“How trying to be a perfectionist is a path to eventual disaster”.
This is one of my pet subjects; everything i am about to write has been my personal experience and the experience of hundreds of clients of mine. I was brought up by two perfectionist parents; there was no way i was going to miss out on creating the same identity. It took me till my mid fifties to let go of my perfectionist identity and stop beating myself up with the inner critic; that experience was life changing; and it did not come overnight; it took a lot of personal development work over many years and discoveries as to how this identity works. However i have worked with many people since then and they have managed to dis-create this identity in a short space of time, due to shortcuts i have discovered. You see a perfectionist identity has many unhelpful resisted feelings that make up the personality; so it is like pealing an onion; one at a time; till it all unravels.
Why is it so bad to try to be perfect? Well, just think about it; what are you trying to accomplish? The impossible!! There is no such thing as a perfect HUMAN being; the SPIRITUAL being is perfect; but not the human being. “How do we learn?” By making mistakes!! Not the perfectionist; a mistake is a failure to a perfectionist!!! Something to beat yourself up about, big time. The big thing with a perfectionist identity is control; they are very controlling. They need to control their environment around them and everything in it; so no one finds out that they are not PERFECT!! Apart from controlling they are also very critical and judgmental; this makes them feel better so they do not have to feel what is going on inside their world. When they point the finger at someone else or something else they do not have to take responsibility for their actions. Perfectionists are their own greatest critics as i said before; they set goals that are unrealistic for themselves so they set themselves up for failure; disappointment; and feeling inadequate; hopelessness; and the list goes on; right down to depression.
One thing i discovered on my journey to recovery from many unhelpful identities and resisted feelings; we only fear the UNKNOWN ; what we do not know there is a fear of what is around the corner. Once an UNKNOWN becomes a known; then we have choices; we can act on the discovery; in what ever appropriate way; or do nothing; either way we understand the consequences. With an UNKNOWN there are no choices and that is where the fear comes from; the uncertainty comes from. “If you have a pain in the stomach and the doctors do not know what it is; then you worry; an unknown. Once the doctor gives you a verdict; even if it is bad; you still feel better because you now have a choice of action you can take. It is crazy but that is how it works. I learned about all this through my own experiences so i could understand and sort out my own problems. At the time i did not realize it but it also set me up so as i could help others suffering from the same situations.
I have only touched on a small amount of this subject; i have devoted a whole chapter in my book i am writing about this debilitating identity. Most people who are very controlling and perfectionists are in denial about their situation; if they are honest with themselves they know what they are doing but do not know how to rectify the problem.
I am in no way blaming my parents for my problems; but if you get run over; you got run over; you do not try and make it OK; you need to deal with the issue and take responsibility yourself; not blame anyone. My mother was a very intelligent women; a control freak; but she had a brilliant mind. When she was 65 years old she bought a wig and put her age back a few years and finished up the personal secretary to the general manager of a Hugh financial institution. When she eventually left the job they had to put on three people to do the job that she was doing; and for over a year or more they were always calling home for advise on the work she had doing. She was also a workaholic; she drove everyone mad if she had nothing to do; another trait of a perfectionist; they can have addictive behavior.
Just check if you have any of these traits: Need to know what is going on all the time; Controlling; can’t stand things not being in their place; there is a place for everything and you have to keep everything in there order. You love living on your own; that way you do not have to deal with anyone else’s stuff and it is easier; have a dog or a cat rather than a human partner. You have to plan everything you do down to the last detail; no room for adventure. Have to straighten a picture if it is hanging crooked; clutter drives you round the bend. Mind you there is a difference between clutter and untidy; and cleanliness. In my younger years of early child rearing; i hated coming home to a mess that the kids created with toys everywhere; etc. I once dated a lady about 10 years ago who was a real control freak and perfectionist; she had trouble sleeping; she had everything in order in her house. In her wardrobe she had all her cloths sorted into summer and winter; her kitchen cupboards were all neatly packed in orderly fashion. I used to move things around just to annoy her and see how long it took for her to put them back the way she had them. By this time, early in the relationship i knew it was going no-where because she was totally in denial. Sorry about that side track; but i think you get the picture; having to control everything is VERY TIRING; exhausting; and stressful.
So there we have it; a short version of a very long and in-depth subject. Next blog i will tell you about how i created my perfect identity and how it served me growing up. Hope you liked my blog and if you have any queries or questions please feel free to ask and comments are most helpful. Have a great day; and hope your life is full of Joy and happiness; LOL Murray