Addiction to Perfection

Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

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Title: Addiction to Perfection Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret Paul URL: Word Count: 727 Category: Self Improvement

Addiction to Perfection By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

The following email was sent to me by Karen, a member of our website:

“For no obvious reason this morning, I was feeling anxious and depressed. I looked at it and realized thatrepparttar 136666 false belief creating all this was that I have to be perfect in order for me to allow myself to feel happiness. Yet, there are so many conditions for me to be perfect that it is almost impossible to achieve. Still, I have driven myself to be ‘perfect’ sometimes and discovered it thatrepparttar 136667 ensuing happiness lasts about 2 seconds and I am exhausted.

“Lately, procrastination is somehow wrapped up in this conundrum too. Maybe I don't even try things because I know if it's not done perfectly I won't value it anyway. Most of my life, my critically inspired drive propelled me to achieve some amazing things (including opening my own business in L.A.). Somehow, I feel that if I don't criticize and punish myself then I'll never go anywhere or do anything. Yetrepparttar 136668 truth is, right now, I'm not really productive. There must be another way!”

Needing to be perfect is a form of control. The wounded, critical part of us believes that, “If I am perfect (whatever that means!) then people will like me, love me, admire me, approve of me, pay attention to me, or validate me. Then I will feel worthy. I can control how people feel about me by being perfect.” The need to control how people feel about us comes from making others responsible for defining our worth. The false belief is that if someone likes you, then you are worthy, and then you can be happy. But, as Karen said, “the ensuing happiness last about 2 seconds and I am exhausted.” Trying to be perfect is exhausting andrepparttar 136669 good feelings are very short-lived.

In addition, having to be perfect in order to gain approval often leads to procrastination. The fear of disapproval and failure if you are not perfect can be so great that it stops you from takingrepparttar 136670 action you need to take. Judging yourself to get yourself to do things “perfectly” often backfires, leading to paralysis instead of creativity and productivity, as it has with Karen.

Always Be Open To Learning

Written by Guy Harris


"We should not only use allrepparttar brains we have, but all we can borrow."

- Woodrow Wilson

____________________________________________ Leave it to a child to remind you ofrepparttar 136566 importance of humility andrepparttar 136567 willingness to learn from everyone. One day, my daughter Alexandra was home sick from school. Since she was home, I took her with me when I went to run some errands. That morning, I was working on a piece of business marketing literature. So I took it with me to review at lunch and pencil in a few changes. While we were standing in line to get our lunch, Alexandra noticedrepparttar 136568 paper I was holding and asked to look at it. I thought, "Sure, what does it hurt to make her happy and let her take a look?" I handed herrepparttar 136569 marketing piece and asked her what she thought. Honestly, I just wanted to satisfy her request. I did not expect to learn from her perspective. What followed was amazing. I watched as my eight (almost 9) year old daughter carefully and thoughtfully reviewed what I had developed. She then offered two or three very insightful and helpful comments on what she got fromrepparttar 136570 brochure. To be honest, it never occurred to me to seek input on this piece from my child. I very nearly made a huge mistake.

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