Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Self-Sabotage

 This question has been on of the most common questions asked during a job interview.  My mom used to tell me to say "I'm a perfectionist" because it shows you're a high achiever in whatever you do.  This is definitely a good aspiration, however, being a perfectionist has some downsides.

A expert professor, Gordon Flett of York University, describes perfectionist in this way:

“Perfectionism is the need to be – or to appear – perfect.
Perfectionists are persistent, detailed and organized high achievers.
Perfectionists vary in their behaviors: some strive to conceal their imperfections; others attempt to project an image of perfection.
But all perfectionists have in common extremely high standards for themselves or for others.”

As I am reflecting on who I am, I'm realizing that this deep desire to be, or rather appear perfect is actually prohibiting me from being exactly what I'm striving for.  The issue that arises with this trait is that I tend to set up unrealistic expectations for myself because I feel that everything has to be in place before I can move forward with a project.  This is what my old employer called "analysis paralysis".  I'm constantly gathering, researching, and analyzing information that I create a state of paralysis because I've accumulated so much information I don't know where to begin.

Also, perfectionist are typically very self-critical.  In my opinion,  most things that I do aren't good enough.  I'm trying to be the perfect woman, perfect believer, perfect lover, perfect friend, perfect business woman which is an impossible goal.  I don't want to fail.......at anything.  This of course is all a matter of perspective because failure is a part of the process.  When you "fail", ideally you should focus on what you can learn from the situation to move forward versus putting your attention on the "failure" itself.

I feel compelled to always be busy doing something. Sometimes I drive myself insane because I'm not doing anything, except what I want to do but I'm beating myself up for doing what I want to do and there is nobody telling me that I should be doing something different. It's only me that's applying this self-imposed pressure.  There is no one standing over me, it's just me cracking the whip at myself.  So I'm thinking it's time to give myself a break.  Instead of projecting an image of someone who is perfect and has everything together (I don't), I'm vowing to be more of who I really am which is a flawed human being.  Someone who is making my own way in this world with no instruction manual but figuring it out along the way.

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