The Perils of Perfectionism

The Perils of Perfectionism

A perfectionist isn’t something I ever thought to call myself until other people started calling me it. I was inspired to write this post for the most minuscule of reasons. I wrote a tweet with a typo in it. A tiny one, one that most people probably wouldn’t even have picked out. I know that if it had been someone else’s tweet that I wouldn’t have noticed.

I posted the tweet and then quickly noticed that every day should be two words, not one and immediately went to deleted it and tweet it again. But I stopped myself. And made a conscious decision that it did not matter.

Perfectionism in principle sounds like it would be a great asset. How wonderful to strive for perfection in every thing you do? Except that’s not really how it goes down, is it? Perfectionism looks more like writing and rewriting the same sentence because it’s just not right yet. It’s being too scared to hand something in as a finished product because you know that you could have done better.

My kind of perfectionism comes in the form of rigidity. My thinking is structured, my life is structured, my belief system is structured. And, the moment that comes undone, it feels like the world is falling apart. So the best way to control this? Hold everything I am, everything I do, everything I create to the same standard of perfection.

I have never thought I was a perfectionist. I’m not a person who excels in everything I do. I don’t think I even work particularly hard a lot of the time, but it wasn’t until after someone called me out for not letting anyone see what I’m working on until it’s finished did I give it a second thought.

I’m trying my best to combat this. I’ve even started handing work to my uni tutors so they can look over it, rather than panicking that the draft isn’t perfect so I shouldn’t let them see it at all.

And I promise I’ll stop saying ‘it’ll do,’ through gritted teeth, when it’s the last thing I mean.

Rachel x-x-x

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1 Comment

  1. August 16, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    This is me with literally everything – blog posts, instagram – i so often delete a photo dozens of times before i get the one that is ‘perfectly’ edited… fun fact: perfectionism does NOT exist. It is futile to try and chase, but we still do for some illogical reason. I think the only way to change it is to challenge it – what my therapist encourages me to do, at the very least!

    She has even encouraged me to deliberately drop a stitch in crochet and keep going, just to prove NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN. I am still needing to do that, so maybe today is the day.

    I’m so glad you didn’t delete it, the anxiety will be high at first but it WILL ease xxx

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