Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confessions of a Perfectionist

Would you all be surprised to know that I am a perfectionist?

Probably not.

I am a perfectionist but also a procrastinator--to some extent. I love planning and getting things done but sometimes I get so stifled by what I have to do that I can't do anything but get on Pinterest, do something totally unrelated to what I have to do, or watch TV with the hubs.

Anywho, the Huffington Post had an article that has let me know that I am not alone--I don't know if this helps or enables me though lol. Carolyn Gregoire  gave me life with 14 Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out Of Control.

The article started off like this: If you've ever cried about getting a B+ or ending up in second place, there's a good chance you're a perfectionist. 

Lord if that wasn't me! Is it you too? Please say I am not the only one. Would you believe that I didn't get my first C until my senior year of college? And then I was just about ready to slit my wrists (nevermind that it was in Latin...a crazy hard class). Or would you believe that I cried when I didn't win homecoming queen in high school (like really cried--cause being on homecoming court was not enough). Lately, I have even been angry that I grad school may take me a little longer than I planned. Yes angry that 3 years may be more like 3-4 years--forget that I have a full time job, a part time job, a toddler, and a husband while being a full time student. 

I think I need help. 

Gregoire goes on to list things that profectionist tend to do. Here are my favorites:

You know your drive to perfection is hurting you, but you consider it the price you pay for success.
The prototypical perfectionist is someone who will go to great (and often unhealthy) lengths to avoid being average or mediocre, and who takes on a "no pain, no gain" mentality in their pursuit of greatness. Although perfectionists aren't necessarily high achievers, perfectionism is frequently tied to workaholism.
"[The perfectionist] acknowledges that his relentless standards are stressful and somewhat unreasonable, but he believes they drive him to levels of excellence and productivity he could never attain otherwise," Burns writes.
You're a big procrastinator.
The great irony of perfectionism is that while it's characterized by an intense drive to succeed, it can be the very thing that prevents success. Perfectionism is highly correlated with fear of failure (which is generally not the best motivator) and self-defeating behavior, such as excessive procrastination.
Studies have shows that other-oriented perfectionism (a maladaptive form of perfectionism which is motivated by the desire for social approval), is linked with the tendency to put off tasks. Among these other-oriented perfectionists, procrastination stems largely from the anticipation of disapproval from others, according to York University researchers. Adaptive perfectionists, on the other hand, are less prone to procrastination.
You go big or go home.
Many perfectionists struggle with black-and-white thinking -- you're a success one moment and a failure the next, based on your lastest accomplishment or failure -- and they do things in extremes. If you have perfectionist tendencies, you'll probably only throw yourself into a new project or task if you know there's a good chance you can succeed -- and if there's a risk of failure, you'll likely avoid it altogether. Studies have found perfectionists to be risk-averse, which can inhibit innovation and creativity.
For perfectionists, life is an all or nothing game. When a perfectionist sets her mind to something, her powerful drive and ambition can lead her to stop at nothing to accomplish that goal. It's unsurprising, then, that perfectionists are at high risk for eating disorders.
Help me y'all! Read the rest of the article here. Let me know what you think!

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