Thursday, June 12, 2008
9 Steps to Let Go of Perfectionism
PeRfeCtioNist ArE NoThInG BuT ImPeRfecT ThEmSeLvES,
I'll do the things i love & the way i want it then that i can be more satisfied,pressuring just brings sufferings ,do things by heart not by mind that can bring perfection to whatever you wish to do.
Do you think that you have to get things done “just right"? Are you exerting unreasonably high standards on yourself? Do you spend too much time trying to get things done exactly correct in order to avoid criticism?
Do you feel like no matter how hard you try, it's never good enough? Are you always afraid that you will not be able to achieve the standards that you have set for yourself?
If you answered yes for any or all of these questions, you might be a perfectionist or have perfectionistic tendencies.
A perfectionist is usually defined as a person who is not satisfied with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.
Perfectionism usually provides encouragement to people to fight with the obstacle and strives for the best. Perfectionists know their goals in life and they set out and get things done in order to achieve their objectives.
Linda Kreger Silverman, Director of the Gifted Development Center argues, “The root of excellence is perfectionism. It is the driving force in the personality that propels the individual toward higher and higher goals.
There is a strong correlation between perfectionism and giftedness. I have yet to meet a gifted person who wasn’t perfectionistic in some way."
However, perfectionism can lead to great vulnerability. It is a sword that cuts both ways. If one takes perfectionism to the extreme, it can leave you feeling down over and over again if you are unable to reach your goals.
Setting very high standards without leaving any margin of error and mistakes one can reduce productivity and effectiveness. Usually perfectionists set unattainable standards for themselves and when they are not able to meet those standards they fall into anxiety and depression.
Dr. Monica Basco, an internationally recognized expert in cognitive-behavior therapy, explains that uncontrolled perfectionism can lead to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, fear of failure, and broken marriages and friendships.
When one comes to college, he/she brings a lot of expectations and sets standards for themselves. If you are trying to achieve those standards by being an intense perfectionist, you may want to change your track before you cause major damage to yourself.
Trying to identify the advantages and disadvantages of being perfect is the first step to coping with the problem. Do you think that you get very stressed if things don’t go your way? Or may be you are always afraid that things won’t go your way?
When you screw something up or find yourself doing less than perfect, instead of cursing, try seeing the big picture and ask yourself, is it as bad as I think it is? What is the perception of others towards my work?
In setting goals and expectations for yourself, please be realistic. You cannot get all six assignments done and done right in one night when they are all due the following week.
Moreover, learn how to take criticism. Most perfectionist fear criticism to the extreme extent but you has to except the fact that everyone one screws up once in a while and it is totally OK. If someone criticizes you on an error, acknowledge your mistake and tell yourself that you have right to make mistakes once in a while.
It's important for students to appreciate that that there's no way to attain perfection, no matter how hard you work. At the end of the day, you want to be able to say that you did the best you could, given the time you had and let it go. Of course, you also want to be open to constructive criticism so that you can improve.
The important thing is not to take criticism or a lower-than-desired grade as a reflection of your worth as a person.
You are much more than the grades you receive, and it's good to remind yourself of your positive qualities or past successes when you receive a disappointing grade.
The key is to compartmentalize the criticism and not let it affect your general sense of self worth.
By explaining the downside of being a perfectionist, I am not suggesting that being a perfectionist is not a healthy habit, however uncontrolled perfectionism can cast a net over our expression of happiness.
Life is spent one day at a time and although we should prepare for the future, by being a perfectionist our mind will be always be planning or thinking about a perfect future or lamenting about what went wrong in the past.
If you think you are a perfectionist, be a perfectionist but try not to be a “perfect” perfectionist.
Perfectionists fear that if they give up perfectionism, they won't be good anymore at anything; they'll fall apart. In fact, perfectionism harms performance more than it helps. The worst thing about it, says Randy Frost [a professor at Smith College], is the belief that self-worth is contingent on performance—that if you don't do well, you're worthless. It's possible to escape that thinking.
1. First, watch a movie or a sunset or engage in some activity not affected by your perfectionistic strivings. Pay attention to how much pleasure you get from it.
2. Then engage in some activity—say, tennis—that is subject to your perfectionism. How much pleasure do you get from it?
3. Ask yourself: So I miss a shot, what does it mean for my self-worth?
4. Apply that same insight to all other activities: Is this perfectionistic orientation worth it for this task?
5. Now you actually need to experiment with a different way of evaluating yourself and your performance. So deliberately make a mistake; miss a shot in tennis.
6. Ask yourself: Does your opponent think less of you? Do observers think less of you? If your opponent makes a mistake, do you think less of him?
7. Play tennis and concentrate only on the motion of your body. Did you enjoy that set more?
8. Understand the nature of mistakes. They're something we learn from—more than from our successes.
9. Look upon failure as information, not a fixed or frozen outcome. It's a signal to try something else—another chance to learn.