Your Views of Perfectionism and How They Affect Your Life
There’s nothing wrong with wanting things in your life just so, wanting things beautiful, wanting everything done right, and wanting to work hard to achieve great goals. However, there is no such thing as perfect, which is what so many people forget. You can’t have a perfect home or a perfect life or do a perfect job. Mistakes are made, flaws are present, and every day is not perfect. If your perfectionism is severe, it might have a negative effect on your mental health. Do you think your desire to have everything perfect all the time is hindering your ability to live a good life?
I know it did me. I truly think that’s one of the reasons I turned to alcohol. I was so tired of being in control, being the good one, being the perfect this and the perfect that. I used to joke how I knew which number strand of hair was out of place. I wore makeup from the time I was out of the shower until the time I went to bed. See me without makeup in public? I think not!
After I started drinking, I started caring less about being perfect. I cared more about the buzz, having fun, being funny, taking the edge off, and not caring so much about anything else.
Over the next several years, I actually felt free! Free from being perfect. Free from being upset about making mistakes. Free from caring what others thought if I said or did or looked the wrong way. As you can tell, I went from one extreme to the other. And, fast.
There really is a place in the middle that can be healthy with reality and perfectionism. And also reality and drunkism.
I have found that sweet spot! And you already know what I call it… Moxie! It’s that place where you know you’re okay if you’re not perfect and you know that you have the control back in your life being sober. Win, win! And, boy, does it feel good.
It’s also the place where you hold yourself accountable. You learn from your mistakes and your past. You learn that perfectionism is impossible. You learn that drunkism is impossible as well. Both can cause you to lose friends, jobs, relationships, mental health, freedom, creativity, and life itself. One can leave you an empty shell from all the worry, the other, six feet under.
High Standards and Reality
Set high standards for yourself in every area of your life. You don’t want low standards to live by, but you cannot set high standards and expect perfectionism from each of them. There will never be a perfect job or a perfect mate. You will never look perfect or behave perfectly, and nothing will ever perfectly happen. Set high standards, and learn how to re-evaluate them as needed to allow for small imperfections.
Pressure and Perfectionism
Your high standards are not your problem, but it’s your perception of reality that is a problem. If you believe you cannot go through life if things are not just so, done this way, or appear that way, you are putting too much pressure on yourself. For example, if you cannot leave your home without everything being put away and all things looking perfectly clean, you might put a lot of pressure on yourself if you’re already running late when you realize you need to clean up behind your kids.
Now you’re late for work, your kids are late for school, and what did you get out of this? A clean house is what you got, but is that worth the detention your kids must now attend or the reprimand your boss issued when you rushed into the office 10 minutes late for a meeting?
If you put pressure on yourself to achieve perfection, you’re going to get perfection. Unfortunately, you’re going to get perfection in only the area on which you’re focused. The rest of your life is going to fall apart.
Mental Health and Perfectionism
You’ll drive yourself crazy if you want things perfect and don’t allow any room for mistakes. You do want things to be perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You must simply allow yourself to understand that there will be things that prevent perfection. Until you understand that, you might just suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, and even health issues that affect your physical body, your emotional health, and even the relationships you have with the people you love.
It’s not easy to give up the idea that perfection does exist, but you cannot live like this if you want to maintain a happy and well-balanced lifestyle. You cannot live this way if you want to be healthy. It’s time to face your fears and learn what makes you feel this way, fix the problem, and learn to talk yourself out of being perfect all the time.
I’m happy that hair strand 1,443 is out of place. I’m happy that I’m sitting here writing this in my workout clothes because I was too lazy to return to my work clothes for the rest of the day. I’m happy that I can laugh at myself for a silly mistake or a mispronounced word. I am happy that people accept me for who I am and how I present. Whether I’m in my badass corporate suit, or whether I’m in my jeans and a t-shirt.
Have high standards, please! It keeps us on our toes and doing our best. Just keep them in check and don’t let them get the best of you if something is not perfect. Life is full of imperfection. Once you start to love the imperfections, you start to love the whole-self and your heart will be yours. And to you…you will be perfect.