Perfectionism and Your Recovery
‘’The perfectionist is a man whom it is impossible to please because he is never pleased with himself.’’
(Johan Wolfgang von Goethe)
Perfectionism is a personality style that has been described frequently as a central feature of emotional distress. A strong need for perfectionistic self-presentation can influence eating behaviour by not allowing the person to display imperfections, or admit to difficulties
How much of a perfectionist are you?
- Are you critical of people who don’t live up to your expectations?
- Do you get upset if you don’t finish something you start?
- Do you do things precisely down to the very last detail?
- Do you want to be liked by everyone?
- Do you feel that you have to do everything well?
- Do you crave approval from others?
- Do you avoid taking risks?
What is the difference between perfectionism and excellence?
Excellence – being willing to try new things, take risks, and learn from our mistakes.
Perfectionism – avoiding new experiences because we are terrified of making mistakes.
Conquering our perfectionism will release other abilities we didn’t know we had and will make life easier, more relaxed, more satisfying and more fun.
How to overcome perfectionism:
Read some biographies and find out that not everybody is perfect. Remind yourself that if you are working toward recovery, it needn’t matter that you make mistakes along the way, you need to give yourself permission to make mistakes. Who never made mistake, never made a discovery. Learn to take risks. Learn to laugh, most perfectionists think ‘Life is no laughing matter’, you change it. Look at problems as opportunities. Learn how to say no. Learn to say, ‘Good enough!’ ‘I am enough.’ ‘It is good enough for now.’ Let go the desire to be super person – instead making plans, explore possibilities. Accept praise from others and praise yourself. The secret lies in recognising what you can and can’t control.