Interested in scheduling a therapy session with Marquita? Click here for details!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Perfectionism: the Antihero

"The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

Perfectionism and anxiety are very close friends.  People who identify as perfectionists often  experience significant anxiety and depression symptoms.   How, you might ask?  Well, perfectionism is about setting extremely high standards in one or more areas in your life, standards that would be difficult for anyone to consistently meet.  Unrealistically high standards typically lead to one or two outcomes.  If you don't meet your expectation, your thoughts likely hold negative themes about not being "good enough" or a being a  "complete failure."  On the other hand, if you meet the high expectation, then your thoughts turn into undermining the accomplishment.   If you were able to do it, then it must not be so special, right?  Basically, a lose-lose situation.

These negative thoughts connected to unrealistic standards are the archenemy of good.  The cycle of perfectionism doesn't typically include praise or encouragement.  The cycle of perfectionism includes, put-downs, critiques, and shaming... all the elements of the antihero.  

So, if you are going to be a superhero, wouldn't you prefer to be the kind that lifts people up, including yourself?  Shift your expectations so that they are more realistic, taking into account that you are human!  Give yourself praise for what you have done well.  Be mindful that no one is perfect.  Remember that mistakes are an unavoidable part of life and excellent opportunities for learning.  Remain kind and care for yourself, so that you will have the fuel to keep pushing forward toward your goal.  Be your own hero, your own beacon of hope and encouragement. 


No comments:

Post a Comment