Perfectionism can be exhausting. Constantly trying to attain these greater-than-life expectations we have placed on ourselves can be quite tiring. And, yes, we are the ones that have placed these expectations on ourselves, most people around us do not expect as much from us.
However, these feelings and expectations stem from somewhere. Perhaps people in our past did expect as much from us. So, who expected so much from us? What is the root of perfectionism? And, if it is something that we learned, is it possible to unlearn it?
Feeling lonely is not the same as being alone.
You can be among other people, your partner, your family and still feel lonely. You can be all by yourself and yet, not feel lonely at all. Contrariwise, you can feel in peace, connected, calm, joyful, satisfied with your life, you name it. So, what is loneliness then?
Fear of failure can be one of the most self-sabotaging, crippling feelings we can experience.
But why does it have such a powerful impact on us that it can make us stop chasing our dreams, avoid starting new relationships and be hyper-vigilant all the time?
How can we allow fear to exert such control over our lives and, most importantly, how can we overcome this fear?
How many times have you thought that you wish you had more time in your hands so that you can follow your dreams? Or, that you wish your life would be different and you could distribute your time better so you can follow your passion?
If you have asked yourself these questions and you have noticed a pattern of regret and "stuckness" coming up interestingly often, there is a high chance that you might be standing in your own way. You might be sabotaging yourself subconsciously with some specific behaviors and actions.
9 ways that perfectionism can lead to burnout
First of all, let’s clear out a really common misunderstanding.
We believe that perfectionism is a healthy mindset that leads to perfect results, perfect achievements, perfect life, to perfection.
However, the truth is somewhat different: perfectionism is the stress we feel in order to be perceived as perfect by others or ourselves and the exhausting effort we put in order to deal with that stress.
In other words, perfectionism feels like we are not enough and we need to try more in order to become so. And when we say “try”, we mean try a lot.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Perfectionist
As we wrote in our previous article ‘How Much of a Perfectionist are you?’, perfectionists tend to feel that nothing they ever do is good enough; that they need to work unrelentingly in a bid to better themselves, or else there’ll be negative consequences. If a perfectionist feels he/she is not meeting the high standards they hold for themselves, they will often experience distress or inner unrest which can affect negatively their mood or result in anxiety.
With this description perfectionism sounds like a really unpleasant, unwanted trait. So why do so many of us personify it? Well, as behavioural psychology tells us, everything we do is done because we believe it will be of benefit to us (or it has benefitted us somehow in the past) - and perfectionism is no different. The perfectionistic thoughts described above breed by definition an intense drive to perform well, and their continued presence in our lives can be put down to the successes and external validation (who doesn’t love compliments?!) this increased drive once brought us.
How much of a Perfectionist are you?
Defeating anxiety, stress, negative thoughts, procrastination and fears has never been easy. And it never will be. Not because there is something wrong with us, or because we are doing it the wrong way, but because it is something that indeed requires from us conscious effort, time, practice and a lot of mental energy.
We are actually rewiring our brain: changing the neuron paths existing since childhood which take us a certain way, into a different path, where things happen in a different way and are linked to different thoughts.
How Do You Know If You Made The Right Choice?
We don’t know and we can never be sure of if we made a right decision. But letting go of the perfectionist inside us and accepting these facts can bring us solace.
This is a story, a pattern which comes up very frequently when discussing with people: we all want to know whether we made the right decision or not. Or we are struggling hard in order to be 100% sure that we will make the right decision in a given upcoming conflicting situation.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.