The Cycle of Perfectionism
As can be quoted from my last posting, “Perfectionism is good until it isn’t.” In most cases, perfectionism may have helped you achieve goals or permitted you a system that “works”. On the contrary however, perfectionism can also counter all of your hard work and rob you of the joy of success and perhaps even success itself. And who wants that? Let’s unpack.
Perfectionism is a remorseless cycle that may seem almost impossible to get out of. Or, in most cases, the P could be completely oblivious, enticed by the siren of success in all facets of life. If the la
tter is you, I’m happy to be of assistance and snap you out of it.
The cycle goes a little something like this: First the P will set a perfect and albeit immaculate, but unreachable goal. Then the P will plan said goal out to a T, as they say, and mastermind the perfect plan. When the P fails to meet said unreachable goal using said masterful plan, he or she will experience unbearable pressure and adopt the all or none philosophy. In which case the P is less motivated to begin again, especially if their next tactic is anything slight of perfect. This inevitably leads to less productivity and procrastination when taking next steps. I call this analysis paralysis. Lastly, the P begins to self loath, self blame, and critique themselves perfectly, thus resulting in low self esteem. －And I call this phase, depression and anxiety. Which, for all intents and purposes, is not fun. The cycle repeats when the P reassures themselves that they need only work harder for success to be theirs. Remorseless and uninterrupted. Indeed the P will eventually achieve said goal, but in the interim, it sucks.
The most daunting part of the cycle is the unbearable pressure to be perfect. Because like I mentioned above, it leads to less efficiency and procrastination. If you’re a P then you know, being less of anything is daunting in itself, but to be less in the departments of productivity and efficiency? Well now that’s just unacceptable. But if we entertain the first part of the cycle a tad bit longer, you’ll notice the cycle begins by setting unrealistic unreachable goals.
Again, being a P isn’t all bad. P’s in their simplest form are high achieving individuals who happen to be master planners. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Together, we just have to manage our expectations and ensure they are not guided by external validation. More on that later.
－Torre Boyd LPC