1. Our TMS drop-in chat is today (Saturday) from 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern U.S.(New York) Daylight Time. It's a great way to get quick and interactive peer support. BruceMC is today's host. Click here for more info or just look for the red flag on the menu bar at 3pm Eastern (now US Daylight Time).
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Day 33 Perfectionism

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Endless luke, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    For today's journal activity free write about perfectionism and how it affects your life.
    I haven’t usually identified myself as a perfectionist because everything I work on is far from perfect but I think that’s not what the word the implies as much as holding yourself to very high standards which I do. I tend to think that every hour of the day should be spent productively and I want my work to outshine others. These traits feed into a feeling of guilt when I fall short.
    I’m not feeling perfectionist these days since it seems most of my efforts lead nowhere. I suppose I could be perfectionist in the pursuit of better health. It’s just a trait that it’s so hard to let go of the idea of getting my life to a better place.
    On a positive side I have gotten more accustomed to feeling my emotions and not fighting them which feeds into not being perfectionist. I am getting sick of feeling sad though. I guess exhausted by feeling sad so much is more accurate.
    It’s not so much the perfectionism that’s the problem as the expectation that their will be a reward if the work is good enough. I don’t want to be a little kid waiting for praise anymore.
    Perfectionism has definitely contributed to my TMS by not allowing me to accept the tension. If I had accepted it then I would never have sunk myself into this hole. I suppose the answer to my problems is more acceptance.

    Have you noticed any positive changes in your life since you have started this program?

    Decreased tension in my legs and my head feeling more on top of my neck.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm a perfectionist working for a mega-super-perfectionist and sometimes he drives me nuts.
    I'm learning to tune him out, to say yes, and try to take my time in doing what he asks.
    As a boss, he has absolutely no people skills.
    He's like the captain and I'm the last crew member who hasn't jumped ship.
    I need the pay or I'd have jumped ten years ago.

    So I am learning to find ways to tune him out.
  3. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Luke, to me this is the definition of perfectionism. The hard truth that I've had to come to terms with is that there is no such thing as perfection. Our minds trick us into thinking there is, though, and so we constantly strive towards this unobtainable thing and constantly feel everything we do is "far from perfect" (when in reality we're probably performing above and beyond what we're expected to). It's an exhausting and enraging process, as there's an illusion of a "reward if the work is good enough" as you so accurately wrote...but it's still an illusion. And so, we're always setting ourselves up for failure -- waiting for praise from ourselves or others -- if we're constantly striving towards something that will never pay off.

    This isn't to say I think we shouldn't strive for the unobtainable -- not in the slightest! I am simply saying we shouldn't punish ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, for not reaching something that no human can (like perfection). When we're being perfectionists (or at least, this is my experience as a perfectionist) we have a tendency to discard the progress we've made since it isn't "perfect" or living up to our impossibly high standards. So, we should try to reward or praise ourselves for the accomplishments and progress we have made in our lives. Luke, I know I'm routinely astounded by the insane amount of insight in your posts, and clearly, that insight has payed off! Congratulations on the decreased tension. With your insight and your dedication, there's simply no way TMS has the upper hand here. To use one of Herbie's common phrases, "you got this" :)
    Endless luke likes this.
  4. Endless luke

    Endless luke Well known member

    Thank you for your comments. I'd also say that beyond exhausting and enraging it's a shaming process. At least that's what I most associate it with- there is an ideal for what I think I should have achieved and my actual accomplishments are meager compared to it. I think this is the failure that you end up talking about.

    And the not punishing ourselves is also something I identify with. I sometimes put it in terms of not being outcome oriented or "let go and let God".
    Becca likes this.
  5. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    So true. That's a huge part of it. Feeling that shame is part of what makes it so difficult to stop being perfectionistic (for me at least)...I never want to feel that sort of failure or shame again so I think if I just do this, don't do that, be perfect then I won't fail and won't have to experience that shame again.

Share This Page