if you are constantly striving for perfection, I can imagine that you are pretty exhausted and disappointed most of the time, I might even hazard a guess that you have bouts of anxiety and depression too and could be watching those that you feel less capable than you getting ahead in the world.
Far from being a positive trait perfectionism may well be hindering your chances of success. A typical perfectionist will be carrying around thoughts that actually sabotage their development and growth and the more that inner critical voice is listened to the harder it is for a perfectionist to reach their goals. They may take longer to complete tasks at work, stay up too late revising, procrastinate because of the fears surrounding not getting it right, focus too much on the end goal rather than enjoying the process or maybe fear trying something new for fear of failure. Do some of these traits sound familiar?
I invite you to think for a moment:
How realistic do you think it is to achieve perfection?
What drives you to appear to be, or need to be perfect?
Why does being perfect matter to you?
What would be so wrong with striving to be your personal best or simply good enough?
How did you respond?
Did it occur to you that maybe you are using perfectionism as a form of shield against the world? If I am perfect then I am immune to criticism…if I am perfect no-one can judge me………if I am perfect people will ignore my flaws…..if I am perfect I will be more acceptable to others etc.
I would suggest that saying you are a perfectionist is similar to saying that you are never good enough. That doesn’t feel like a positive trait to me. What do you think?
Michelle Brown dip.couns. MBACP is an experienced BACP registered counsellor working in private practice in the centre of Tunbridge Wells 07879424488 www.michellebrowntherapy.co.uk (she doesn’t consider herself perfect)