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Perfectionist Thinking

March 20, 2016

Do you ever worry so much about failing at something that you don't even try to do it? Or if you do try, you only make a half-hearted attempt because at least that way, if you fail, it doesn't really count since you hadn't really been trying?

 

I've been thinking about this a lot, especially since seeing this wonderful TED talk about perfectionism vs. bravery. It got me thinking about my own high standards for myself, and how that can hold me back. 

 

Certainly this was true in my younger years in relation to food, Sometimes when I’d try to eat healthier, it was more show than substance, and I didn't want to fully commit because I didn't think I'd succeed. Other times, as soon as I made one mistake, l gave up, stopped trying, and failed - spectacularly. Then I’d give up entirely, believing I couldn’t do it.

 

This is a problem many of is seem to run into. Instead of giving ourselves some credit for what we did achieve, we only recognize the negative. Even worse, we don't allow ourselves the option of being human and therefore imperfect. It's okay for other people, and we would surely be supportive a friend of in a similar situation, but we don’t give ourselves the same credit. In reality, though, being gentle and encouraging with ourselves would be better.

 

The real key here is to remember that we can learn from failure, We are not endlessly doomed to repeat the same things over and over, and the situation is not hopeless, although if we view it with the black and white lens of perfectionism, it can feel that way.

 

But what if instead you are brave enough to look at what happened and recognize what you could have done things differently - and then do that? I won't lie and say this is always easy, or that you will come through without any bruises. After all, none of us go through life unscathed. 

 

Knowing this, though, doesn't have to stop you, any more than falling did when learning how to walk. You can pick yourself up and keep going - and if you do, you may be amazed at what you can accomplish.

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