at peace with yourself. You can strive for success and great relationships and still have fun and be happy in the process.

How do you know you’re a perfectionist? You go big or go home. You’re always under the pressure of doing everything fast, efficiently, irreproachably, flawlessly. You always plan in advance, you need to be in control, and you work, live according to a schedule. You set hard-to-reach deadlines for your goals and most of the time you want to skip the work until getting there. You know your drive to perfection is hurting you, but you consider it the price you pay for success. You would do three different things at once just to save some more time. Your self-worth is also affected; you either feel as a high achiever or a failure depending on the outcomes and circumstances. You act based on fear, self-criticism, and lack of confidence rather than healthy striving, self-empowerment, and motivation. You always feel that you’re never quite “there yet”.

Yet the most negative aspect is human interaction. You set high standards for people around you and feel disappointed when they don’t meet you half way. You have a hard time opening up to other people. I couldn’t sum up this fact better than this: It is very hard for a perfectionist to share his or her internal experience with a partner,” Springer writes in Psychology Today. “Perfectionists often feel that they must always be strong and in control of their emotions. A perfectionist may avoid talking about personal fears, inadequacies, insecurities, and disappointments with others, even with those with whom they are closest.” — Carolyn Gregoire, Huffington Post



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