When you were a child did you hear the words, “children are to be seen and not heard?” Were you allowed to express your feelings such as sadness or anger, or were you expected to be happy and perfect at all times? As I sit here and think about my childhood, I remember having to behave a certain way and not being able to express my thoughts and feelings. I was expected to be a perfect child…
Which brings me to the topic of perfectionism. What is it? You ask. Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others evaluations. As Emily Giffin wrote in Something Borrowed, “But I am learning that perfection isn’t what matters. In fact, it’s the very thing that can destroy you if you let it.”
This may sound familiar to many of you striving for flawlessness, which is impossible. As human beings, we all have flaws. The sooner we begin to understand and accept our flaws, the sooner we will be able to live more productive and meaningful lives. There is no perfection in life. We are all going to stumble and perhaps fail at some of the things we intend to accomplish. However, continuing to move forward in whatever you are trying to achieve will bring a sense of achievement…even if it’s not how you pictured it would turn out (or if it does not turn out to be your perfect fairy tale).
Some signs you may be struggling with perfectionism:
- Difficulty with decision making (not being able to decide on simple things such as daily attire)
- Seeking reassurance from others
- Organizational obsessions
- Giving up on something before you start
- Avoiding situations because of fear of failure
If you find yourself struggling with decision making or any of the signs mentioned above, you may be battling perfectionism. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.