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Negativity and Perfectionism?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Freedom, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. Freedom

    Freedom Peer Supporter

    Anyone have any advice on feeling good about making strides towards a goal and not being a perfectionist? I seem to notice all the times I don't take proper action as opposed to the times I do. It's like if I don't take right action 100% of time on something I'm working towards I end up feeling bad.

    For example, one thing I'm working on is filtering myself less when talking to others (I think too much about whether what I'm going to say is cool or not and end up not saying anything). I was at a friendsgiving (think like a barbecue type deal) this past weekend and afterwards felt down about all the times I did filter myself

    I've heard this is actually detrimental to reaching goals because you break yourself down instead of building yourself up. Advice?
    Ines likes this.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Our brains have a built-in negativity bias as a survival mechanism. We constantly scan everything to find something "wrong" so we can protect ourselves against it. This occurs socially, as well as scanning our physical environment. At a deep primal level we fear being banished by the group, as we know we can't survive alone.

    The best strategy I have found to combat this is backed up by research from the field of positive psychology. It involves the simple task of writing down 3 things we are grateful for at the end of our day. This retrains our brains to scan our experience for positive experiences. I do this whenever I notice that I'm becoming overly negative. After only a few days, I notice a difference. It only takes a few minutes, and there are apps for your phone you can use for this. Just search for "Gratitude Journal". Or just keep a paper journal next to your bed. So simple, and so effective.
  3. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Hi Freedom,
    Thanks for asking this question. I have the same issue with social anxiety. When I was in a group everything would move in slow motion and I would get a weird feeling that I was really out of place. Well, it was low self esteem. Now when I'm in that situation and feel that feeling I just say "it's low self esteem" and seems to help and go away. Then, I think why do I feel bad? It can be because I think I am not pretty or I don't have nice clothes or money and usually in that situation you can come up with a few things. Just thinking about why I had low self esteem has made it go away a few times.
    Just remember you are bullying yourself to be perfect. Ellen's suggestion sounds like a good solution. I'm going to try it too.

  4. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    I wonder here if you are under Inner Critic attack? In whatever you do or do not do, and whatever your aims or goals are, it is helpful to see when you are "under attack." In your situation, for instance, my Inner Critic would probably attack me for both ends of the spectrum. Attack for filtering myself (since this would "mean I'd be failing" at a the goal of not filtering), and attack myself for not filtering. With Inner Critic activity, unless you can disengage, you have a hard time "experimenting" with your life. I know the feeling! ;)
    Ines likes this.

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