Time for a Philosophical Change:

Since perfectionists base their self worth on their ability to achieve unrelenting standards, they tend to work extremely hard to achieve these standards. Perfectionists often perceive this as highly beneficial. They may argue that by focusing all their energy on one area they are more likely to achieve their standards. Indeed, because of their hard work they have the potential to perform well.

However, when people base much of their self-worth on only one thing in their lives, they are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to make sure that it works out. That’s why it’s not surprising that perfectionists tend to be overly focused on achieving the high standards they set themselves.

And they often feel stressed, irritable, depressed, anxious or guilty, and think negatively about themselves. When a goal is achieved they may feel relieved, but they don’t tend to feel happy for very long. In fact, perfectionists tend to dismiss their success (“I was just lucky”) or conclude that the standard set was too low (“anyone could have done that”) and re-set the standard higher for next time.

Re-Access – Add more Balance:

You may find it helpful to think about the amount of importance you place on each of the areas of your life that contribute to your self-worth.

If you find that your self esteem overly relies on your ability to achieve, you may want to consider broadening your interests. Develop other ways of feeling good about yourself, apart from the pursuit of those relentless high standards.

Identify the other areas of your life that may have once been important to your self-worth but have now taken a lesser place. Choose one area you would like to start with and then think of some activities you could engage in to help you do that.

Motivation to Start:

You might find yourself thinking that you don’t feel like doing this activity and want to put it off until you feel ready. Don’t—act now! People often want to wait until they feel motivated before they act. However, an important thing to bear in mind is, motivation may not come on its own, but when you ACT first, motivation will then follow. Remember, ACTION before MOTIVATION, and you will soon find that your life will be more balanced. You will be less preoccupied with only one aspect of your life, and less dependent on that success and achievement for your self-evaluation.

The Courage to be imperfect:

We try to perfect ourselves as a means to overcome the pain of not believing we are worthy of love and belonging. Stop trying to predict and control, in essence just let go and start being yourself. The true ideal authentic version of YOU! Vulnerability at its core has shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it is also the birth play of joy, belonging and love. Love with your whole heart – practice gratitude and joy. All that matters is self belief – the belief that ‘I AM ENOUGH’.

Actively make mistakes, try not knowing for a week, stop competing, lose, be average and realize that you are so much more than a game predicated on unsustainable expectations. You are the Creator.

Paradox of Perfection #3

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