Perfection is a problem that I have. The biggest issue about it, is that I am not perfect at all.
I can be really hard on myself, and how I anticipate what others think about me. I critique my:
- How my clothes look on my figure
- Personality Traits
As well, since I have social anxiety I also spend a lot of time thinking about how others see and judge me.
- Do I look okay?
- Did I say the right thing?
- Did I do the right thing?
- Do they like me?
- Do they not like me?
- Do they hate me?
- Do I appear stupid?
I also will project (“mind-read”) what others think about me:
- “How could she possibly say that?”
- “Why did she put on weight?”
- “Her work was not satisfactory.”
I know that I am not perfect nor will I ever be. So why am I so hard on myself? Why can’t I just be happy with where I am at, rather than picking myself apart on a daily basis? Frankly, it’s exhausting. I think I have been a victim of my own bullying, and I know I need to change.
I think it’s good for people to challenge themselves to improve and be better, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of ones self-esteem.
I’ve been thinking lately what it means to be “perfect”. It certainly isn’t achievable – so why do I strive for it? Sometimes I am so hard on myself, I stop before I start! I look at the task or project ahead of me, and I “give-up” because I know I won’t be able to do it to “perfect” standards.
1. Example: Perfection Problem – Weight
Over the years I have been either horribly underweight or overweight. Like many I would like to have a “perfect” figure (whatever that is). The problem is that I have either starved myself into looking like a skeleton, or I just “give-up” trying to have a perfect figure and plump up like a pumpkin.
2. Example: Perfection Problem – School/Work
Over the years I have either super excelled or tragically self-destructed at work/school.
While it is true I have an Honours B.A in Psych, a Post Grad in Marketing and graduated at the top of my class – most of it was due to my raging work-aholic tendencies. I was so scared of having anything less than an ‘A”, I ignored everything else in my life just to get a grade.
On the other hand, I also used to be a “dead-beat” student. When I was in high-school my teachers and principal said I wouldn’t amount to anything. I was actually told frequently to quit school. I was having trouble understanding the school material, my grades were horrible, I skipped many classes and I failed my first year. I couldn’t achieve how I wanted to, so I just “gave-up”. I felt that nothing was good enough unless it had an “A” stamped on it.
3. Example: Perfection Problem – Relationships
Over the years I have either been super detached or very needy. This is the most difficult example for me, because I am still trying to figure this one out. I know that logically all relationships have normal flaws, however sometimes they have scared me so much that I can become apathetic. Basically, I don’t really care one way or another if the relationship continues because I’ve emotionally taken myself out of it. I believe that I do this so that I don’t get hurt by someone leaving me (see my blog that relates to attachment theory).
At times I can be needy/clingy. The crazy thing is that most of the time the person may not even know it. I just may be feeing it. I think it may happen because I begin to question why I am not getting the care, empathy, love, and attention that I think I need. When I feel this way, I tend to get sad/depressed and then find myself lashing out or self-sabotaging to protect my feelings. Similar to the above paragraph, I believe I do this in an attempt not to get hurt. I try to push the other person away first – before they have a chance to push me (see my blog that relates to attachment theory).
Final Thoughts – I Will Never Be Perfect
There is NO time where I will be perfect. It isn’t going to happen. Never. And, it shouldn’t be something that I strive for. It has made me sick, self-destructive, sad, angry, and delusional. I’ve never been truly happy with accomplishments. I either felt like they weren’t deserved or I could have done better.
The short story is that I need to learn that:
- I will never be perfect.
- People will never be perfect.
- Relationships will never be perfect.
If I keep turning away from all of the stuff that scares me, then I miss out on all of the good stuff too.
If you like this blog you might want to read:
- First Relationships and Attachments are Important – but Not Defining.
- Judgements! Please DON’T, but DO!
- Who is More Destructive? Gossipy Gal or Bipolar Beautiful?