Hi! This post is about perfectionism and how to stop perfectionism and the need to «fix» everything. These two things ties together into a pattern. I am speaking from personal experience, I have been «bothered» with 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 then character A. So what’s the problem? – The problem is when you need an A, and you are unhappy with a B. In Japanese culture, many people take suicide if they don’t Ace everything! One B character is their reason for these individuals to end their lives!
A perfectionist might lack the mental balance, the scale to judge what is 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 always must seek the highest, obsessively, then 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 degree; it should have been a P.HD! A perfectionist will not settle with a typical boat; it should have been a yacht! He will not agree with making 500K in a year; it should be a million! A perfectionist is not happy with a six-pack; it should have been an eight pack! 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 ceiling! Take knowledge; for example, you can ALLWAYS learn more. (so the idea to feel depressed over not knowing enough becomes meaningless).
Does the question become when things are good enough? When are you good enough? Alright, so items can be divided into Scales. Things can be on the minus side in and 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 that everybody else is perfect, everybody else is earning a million or believe that 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 to avoid fooling yourself, and setting yourself up for misery! Many people don’t know the objective world. Here statistic, science and research can help you out! If you believe that it is average to make millions of dollars, you are deluded. Understand what is average, then you can enjoy being over average when this happens.
Practice being grateful
This 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, this leads to not being 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 is «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 things that are good enough; 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 this information described above 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 and full cup, starting to paste it! This is what I have been doing symbolically for many years.
If something actually is broken or on the scale’s minus side, you need to fix it. 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 things that are objectively broken or on 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 stressful in my body, without any reason! In some cases, I have created problems, only to fix it later. Also known as self-sabotage.
Aiming for a higher purpose
This point is about taking on a new project, such as going to school, taking a job, 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 something 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 get rid of 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 actually 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 for how to stop perfectionism, feel free to share this post with friends and family.