Hi! This post is about perfectionism and how to stop perfectionism, and the need to «fix» everything. These two things tie together into a pattern. From personal experience, I have been «bothered» by this my entire adult life. Here are some nuances and points to consider when breaking this down.
What is Perfectionism?
Perfectionism is about seeking the highest and best. If you are in a class, you will not settle for anything less than character A. So what’s the problem? – The problem is when you need an A and are unhappy with a B. In Japanese culture, many people take suicide if they don’t Ace everything! One B character is the reason for these individuals to end their lives!
A perfectionist might lack the mental balance and the scale to judge good or bad. So let’s say you get a B. Well, that’s Fine! That should be a healthy mentality; appreciate things are good (you don’t need to be the best). If you obsessively seek the highest, you will be unhappy, sad and stressed if you don’t ace things.
The above example is about grades because it’s easy to relate to. But a perfectionist «needs» to aim high in every aspect of life. Friends, food, clothes/style, car, skills, knowledge, money, looks, and body can be parameters.
A Perfectionist is never grateful.
A perfectionist will not be happy with a master’s degree; it should have been a PhD! A perfectionist will not settle with a typical boat; it should have been a yacht! He will not agree with making 500K yearly; it should be a million! A perfectionist is unhappy with a six-pack; it should have been eight! And so it goes in every area of life. A fun fact about life is that Things can always be better! Meaning there are no limits or ceilings! Take knowledge; for example, you can ALLWAYS learn more. (the idea of feeling depressed over not knowing enough becomes meaningless).
Does the question become when things are good enough? When are you good enough? All is alright so that items can be divided into Scales. Things can be on the minus side in an area; you can be neutral, good enough or at the higher end of the scale. The tricky part here, where the blind spots are, is seeing where you have compared to others accurately. If you think everybody else is perfect, everybody else is earning a million or believe the average student gets an A. Then you got a blind spot and are probably criticizing yourself for no logical reason.
Understand objectively what the scales are
This is to avoid fooling yourself and setting yourself up for misery! Many people don’t know the objective world. Here statistics, science and research can help you out! You are deluded if you believe it is average to make millions of dollars. Understand what is average, and then you can enjoy being over average when this happens.
Practice being grateful
This is to realize you have reached some goals! To prevent you from being on a never-ending hamster wheel, as with the example of gaining knowledge. If you are not grateful, then what is the point? Some people don’t understand that they are far above average, making them not grateful.
Realize you don’t need to be perfect; you can lower the expectations.
Understand you can be happy with things that are «good enough»; things that are, for example, 7-8-9 on the scale are «good enough». You don’t NEED the nr 10, «top thing».
Be aware of where you are objectively, and practice being grateful.
The need to fix everything
You don’t fix good enough things; by definition, you only select broken or weak items.
To illustrate this;
1. Visualize a cup that is whole and complete.
2. Imagine a cup that is broken into pieces.
3. Visualize; there is no cup – but you want to make one! ( take on a new project).
My first reaction to the abovementioned information was, «Do I stop reaching my goals? Don’t I want to do good?» Yes! But you want to remove the obsessed quality of perfectionism. And stop fixing things that are not broken! Imagine going to the whole cup and starting to paste it! This is what I have been doing symbolically for many years.
If something is broken or on the scale’s minus side, you need to fix it. If are you traumatized? Seek therapy. If you have debt, Earn more money, or are clueless about a topic, read more about it. Did you fail your exam? Take a new one! But use your fixing efforts on objectively broken things or the minus side! What happened to me here was that I reached a point in my life not long ago where «I had it all». And my mind kept searching for new things to fix. I felt stressed in my body, without any reason! Sometimes, I have created problems only to fix them later, also known as self-sabotage.
Aiming for a higher purpose
This point concerns taking on a new project, such as going to school, working, or creating a new business idea. The point here is that it is not coming from a mental frame of lacking something. Your intentions and drives don’t come from proving or fixing something because of the idea of not being «good enough». Read more about being good enough here:
You want to create something new. My entire post here is to eliminate the obsessiveness, the self-critical judging and the negative feelings associated with perfectionism. In addition to others picking up this «not good enough vibe,» you become less happy within yourself if perfectionism keeps running in the background. Ironically when you are OK with good enough results, you produce less stress and can perform better.
So things don’t HAVE to be on the highest end of the scale – a 10. Opposite, you only focus on fixing things that are broken or weak. You can create something new (make a cup). And this is neither fixing something that is broken nor not appreciating something good enough. If you liked the steps to stop perfectionism, share this post with friends and family.