Perfectionism – A Healing Help Or Hindrance?

Hi, My name is Kristie and I admit have a problem. I am a perfectionist. 

For many years I always believed that being a perfectionist was one of my best qualities. The kind of attribute I would put on my CV so that an employer knew I had extremely high standards.

However, after recent events and facing some difficulties on my healing journey, I began to realise that my perfectionism was not only a problem, it was actually hindering my recovery.

On a recent trip to Portugal, this was highlighted to me so I decided to delve deeper into this subject, so I downloaded an audiobook called “How to be an Imperfectionist” by Stephen Guise, and after listening to the audiobook my mind was completely blown.

I discovered that imperfection is actually the secret to success!

I know it’s hard to believe at first, but it’s true.

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The author explains that due to having exceptionally high standards of ourselves, perfectionists regularly experience certain emotions/feelings of anxiety, stress, inferiority, irritability, low mood, inner conflict, low self-worth and guilt.

However, an imperfectionist, who accepts their life and circumstances as imperfect will regularly experience such emotions/feelings as satisfaction, joy, contentment, peace, serenity and high self-worth. Now, which of the two approaches are going to help you in the healing process do you think? The latter for sure, because in my experience, regularly feeling emotions such as anxiety, stress and inner conflict only manifest in the body as physical pain. 

The author explains that these emotions are derived from our expectations/goals in life, so the good news is that if we change our expectations, we change how we feel.

He then delves further into expectations and explains that there are two types of expectations in life.

  1. General expectations 
  2. Specific expectations

Our general expectations should be HIGH. An example of this would be feeling positive that you are going to overcome your health challenges. If your general expectations are low you are going to struggle to succeed at anything in life.

However, our specific expectations should always be LOW. An example of this would be “I want tomorrow’s flight to go smoothly and to arrive completely headache free”. By setting such a specific goal and it not going “perfectly” to plan, you are only left feeling disappointed by your “failure”, thus creating a cycle of negativity that now impacts your general expectations and confidence to overcome your illness at all!

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This taught me that to be successful doesn’t require everything to be perfect, actually the opposite. The more you manage your expectations and not expect perfection, the more likely you actually are to succeed. 

A great way the author suggests to overcome your perfectionism is;

Caring less about results and more about putting the work in at all.
Caring less about problems and more about the fact you are making progress despite them.
Caring less about “failure” and more about success
Caring less about whether you are doing it “right” and more about doing it at all.
Caring less about what others think and more about who you want to be.
Caring less about the timing and more about the task at hand.

Are you a perfectionist and do you feel it might impact your health? Can you relate to this? If so, I would love to hear from you.

#Perfectionsim #Health #Mindset #Healing #My Journey 

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