Am I a Perfectionist? I work incredibly hard to make sure I am faultless – which is an impossible task and therefore a fruitless and frustrating one. Why am I doing it? Well I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m trying to find some sort of approval or recognition. The thing is that I get plenty of that – I have wonderful people in my life who appreciate and value me, I just struggle accepting it. Through Conquering Life I’ve realized that the one person who really isn’t giving me the recognition I need, is me.
I am human and therefore cannot by definition be perfect – to be human is to err. By trying so hard to do everything exactly right I put myself in a vulnerable position that makes it difficult to take criticism as anything other than a personal attack. My point here isn’t that we shouldn’t try to be good or do things to the best of our ability, but that we shouldn’t put all our energy into being what we think perfection is.
Being a perfectionist has reached the comical category and I don’t think everyone realizes how stressful or difficult the reality is for those of us who function in this way. We try so hard. Often not just in our lives but in the lives of those that we love – we want to fix things. It is so much more than lining up our pencils neatly at the table, although pencil placement can be vital (lol).
I sometimes feel like I’m working so hard to keep from slipping up, so hard that I wind up missing the beauty of life around me. I’m watching the metaphorical ground so closely that the hole I do fall into is one of my own creation. With that stress comes anxiety which acts like gasoline upon the perfectionist fire. Fuelling a panic because now we’re running through lists of possible mishaps rather than just scanning the floor in front of us for them.
So how do we stop this cycle? First we need to pause and give ourselves a mental hug because we deserve it. A lot of it is self-awareness and self-recognition. Looking at yourself and acknowledging how hard you’re working, with love, then giving yourself permission to be human.
I can only be the best I can be. Sometimes that means I’m going to trip up and make mistakes – but I’ll do that whether I’m anxiously waiting for it to happen or not. I’ll probably fall back into perfectionist tendencies by accident too and the best thing I can do is acknowledge it with care and then work on changing. It’s important to stop holding myself to impossible standards while I consider others with kindness and patience.
Conquering Life has taught me so much in the way that I’ve learnt to process my life and sometimes I need to stop and refresh some of its lessons. Learning to recognize and appreciate ourselves is one of the hardest and yet beneficial tools we can attain.
So if you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, know that you’re not alone. You too can find a way to Conquer Life without demanding perfection!
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