So the Olympics 2020 is over, have you been left thirsting for more or is just yet another event like any other? I love the inspiration the Olympians carry, the energy and dedication, the hard work, the competing against the best of the best, Just wow!
They must be missing it.
I have been busy, rather productively busy, didn’t follow much of it and couldn’t even blog. For me this, writing, is the ultimate remedy to everything life throws at me.
I have a question. What is your perfectionism introspection?
I once was the one to dwell on things hence procrastinate about it, it wasn’t good unless it was perfect. For me, nothing got done. Ideas faded. Work? overdue. We find that some people excel in perfection, evidently not me.
Done is better…
And so I embraced the notion “Done is better than perfect” learnt it from Jim Kwik. I must confess that it is never always easy especially on matters close to my heart. For instance my house, it is on a cycle mode, arrange, rearrange, arrange, rearrange the rearrangement, you get my point.
So let me tell you something if you never get things done that could be caused by your perfectionism conviction.
- Check your underlying beliefs, are they limiting? Do they make you self-doubt and wonder what everybody is thinking?
- If you do have limiting beliefs, remould them to work for you because most of them are just lies you tell yourself.
- Fixed mindset tends to stop us from exploring and learning from our mistakes. We might not even want to make them (mistakes) in the first place.
- Mistakes are not failures. (Wish they taught me that in school, I instead got a red pen screaming how terribly I tried) Mistakes are learning curves, they are growth. Essentially, there is no such thing as failure but just a matter of failure to learn.
- It’s not anyone’s job to accept you as you are, it is your job. Your job is to love you first, love what you do, enjoy what you do. Perfectionism ruins the fun.
There is this excerpt I would like to share from Kwik Learning.
“We live in day and age where perfectionism is considered a virtue. In every sphere of our lives, we are told that there is a perfect state of matter and we need to try to upgrade to it. There’s the perfect body shape, the perfect job, the perfect wedding, the perfect salary figure, the perfect score and so on.
That surely means those people who constantly thrive to get everything right and perfect and try harder and harder are actually on the correct track, right?
Perfectionism may be praised by all and sundry, but your brain will be much better off without it. In fact, more and more studies in the relevant fields are coming to the conclusion that this ‘virtue’ is directly related to the rise of mental health issues and suicidal tendencies across the globe.
Perfection is a myth
Here’s the thing about perfection – it does not exist. Our brain does not recognize perfection because it is entirely built on social expectations; nothing in the world is inherently ‘perfect’.
Hence, perfectionism is basically holding oneself to unrealistic standards, a heightened form of self-criticism. It has more to do with how you view yourself than with the actual demands of your goal. When they encounter setbacks, perfectionists do not think “I need to go about this in a different way”. They think “I’m stupid and that’s why I failed.”
As a result, most perfectionists end up never achieving their specific goals, because in the process they actually harm the one thing that will help them achieve it – their brain.
Perfectionism is self-defeating
Every human is born with their unique capacity. When you push your brain past its capacity to attain an unrealistic goal, it does not perform better; instead, it goes into survival mode. Here, our brain’s instinctive response can be of three types – fight, flight, or freeze.
The fight response is when you keep on working harder. This will inevitably lead to burn out as your brain is already super-exhausted. For example, if you are worried that you’ll fail a test and stay up the night studying, you’ll either fall asleep during the test or be so exhausted that you won’t be able to perform well.
Freeze is when you are completely overpowered by the situation and your brain stops working altogether. Needless to say, you are no closer to achieving your goal by this either.
Flight is the most common response. Perfectionists tend to put off doing something from the fear of failure or not being able to do it ‘perfectly’. They will prepare for weeks and months, waste time on ‘research’, do everything but actually starting the work. That might look like laziness from the outside, but it is the perfectionist’s brain’s way of protecting itself from more stress.
All in all, you end up believing you are not good enough to achieve this goal.
Is perfectionism a myth?
Thank you and good luck!
©Nicolle Hanselmann 2021