Are you a perfectionist?
For some people, good enough is just not good enough. While for others, turning down a project is a lot better than finishing it off in a less than perfect way. Doing nothing, accomplishing nothing is a lot better than achieving something that is not at all one hundred percent exceptional. Be honest with yourself and see if you think the same way too.
For perfectionists, not doing anything is so much better than doing something yet failing.
Aiming to be perfect is the goal of perfectionists. For them, there is no room for mistakes. Trying is not good enough. Doing should be the only option, and doing it perfectly is the only decision one should make.
Perfectionists have constant stream of thoughts floating in their heads that are often self defeating. They dictate unnecessarily high goals for themselves. These goals sometimes are too high that they tend to border on the unrealistic.
However, society sometimes favors and smiles upon the perfectionists amongst us. This practice comes from the less known fact that being perfect is a requirement for success. But there are some studies that have proven that being always obsessed to be perfect is actually detrimental to success.
Striving to be always perfect denies someone the unique satisfaction of doing something for the sheer fun of it. The fixation to always be perfect could also cause someone to think more of failing than simply enjoying the process of getting there. It pays to have more realistic expectations.
Most perfectionists at times got to where they are now because of early life experiences they may have had which caused them to think that their value lies only on what they have achieved or accomplished. For them, their self-worth is based on how much others have approved of them. Therefore, their self esteem is based on outside standards.
Having this kind of attitude makes one easily vulnerable to the opinions of others. Perfectionists have also become sensitive to what others think of them. The desire to protect themselves from these “harsh” criticisms causes them to go on the defensive and strive to be perfect.
There is a list of attitudes, beliefs and overall negative perceptions that further fuel obsessive compulsive ruminations about being perfect. Check and see if you or any one of those you know possess any of the following.
Failing is something to be afraid of. Failing is a big thing for perfectionists. Failure signifies a lot of things to them. While non perfectionists may see failure as an opportunity to better themselves, the way Thomas Edison thought that his more than a hundred “mistakes” prior to inventing a working light bulb were not actual “mistakes” but only a hundred ways that led him to finally creating that perfect invention.
Perfectionists see it differently though. Failure is just what it is, their inability to make something better of themselves. Failing makes them feel worthless, expendable and totally worth nothing.
Mistakes — Oh the horror! Mistakes are a no-no for perfectionists that sometimes their whole twenty four hour lives actually revolve around avoiding them. If we only live in a perfect world, doing this would be fairly easy. But since we do not, mistakes are actually a part of everyone’s lives that sometimes, as in Thomas Edison’s case, committing them may actually be an amazing opportunity for growth and learning.
Believe it or not, the vaccine for chicken pox as well as the discovery of radiation were both discovered by mistake!
Please love me don’t hate me. Perfectionists try, as much as it is possible, to not let anyone see the flaws that they have. This is because they are afraid that once anyone has seen them in their unguarded state, people will reject them outright. In order for them to not feel such or at least for them to avoid experiencing any form of criticism or disapproval, they try their best to be their perfect selves.
There are only two choices: All or nothing at all. Perfectionists have a firm belief in themselves that they are totally worthless if they do not have any accomplishments. A student who is only used to receiving all A’s in his card may begin to perceive that the world is coming to an end if he receives a B+.
All in all, the clichÃ© that says: don’t sweat the small stuff, actually works in the perfectionist’s case. Taking it easy and being easy on yourself is actually less complex, less stressful than worrying about all the details to achieve perfection.
Are you a procrastinator?
Do you delay doing the inevitable? Do you put off doing something for tomorrow when you can very well do them all today? Have you asked yourself why you are like that?
These are the hallmarks of a true blue procrastinator. In a practical sense, procrastinating is a waste of precious energy and time.
If you have any of the following attitudes and beliefs, it is high time you check yourself for personal rehabilitation and start changing those negative thoughts to positive ones.
Feelings of hopelessness. Feeling hopeless about a situation is a clear motivation for procrastinators to procrastinate. Either because they feel that the past is better and the future is bleak and doing something today is futile, a hopeless situation is enough an excuse for them to not do anything at all.
For procrastinators, doing anything is not worth anything. And doing something does not count at all.
The young and the helpless. Procrastinators are so convinced that their moods are caused by someone, anyone or something. Or simply, everything and anything that is outside of themselves. They believe that their disposition is so beyond their control and that whatever actions or non-action they take is caused by an entity — visible or invisible that is external. They end up blaming the heavens, other people or fate for the misery they perceive they are in.
It is so overwhelming! Those who procrastinate have the tendency to do the following: when assigned to complete a certain task, they will — as much as possible — magnify all the little (imagined or unimagined) problems they will encounter until actually doing the task becomes so overwhelming and difficult in their minds that their last recourse is to not do anything at all.
Procrastinators also try to do a lot in one get-up-and-go attitude instead of breaking up the chores into simple bite-size little pieces. Imagine if you would, try eating a whole steak and try to swallow everything in just one bite. Doing such is so unimaginably illogical and does not make any sense at all. It is also physiologically impossible and complex.
Jumping immediately to assumptions. Procrastinators also have a great excuse to not do anything or in delaying doing something. They have this ingrained habit that whatever it is they do is not enough and will never be enough to make them feel any better. This is because they have the tendency to engage themselves in negative thoughts and attitudes. Personal remarks like “I cannot,” “I could, but” is their constant mantra.
They believe to not believe in themselves. Procrastinators also are good in labeling themselves into something they so firmly believe they are. The real person could range from anything as being “lazy,” “good for nothing,” etc. They believe that these labels are the real them and that they are unable to do anything about it. They believe they have no personal power to change themselves for the better so they do not expect a lot, or nothing at all from themselves.
The destination is worse than the journey. There are those who procrastinate and could not complete a task because they think that the end result of whatever it is they are to do is not worth the effort they are to put in the task. They think immediately of the immediate future of which they have no control over without taking into consideration the immediate present which they have the capacity to change and influence according to their will as much as it is possible.
The journey of getting there does not matter since the destination — wherever it is — will lead to nowhere, at least that is what they want to think.
Everything should be perfect. Procrastinators who have this kind of attitude makes them easily vulnerable to the opinions of others. Perfectionists have also become sensitive to what others think of them. The desire to protect themselves from these “harsh” criticisms causes them to go on the defensive and strive to be perfect. Eventually, being perfect is ultimately tiring since it is striving to achieve the unachievable. No one is perfect after all. And since doing nothing is better than doing something less than perfectly, procrastinators think that it is best to really do nothing at all.
All in all, perfection is an ideal that when achieved — if ever it is achievable — will be pointless. Real perfection only exists when flaws, mistakes, imperfections are present and the capacity to accept all these no matter what is the true mark of an honest accomplishment.